8 May 2012

In the hospital at the same time - again!

I know there are so many families with Cancer Cuties that spend months and months on end up here, so I feel guilty for feeling picked on for being up here again one more weekend!  Once more, Tyler made it through a great week, golfing and enjoying time with his friends and hanging out with family.  Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to go back into the hospital.  Tyler’s blood counts were once again at ‘record lows’ and he needed another transfusion.  This time, we knew that the only way to get real answers was to get a scan.  We have really avoided those since January – they are not usually our friends.. So about two in the morning on Monday, after some pretty traumatic procedures (have you ever heard of an Anderson tube? – no fun), we headed downstairs for a CT scan.  I know every person reading this who has had experience with cancer knows the terror that grips hearts when you or someone you love is in that tube.  I can’t think of anything in life I’ve done up till now to compare to it.  We came back up and tried to get a little bit of sleep – Darren in a rocking chair and me in a ‘recliner’ – yes, that’s what they call it!

When the doctors came in the next morning, they had okay news, and not-so-okay news.  Tyler’s tumors have hardly changed – small amounts of growth in a few of the tumors, but no new metastases. We were so relieved to hear that.  We knew that GI had to also look at the scans so were waiting on them.  When they got around to us, they informed us that the larger tumor on the upper side of Tyler’s liver has now pressed up against the stomach wall, and that pressure is causing the bleeding.  If they were to go in and scope to see more, they were quite sure that they would perforate the stomach wall. Things did not sound so great then…they were going to put their heads together with the oncology team and see what the best options were.  We needed to wait another half day to see what they decided.  After calling an interventional radiology team, they decided that they need to try and shrink the tumor that is pressing on the stomach. The only way to do this is by radiating it.  I, along with many others, wondered why they didn’t radiate it in the first place – I finally learned why today.  The liver is very sensitive to radiation, andwhere Ty has so much disease in his liver, if they were to radiate each tumor, they would destroy the whole liver.  They do feel that they can localize the radiation to this one tumor and shrink it enough to take the pressure off the stomach wall.  To make a long story short, we just got back from LDS Hospital, where the radiation will be done.  I loved our new doctor there.  He was kind and gentle, and completely willing to answer all of Tyler’s questions.  He got some new ‘tats’ today, not the kind he was hoping for – he would have liked a barbed-wire around his bicep, or maybe Superman along his back.  Instead, he has four beautiful little black dots around his chest to help make sure the radiation hits exactly where they want it!

We begin the actual treatment tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.  Our family asks once again for your pleadings with the Lord on Tyler’s behalf.  We need this procedure to shrink that tumor and stop the bleeding inside Tyler.  We should know in three weeks if it will be effective.  I would also ask that if you can donate blood, do it today!  Not only in Tyler’s behalf, but I watch these little cancer cuties getting this life-saving blood and know that without healthy people being willing to donate, these little lives would be lost.  I believe that probably 20 people had to donate blood and plasma to keep Ty alive at this point.  So, so grateful to those who do this regularly.  Thank you!

I also am grateful for your prayers for the warriors in this picture below.  They are all fighting valiantly to stay alive and I am honored to be able to be able to call them ‘friends’.  These four kids know more about courage and spirit in their short lives than most learn in a lifetime.  Thank you for being willing to share your journeys with me.  I love you Tyler, Brandon, Josh and Maddie.  You will always be my heroes!

I love you Tyler, Josh, Brandon and Maddie!




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