It Continues On… “ENDLESS”

Novenber 24, 2017

Nathan had some great months in between my last update, he got back on the ice for Sled hockey, Dr pulled his line so he could attend classes with his friends; all was going well, slow but well as it should be for a now 16 year old who has battled cancer for 7 years/3 times and 2 different types of cancers; one would have thought that was the way it should happen, after all that including a Haplo BMT, and a successful one at that with 100% donor(Dad) cells, you’d think whewww it’s over, road to recovery; nice and easy does it and let that kiddo live some life as he should…

Not how it happens in the real world, the world of childhood cancer tends to throw more curve balls then a game of baseball. Nathan’s labs fell pretty suddenly 3 weeks, oppps now 4 weeks ago and naturally everything was going to plan with him and his Haplo, no one expected a relapse; Nathan had all the indicators of no relapse except the labs, he has all donor cells, active GvHD of several forms, and the last BMB there was 0 blasts seen; so as it went Nathan’s labs were not making a come back, so of course a BMB was scheduled and as it would turn out…

Nathan’s t-MDS/Leukemia has made itself known again…

As we looked at our 7 year anniversary in all this, original admission/dx Nov 18, 2010 and Nathan receiving his very first dose chemo on Nov 25, 2010 (was Thanksgiving Day then) we were hearing those words again. words no one, not anyone should have to hear one time let alone now for the 4th “YOUR SON HAS CANCER”  heartbroken, devastated, and NUMB is just a few feelings you have when you hear those words, some get angry, I honestly just don’t have the energy right now for anger nor much else for that matter right now.

Nathan’s situation is rare and unique, of course it couldn’t just be a easy fix, it’s very complicated, we are waiting for test result that are still out on the marrow right now with hopes that he don’t have all the markers he had prior to complicate things even more, there’s not really a treatment out there for Nathan, the transplant was his chance for a cure, but unfortunately the chemo in the process didn’t work well enough and sleeper cells were able to hide away. Nathan is not fully recovered from the transplant yet so his marrow is still in a weak state, which may cause some difficulties. We don’t have a plan of action yet as said above we need to get all the results back from his biopsies first…

I’ve written this post and posted/removed it many times in these past few days, but it’s just not changing the fact that Nathan, more then any other time is truly in the fight for his life. I’m asking you to please keep Nathan in prayers, he needs a miracle and I have to say I do believe in Miracles…

Thank you so much and God Bless!!!!

Nathan’s Mom, Dad and Brother

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Day -1 into Day 0 – aka: Transplant Day

We’ve been through day -1 and day 0 since I last updated…

Long story short… day -1 was a day of rest for Nathan, no chemo’s or anything like that and I managed to get him out into the healing gardens for some great sunshine and fresh air. As the day went you could tell he was nervous about what was to come but we all did pretty good I think keeping him busy with the help of PT and OT and few others his mind was focused on many things.

Nathan had his marrow donation donated by his Dad, since there was no match for Nathan we did a Haplotype bone marrow transplant. This type of transplant gave Nathan the best chance to kick this, there are some extra risks with this type of process but Nathan waited months for a donor and had no luck the Drs found a treatment that yes put Nathans cancer into remission but it was a temporary thing and because of that Nathan went into transplant in the best condition he possibly could. Nathan’s Dad admitted in the OR Thursday morning prepared to donate, the Drs where thrilled with the amount of cells they were able to harvest from Dad; 2 liters of cells via. bone marrow aspiration. This was sent to be processed which took all day to do for several reasons, 1 being quantity and another being they are 2 different blood types. Nathan received his transplant finally at 9:21pm April 6th, it ended at 9:57pm. Nathan did well with the feed but had some issues that were not abnormal right after and later through the night. Nathan’s vitals were very active going from high to low and setting off the bells and whistles all night long BUT they both did GREAT.

Dad is home and recouping and Nathan is waiting for the grafting process to begin. There is still more to his process before he can just let it all happen, Nathan needs to have an IVIG infusion and then back onto more chemo, the IVIG is part of the process but the chemo is because Dad and son are different blood types and they need to wipe out the donated T cells so Nathan can receive better and will lessen the severity of grafts vs. host disease, which everyone is at risk of getting in these cases but Nathan’s case and type of transplant raises his chances.

As I sit and type the update, Nathan is sleeping and has been all day Nathan spiked a fever last night which came down today and then right back up and above. The concern is of course infection, but it is also expected to happen with a transplant (your putting foreign matter into his body and it’s responding). Nathan’s counts are falling now and he’s beginning to have chemo effect with his body as well. All in all though Dr says he’s doing well.

Thank you to everyone for keeping my son and family in constant prayers; this is only the beginning of this process, Nathan has a ways to go yet and the days can get much worse before they get better.

 

Thank you and God Bless!!!!

#myultimatewarriorx3

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Little updates from our week…

1/25/2017…This week Nathan started his maintenance chemo to keep the cancer cells under control, he’s had to report to the oncology clinic every day this week to receive his chemo injections…it ended up that it wasn’t just one Chemo injection a day it’s 3, so far this week he’s received 9 chemo injections with 6 more to go ending on Friday then he starts an oral chemo…These injections have not been a joy at all to him as he already had body aches and these cause bad muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, min. hair effects, and low counts.  After receiving his shots yesterday in his legs he broke out with sight rashes and with bad itching…can I tell ya hes about beat…As a parent who has to watch and stand by this all, convince your child he wants to get up, travel and receive more chemo (injections) that will make him feel worse just sux because neither one of us wants to be doing this BUT you have too :/ It’s draining!!!

1/29/2017…Yesterday, Nathan started a new maintenance chemo after receiving total of 15 chemo injections last week of the first…It appears there has been slight change in his cellular growth but not enough to change his present status, Thank you Lord!!! I cannot express how important it is to keep this controlled for Nathan and his transplant. This new chemo is not a pleasant one either , it is in low dose but that don’t stop the ill junky feelings you get from it at all. Nathan is loosing weight already, not that he can afford it to begin with as he just leveled off from all his unfortunate events last year but the way I understand it is it’s not his fault it’s from his body trying to deal with the cancer, the cancer is in his blood and marrow and with his body trying to respond it’s using all his calories he’s eating so we’ve had to add to his diet with supplements to add more calories, needless to say he’s not thrilled but he has a amazing dietitian who knows how to work with kids in a way they can handle it, as much as it’s possible anyways, then you add his stomach issue he has already to this all and…well nothing, you can’t do anything; you just have to hang on.

~~Summary of this new diagnosis battle/where we are~~

It’s been almost 2mos now of all this going on… To come out with a secondary cancer for my son; a 2x fighter of OS with “spots” in his lungs and it’s caused by the chemo treatments…as of last marrow biopsies he was still t-MDS.

Today was the first time I was going over my sons medical with another medical professional and had to say he has leukemia…this is so un frekin believable I am just sickened, honestly i’m not sure what I am just have that numb feeling about me again… A second cancer caused by his first and second cancer treatments with osteosarcoma… he started on chemo 2wks ago with an infusion through his LP and then onto a maintenance plan to try and control the cell growth trying to keep it in the MDS stage and prevent the t_AML; they where able to track the chemos that caused it to 2 of those that were used in his treatments 1 from his original MAP and 1 from the relapse in his lungs; so of course it can’t just stop there those flags have shown his t-MDS to be very rare and yup it continues…very aggressive! There has been cell growth since all the findings and he gets bone marrow biopsies pretty regularly now to track it.

My family all tested to be a match and our older son was not nor was I but Dad is a good back up donor; they found 3 perfect matched in the National Registry and only 1 has responded to start the process and all are out of the country to boot…He’s getting a big genetic work up to try and at least see if he’s pre-dispositioned for this or if it’s all just another bad deck of cards being delt.

So as we’re signing away for our now 15yr old son to get back into chemo what are we reading??? YES it carries a risk for yet ANOTHER cancer (lymphoma) oh AND it can kick in his OS: oh of course its “RARE” but he has fallen into that 3rd column endlessly, why should we not be really concerned?! GOOD GRIEF!!!!! So until we can get his transplant on schedule we do maintenance chemo’s with hopes to control this damn stuff…My son at age 9 dx with OS relapse at 12 with metastaic bi-lateral lung and now 15 with leukemia(T-MDS)…Silver lining????? it’s not full blown t-AML…things seriously need to change 🙁

Thank you everyone for all your great words of encouragement and prayers, please keep them coming, we need a donor match, a full match to give Nathan the best possible chance of beating this…

Mom <3

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