Monday, January 31, 2011

Thats Just Life ... Livestrong

Devon was diagnosed with testicular cancer Feb.9 2010 @ 17 years old. After being dealt hard life blows for what seems to be most of his life Devon came to live with us almost exactly a year prior to this in Jan of 2009. I believe my mission as his "Step Mother" (I hate the word) is to provide a safe and loving atmosphere for him so that he may have the best chance to get better. Devon has really endured a horrible year.
He had to have an orchiectomy to remove the testicle. then we found out the cancer had metastasized to his lungs and he had to take 3 months of chemotherapy taking it every day, going to the hospital and getting infusions and resting on the weekends We also had to go get Neulasta shots every Saturday. This was back last spring. He finished all the chemo and we were going to testing every month to see if it worked and his cancer markers never went all the way to zero so Dr madden was going to wait and retest in a month. During the time of him taking outpatient chemo he graduated Swansea high and coached a kids soccer team for the church, The girl in the photos with Devon is Kameron, his girlfriend for over a year now. They started seeing each other before Devon was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Four days later the end of July, Devon had a migraine with vomiting and he couldnt stand the light (Or so we thought) He suffered for 2 days before going to the hospital. Thats when they found the cancer had again metastisized to his brain. He had a lemon sized tumor they werent sure if they could opporate on, so they kept him doped up on morphine several days. He said he wanted to die it hurt so bad. Then The surgeons said they could opporate and the next morning Devon had brain surgery to remove the tumor from the right front lobe of his brain. It was amazing the very next morning in ICU Devon was so much better laughing and talking. As part of his recovery he had to undergo 25 radiation treatments to his whole head to hopefully kill and stray cells not caught by the surgery, Going every weekday. We believe the radiation is why his hair will never grow back.

Then while recovering from the effects of the last few radiation treatments Devon started vomiting what I believe to be blood. They couldnt find what was wrong with him and sent him home where he continued to vomit blood occaisionally. He was going to his radiology doctor that day and I had called His oncology dr who said to check Devon there. The radiology dr saw him coughing up blood but not vomiting it so when Devon was re admitted to the hospital they were investigating the cause of him coughing blood. I had to convince his oncologist that he was vomiting blood as well as coughing it. They scheduled a bronchioscopy where they found and clamped a bleed in his stomach. But now Devon was still coughing blood.

We again went to test and they showed Cancer back in his lungs and his cancer numbers were through the roof. So it was decided he would take inpaitient heavy duty Chemo . He was admitted again in the end of September to start. He had to stay inpatient a week at a time getting hard core chemo and go home a week. During this time devon was really bad off. he couldnt walk by himself or go the bathroom or anything. He was sooo sick. At one time a nurse told granny to prepare him and us for devons death. OMG IF I ever find out who that nurse was! Devon slowly got better though.

Now we were testing again. Dev and I saw Dr. Madden (Oncology.) yesterday and Dr Davis (Radiation) today. Devons Cancer Markers were 10, two weeks ago and 11 yesterday. Oncology again wants to see him in 2 weeks to see if this is a pattern for cancer in his lungs. The bad news is that Dev's MRI showed cancerous growth on the margins of his brain where the previous tumor was removed and also now some spots on the lft side of his brain as well.. So now the recommended treatment is Gamma Knife next Tuesday. Dr. Dial (Neurosurgeon)says all the spots will be targeted in the Gamma Knife procedure on Tuesday. The gamma knife isnt surgery its a highly concentrated radiation treatment. Dr. Dial says this has a 85% cure rate but if we do nothing they will continue to grow. Still pretty good odds but I cant tell you how scared we are now. Dr. Dial says this can be done to the same part of his brain only twice and there is no surgical alternative.

Thats Just Life ... Livestrong