So here we are again!! For those of you that do not know, my good Friend Richie, is now on his 3rd Battle of Cancer Diagnosis since May of 2016.
He was first diagnosed with Hodgekins Lymphoma (a cancer of the the immune system affecting lymph nodes and white blood cell counts) back in May of 2016.
So on June 28th, 2016, he started his Chemo regiment, once a month for 6 months. Then come November his follow up scan showed that everything shrunk below the threshold they consider cancer, he had 1 more treatment left in December. All was good.. so we thought!!
The next PET scan was done in January (2017), a surgical biopsy had to be performed as the node in his chest was behind his sternum. He spent 3 days in the hospital, as they had to collapse part of his lung to get to the location needed to obtain the biopsy from. Two weeks later, the biopsy came back showing he now has B Cell NON Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He now had to go through more intense chemo. Each round he was in the hospital for 4 days while the chemo was administered, each week. He went through 4-6 rounds of this and then a Stem Cell Transplant was supposed to be performed. The stem cells will be harvested from Rich's blood and re administered to him. Before they could administer the Stem Cells they had to administer intense chemo dose to make sure everything gets destroyed first...then the stem cells help grow back the bone marrow.
However, since having the Chemo completed, he had some complications with his numbers not being high enough to be able to start the Stem Cell Transplant as planned, but they finally were able to get him where he needed to be and completed the Stem Cell Transplant. (During the stem cell transplant he was in the hospital for 3 weeks to recover, not able to see his Kids, Wife or any Family, due to his immune system being wiped out.
Finally get the 2nd clearance, (June of 2017) just about the same time he found out about the first cancer, he was once again cancer free!!! A few weeks go by and then this happens on Aug. 11th!
Richie now has Pneumonia! With basically no immune system whatsoever, he is not doing very well and they haven't been able to stop the infection in the one lung and started on the 2nd lung! On Thursday Aug. 17th, they had to sedate and paralyze him so they could intubate him and put a scope into his lung to see what is actually causing the issue as the antibiotics had not worked. They weren’t even able to do the testing right away because they were having to provide him 100% of oxygen and the test would require him to stop breathing. As of today (8/21), we have received some improvement, they have been able to stop the paralytic and he has woken up yesterday, but is still intubated and will be for probably at least another week. His numbers are still too high and white cell counts are still too low!! He finally got to go home Aug 29th but has lost complete muscle control. He has to basically start all over again to even walk and can’t even hold a fork at this point.
October 2nd, Rich is back in the hospital!! His hemoglobin is at 5.7, so he had to have a blood transfusion. They are having to do anther Bone Marrow biopsy, as they have no idea what was causing this. Everything came back normal and they think it was a side effect of one of the Chemo Therapy.
Fast forward to End of November, after a routine follow up test, once again, Rich’s results came back with another spot glowing!! They say it is small so they are going to do radiation and then immunotherapy... which targets the protein in the cancer cells and no other cells.
Rich started the Radiation treament on Dec 19th. We can only hope and pray that this works for good this time.
In the meantime, the Hospital bills are plying up and with a New Year starting, means a brand new out of pocket expense. So I am starting this new GoFundMe page for him and his Family to try and help them get through this with as less stress as possible.
- Dagmar Bleasdale
- Sarah Nugent
- Terri Mays
- Melissa Harney