After injuring his back while moving a filing cabinet, Erik was sent for an MRI. The MRI revealed something completely unexpected. Erik was found to have a 20cm mass in his abdomen that is suspected to be a sarcoma.
*** Update*** Erik, Hillary, and Ean returned from MD Anderson yesterday afternoon. They met with one of the top medical oncologists at MD Anderson, Dr. Tony Conley. He spent a good amount of time walking them through the test results and what to expect going forward. Even though the hospital was busier than usual, they were allowed to discuss all of their questions and concerns and never felt rushed.
This is where we are as of yesterday's meeting:
As many of you probably know by now, Erik has been diagnosed with a sizable malignant sarcoma in his abdomen. The sarcoma is described as originating in the retroperitoneum. It is a high grade, stage 3 tumor. Treatment is scheduled to begin next week and will consist of four months of chemotherapy to shrink and 'soften' the tumor - both for pain relief and for eventual surgery. Nodules were found in the lungs and liver and will be observed throughout the chemotherapy treatments to determine if they are related to the disease (it is quite possible that these nodules are benign). If the tumor reacts to chemotherapy, his next step will likely be to prepare for surgery. If surgery is ruled out, there are many other plans to explore.
Erik will start this phase of his journey with the amazing sarcoma team at Baylor's Sammons Cancer Center with trusted oncologist Dr. Robert Mennel. Erik's lead oncologist, Dr. Conley, at MD Anderson and Dr. Mennel will meet weekly to discuss his case. Erik will return to Houston approximately every six weeks to meet with Dr. Conley for a progress check-up. He is in highly capable hands and we are so grateful that these chemotherapy treatments can be administered here in Dallas as traveling to and from Houston has become increasingly painful for Erik.
Update on Meal Train:
As Erik is approaching and going through chemotherapy, his instructions are to eat whatever he wants, as much as he wants, as often as he wants. We need to keep his weight and his strength up. So, we are putting the final tweaks on the Meal Train we have created to allow people to sign up to deliver meals, help with housekeeping, assist with transportation, etc. Look for it to be published in the next few days.
As always, your kind thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and well-wishes are greatly appreciated.
Please keep sharing Erik's GoFundMe. We are just beginning his recovery journey.
Many, many thanks!
It is expected that his post-surgical recovery time in the hospital will be 2-4 weeks with an unknown amount of time spent in out-patient recovery, additional treatments, and physical therapy after he is released.
We are collecting funds to cover expenses such as travel to and from MD Anderson; lodging for one of us to be in Houston with him at all times during his surgery/in hospital recovery; any post-treatment visits back to MD Anderson for check-ups; insurance deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses; and just helping Erik and Hillary keep the lights on while he is unable to work.
We expect his treatment to begin within a month.
We may be over or underestimating the amount of money needed to cover these expenses. If more is needed, we will ask. If there is a surplus, we will donate it to the charity of Erik's choice.
All donations of $250 or more will receive a piece of Erik's art of his choosing. All contributions, large or small, will receive a sincere and heartfelt thank you from all of us.
Every penny helps and donations in any amount are truly appreciated.
Thank you SO much!!!
- Helen Chang
- Jay Sanchez
- Valerie Barron
- Zahra Perez
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