A recent graduate of Frankston High School school, Autumn Kummer, 18, wants to be a math teacher, and was planning to attend college in the fall.
Instead, Autumn's plans are on hold as she is spending her summer taking chemotherapy treatments at Texas Oncology in Tyler and will be starting radiation treatments soon at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.
Autumn, the daughter of Amanda and Shawn Kummer of Frankston, was officially diagnosed May 23 with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Lymphoma is the result of change or mutation in the infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are stored in the lymph glands. This change causes an uncontrolled growth of cancer cells that develop into malignant tumors in the lymph glands.
“She has cancer in her lymph nodes, cancer around her heart, in her ovaries, inside her back and inside her brain,” her mother Amanda told the Herald-Press.
For the past 17 years of her life, Autumn has been a healthy child and teenager, her mother says.
“It's a shock to us that she has cancer. She's never been sick her whole life,” Amanda said. “In January she went to her primary physician because she had a golf-ball size lymph node coming up in the groin. She developed three of them. She started getting knots in her legs that would turn into bruises. We went to the ER one Sunday morning when she said her joints hurt. That's when they sent her to see a cancer doctor.”
Autumn's cancer diagnosis has turned the family's life upside down.
“It's very stressful,” Autumn said.
The Kummers have two other children, Jeffrey Kummer, 19, and Dale Kummer, 15.
“It's a lot of going back and forth for medical treatments and that's going to get worse when she starts radiation treatments in Houston,” said Amanda. “We've missed a lot of days of work.