Thursday July 1, 2010
Last night was rough for Will. He was up coughing a lot and had quite a bit of chest pain. They monitored him carefully for oxygen levels and they were substantially low. Due to this and because of the touchy situation with his airway they decided to try the needle biopsy again. They used a ultrasound to maneuver a man sized needle which is spring loaded and fires into the mass. This did the trick. They took 2 tissue samples. They also inserted a pick, sort of an IV type line, into a vein into his upper right arm and delivers his medicine directly to where it's needed. It threads nearly to his heart. Later in the day he had a pet scan. After fasting for 16 hours, they administer a raioactive sugar type mix into the blood system. They told him he would have to marinate in that for about 45 minutes. This gives the cocktail time to spread throughout his body. They do this because tumors are aggressive cells and love the sugar and soak it all in. The full body scan this time took about an hour to finish. The radioactive elements glow ink the xray and indicates where the cancer cells are located. He had a very good nap lying flat on his back, which he has not been allowed to do for the past couple of days. No coughing the whole time. :o)
This took most of the day, but finally he was able to eat about 5:30. The doctors came in about 7 with the results of all the tests of the week. The diagnosis; Hodgkins lymphoma stage 4B. This cancer has a 95-100% cure rate. We like those odds. The doctor said that even though it is an advanced stage cancer the cure rates are excellent and the same as early stage. Stages are determined by where they find the tumors. The 4 in the stage was determined because he has tumors both above and below his diaphragm. The B is when it crosses over also into other organs. In this case he has tumors in his lungs. The fact that he has them in his lungs is not any more of a problem than the others because they are treated the same way and are the same type of tumor.
Because this cancer has shown to be very aggressive, which oddly enough is also good, they are starting chemo tonight. This is an excellent hospital on the cutting edge. The doctors have been amazing. This is not an ego trip for the doctors. This is a teaching hospital and all the doctors work in groups and work brainstorming and making sure the patients have everything they could possibly need to recover. They are networked with oncologists across the entire country. We are so happy here and feel that William is getting the best care he possibly could. They will be administering 2 rounds of chemo over the next 8 or so days. They said he will be exhausted the week after, his body will begin to regenerate the second week, and the 3rd week he will be feeling pretty good. Then it will start over again. This will continue for about 6-8 months, possibly a year. When the chemo is finished he will have radiation therapy. Besides the exhaustion, he will end up loosing his hair and his immune system will pretty much be non-existent. Please be excessively mindful of this if you visit. They said that it is far more likely for there to be a bad problem if he is to get a cut and that gets infected, but a cold will more than likely put him in the hospital. Sorry if I am not making sense. I pull the tired card!
They showed us the pet scan of his body and it looked like he was wearing armor around his chest and neck. The tumors are wrapped around his heart, his lungs and his windpipe. The reason they didn't do the surgery is because if he went under and the muscles relaxed around his trachea, even the inserted tube wouldn't have prevented life threatening problems of the tumors closing off his trachea. Untreated there is no way this cancer wouldn't take his life. We feel the Lord was very mindful in the timing of all that has happened. We know that all will be well. We feel completely at peace tonight knowing that this will turn out well. We are not excited to be on the path, but know that we will all learn so much through the process. The Savior suffered even this for Will and for the pain we all feel for him at this time. He will comfort us and care for us. We are grateful to feel wrapped in his loving arms.
Thank you again for all of your prayers, fasting, thoughts, well wishes and concern. We couldn't be in a better place for him.
We love you all!