We just had a call from Kevin's oncologist with the results of the PET Scan taken yesterday. The tumor cells are contained above the diaphram which means he is in stage 2!! I'm positive that the bone marrow that will be done on Fri will also be negative, but they still need to r/o any cancer in the bone. Tomorrow Kevin will have an audiology apt at 9am at Mpls Children's oncology clinic. They need this for a baseline because one of his chemo drugs could cause hearing loss (high sounds). This is the Cisplatin which hopefully won't be needed. It is in the chemo cocktail that will be used after the first round of chemo if the tumor isn't responding appropriately. If the tumor responds like we are hoping, we won't have to go to the next chemo level, which increases the side-effects and will have him inpatient for the chemo delivery. So everyone keep those prayers going!! Things have been looking up, so let's continue that pattern!
Kevin has chosen to be involved in 2 different research studies. The first is a study being done to study symptom clusters in teens receiving Cisplatin, Ifosfamide, and Doxorubicin chemo drugs. It is to learn more about how teens feel when they are getting these drugs and how it affects their sleep, mood, and nausea/vomiting. They are trying to perfect the medications they are currently using for management of side effects. This study will last about 2-3 weeks.
The second study is a phase 111! group-wide study of dose-intensive response-based chemotherapy and radiation for newly diagnosed Hodgkins Lymphoma. The standard treatment is for minimal chemo and much radiation. The radiation causes more secondary cancers down the road and more dramatic side effects, especially to someone with the tumor in the chest area near the heart and thyroid. The current mode of treatment if chosen over the standard would be to do the normal rounds of chemo, then if the tumor responds appropriately, little or no radiation. If the tumor is a slow responder, the standard mode is to stop the chemo and do heavy radiation. The research mode is to do a DECA (heavier and stronger) round of chemo and then radiation. So hopefully Kevin's tumor will be a rapid responder. The biggest concerns about his tumor is the location.
There are some positives with all of the events of the past week! If this had to happen, at least it was in Kevin's junior year, rather then his senior year with all of the college prep involved in that. Also, he should have his hair back in time for senior pictures. We also found out that he doesn't have to worry if the draft is reactivated--cancer survivors can 't be in the military. Also, Hodgkins has a very good success rate, and Kevin's still in a stage 2. He will have a difficult year ahead of him, especially the next 6 months, but he will get through it and become an even stronger person because of it. We were skating along on some very good ice for many years! We just had a dose of reality that life does have some bad moments, but we'll get back to that good ice and then appreciate it even more!