Ethan's Cancer Battle
Ethan is an outgoing and energetic young man who is attending 10th grade at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, Ma. Achieving excellent grades and close relationships with his friends are something that comes natural for him. Ethan has a excellent group of friends who enjoy hanging out, eating, playing video games and going to the school games together. Ethan's passions become part of his lifestyle, including cooking, collecting designer clothes, mixing music, paintball, and well of course, eating.
Ethan has navigated himself thru a difficult time in his young life, beginning with his original diagnosis of Synovial Cell Sarcoma on September 19th, 2016. A small lump was found on his right temple, which grew into a large golf ball sized lump in a matter of 4 weeks. After a surgery removed it in, the biopsy was found it to be malignant.
Synovial Cell Sarcoma is a rare soft tissue cancer that is usually found in joints in adoloescents.
Ethan’s initial fight with this cancer was a success. He battled it with over a half dozen rounds of traditional chemotherapy, 5 weeks of radiation and a number of surgeries to remove the remaining tissue. His treatment facility was and always will be at Dana Farber and Boston Childrens Hospital.
Unfortunately the cancer has comeback, less than a year after his clean bill of health was given. It has now metastasized into his lungs, with four active sites. Treatment will not cure him of this disease, only push back hard to stop it from growing. His doctors are doing their best at medicating him, to not only keep the disease it at bay but to keep his condition of life at the fullest.
Ethan is beyond resilient, an extremely strong person dealing with this disease extremely well. Ethan is the back bone of our family, and we all gather strength from him.
All donations now go directly to Ethan.
No One Fights Alone!
Ethan’s leg and torso wounds from the previous surgeries healed up well. His facial scarring is now more minimal, and giving him some confidence. Being off of pazopanib since October brought Ethan back to living a more like a normal 16 year old boy. Hanging with friends & going out, eating everything imaginable and consistently going to school; Happy Ethan. We were even able to go on an amazing spur of the moment family vacation to the Grand Canyon.
A recent test confirmed that the cancer was back, spreading to an irremovable lymph node adjacent to his heart. He then followed up with a round of chemo therapy. A powerful injection that would reoccur every three weeks is the only option available.
The three weeks following his treatment were some of the worst of Ethan’s life. Things we’ve never seen him live thru. Physically, mentally, spiritually- it drained him. Side effects and conditions only getting worse with each round and with the absence of another treatment option it was not looking like an easy road. Ethan made a decision to stop all treatment this week. We are supporting him in every way, whether he decides to try something else if it comes up in the future or live his life out as he wants.
Ethan has been doing OK. The surgery was a huge success as the skin graph is looking great, better each day as it heals. His leg is painful and sore at times (source of the graph/tissue) but seems to be improving. All and all we are thankful that it is done and over.
Ethan has been off the drug Pazopanib since the end of October, as had be off of it in order undergo the surgery. Without any form of treatment it allowed the cancer to spread and grow, but there was no option left on the table.
Ethan will now undergo yet another surgery this Friday. Doctors will go in an remove 4 tumors from his lungs. These tumors have basically doubled in size in a months time, each growing from 4.5cm to 10cm in size(Walnut). Doctors thought about removing these tumors before the graph surgery, but were to small to extract. Scary how fast things grow without a defense.
He is still battling a heavy stomach pain that has stayed with him for months, elevated anxiety and other issues that are effecting him on a daily basis like headaches and fatigue.
He still goes to school most days, is caught up on his work and takes pride in his grades.
It’s extremely tough to keep a sane mind with all of this happening and the holidays going on. But he’s the toughest person I know, and if anyone can do it it’s him.
Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Rob Ryder
Ethan was given a clean bill of health in April 2017. The battle was over, time to move on and love life as a kid once again. Our family had the weight fall of its shoulders, but it didn’t last long.
Another lump formed soon after in the same location as before. We found ourselves in the same hospital rooms once again. Instead of chemo and radiation Ethan went under the knife. Four surgeries from November 22 to Jan 11th. The last one being the most evasive, removing large amounts of tissue from the right side of his temple and above his ear.
He again was given a clean bill of health in Early February. His hair has grown back enough on the top of his head to cover the surgical area, as that section will no longer grow hair. He will have a long battle with his vision and the strength of his right eye from the surgery. Migraines have come to stay with him on a consistent basis now. He still has a smile on his face every day, a laugh that doesn’t stop and shows that nothing will stop him.
May 14th came at us like a ton of bricks. Ethan went for his normal MRI the previous day and would normally go the following Thursday for follow up tests and results. A doctors phone call changed all of that. The cancer has returned. After another CT scan we found that it returned not only to his head but now has traveled to both of his lungs. We will have more information and an attack plan later in the week.
I felt everyone should know how Ethan has been and where he is headed. I apologize for not updating this sooner