Friday, September 26, 2008

Here We Go Again...

We received some bad news yesterday regarding Sean's status. He had gone in on Monday for a CT scan and some blood work and the results were given to us at his Dr. appointment yesterday. 
The doctors had initially been looking to tell whether or not there was any yolk-sac cancer cells left in Sean's abdomen after the surgery or if what was left inside of him was just scar tissue or teratoma. Dr. Chandramouli told us that the CT scan did not show any growth in Sean's abdomen but that his blood work confirmed that his AFP levels had gone back up...again. Dr. Chandramouli also told us that the CT scan did show some new tumors in Sean's liver. The tumors are about 1.5 cm which is a huge growth considering his last CT was taken just before his surgery, and that scan did not see any new spots. That means that in the last 5 weeks, these tumors were able to grow to a size large enough to register on a CT scan. 
What this means is that Sean's cancer is officially in relapse. Dr. Chandramouli said that there were most likely already cancer cells on his liver (and possibly other parts of his body that we are unaware of) and that they had started to grow over the past several weeks. This means that Sean and I will be leaving to go to Indiana University to meet with Dr. Einhorn and get another round of treatment underway.
Sean will have to undergo a salvage regimen of chemotherapy using different drugs than what he did the first time. He will still receive the cisplatin (which is what made his hair fall out), but he will be receiving a couple of additional drugs that he did not have the first time. After the salvage chemotherapy, Sean will have a stem-cell transplant which will allow his body to regenerate his immune system after the treatment is over. This treatment requires him to be blasted with several more doses of high-intensity chemotherapy, and the stem-cells (which will be his own, so no need for a donor) will re-grow his bone marrow and help keep him alive. 
Sean's appointment is scheduled for Tuesday at 2:00 pm so He and I will be flying to Indianapolis on Monday morning and we'll arrive there in the evening around 7:30. We don't know for sure when we'll be returning but we do know that we'll be out there for a couple of months most likely. Thankfully he and I have been offered a condo to stay in by a family friend that we know out there and they have also offered us the use of one of their cars. Unfortunately, for most of the time during his treatment, Sean will need to be hospitalized since he will have nearly no immune system function.
I am going to be looking for temporary employment in Indianapolis so that we can try to stay afloat during all of this.
We're not sure what this will do to Sean's fertility but we know that it definitely isn't good. 
Dr. Chandramouli let us know that Sean's chance of cure is now only 30% when before it was between 80%-90%. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. 
Sean is staying as strong as he can and so am I but of course, this is the most difficult time he and I have ever had to face in our lives. If anyone has any questions please leave them in comments on this blog and I will answer them. This is to keep Sean from having to deal with answering questions and to keep our families from the same ordeal. 
Thanks for all of the love and support


Ann Marie said...

We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Keep having Faith. Please keep us updated when you can. We love you guys....
Love, Ann

Miss Megan said...

Karen - thanks for posting these updates. I know it must be really hard for you to do, but the family appreciates all the information (especially since it isn't third-hand). Mike and I will be fasting and praying for you and Sean. Please, please, please let us know if there is anything that we can do for you (ie: meals, money, transportation, shopping, etc.). We are happy to help in any way we can. Please don't feel like you are alone! All our love, best wishes, hugs, etc...

Megan, Mike & PK

The Other Wright Family said...

We love you guys please let us know if we can help in anyway. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you.

Carl and Mel said...

Just know you have lots of people rooting for you and love you! You guys make the cutest couple and you will both be in our thoughts and prayers! We love you!!!

Gardner Family said...

Hi - you don't know me. I am a friend of Megan's and found your blog through her. I have been looking into alternative medicine for my skin cancer. I was just recently told about ozone therapy. Here is just one link I found when I googled it.

Just passing this along. I have heard of many people having tremendous luck with beating their cancer after doing this therapy.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Leah Gardner