Like a thief-in-the-night Glioblastoma (GBM) has, and will change Scott Sr. & his family forever.
To begin, I have taken info from www.abta.org/brain-tumor-information/types-of-tumors/glioblastoma so those of you who are contemplating on donating will have a better understanding of what has stopped Scott in his tracks; a unexpected Malignant Brain Tumor. Note: Median survival rate is 2-3 years, but those with more aggressive GBM's the rate is lowered to 14.6 months.
1. Glioblastomas (GBM) are cells that make up supportive tissue of the brain, and are highly malignant (cancerous) because the cells reproduce quickly.
2. The approach for SCOTT was, immediate, surgery to remove the Tumor and treatment to follow. He was treated at Huntsman Cancer Institute http://www.huntsmancancer.org/, and given Radiation and chemotherapy treatments for 6 wks. With your, generous & heart-felt, donations we were able to stay in Utah for the duration of treatment and come home on weekends. We were also able to make ends meet with all the new expenses no one ever plans for in dealing with such a life changing event.
3. Usually caused by increased pressure in the brain, Scott’s symptoms before diagnosis and surgery were loss-of-appetite, confusion, memory loss/forgetfulness, & personality changes. During the Radiation treatments his symptoms were minimal, and upon returning home Scott felt better. Although not at 100% he was able to visit w/ family & friends.
4. After radiation and chemo therapy ended in September 2017, Scott had a 4 week rest. Beginning the first part of October 2017, Scott had a MRI that came back as clear. He then began 5/23 cycles of Chemo. For 5 days he would take chemo then rest for 23 days. The chemo would increase in dosage each month. Unfortunately, this brought-on much sickness accompanied w/ weight loss & depression. Although weak & ill, he managed it well until his November cycle when the chemo was more than tripled of the beginning strength. He struggled with severe vomiting and hiccups.
5. Scott was scheduled to have MRI’s every two months with his first post standard of care MRI on December 4, 2017. We were aware of complications resulting from treatment such as blood clots, low blood counts, infection, etc. But we were never prepared for the cancer to return so quickly. Scott had began to experience symptoms similar to the ones he had at the beginning of this nightmare, confusion, trouble with word finding , and now head aches and possible focal seizures. The MRI was shocking, and obvious, the Cancer is back and growing rapidly. They called it a "1st Reoccurance". Time to change course.
It was felt that the best thing we can do is a clinical trial as the Chemo did nothing. First drs. wanted to relieve symptoms and agreed that Scott should be treated w/ Steroids to reduce swelling & inflamation. On December 13, 2017, we will travel back to Utah and stay 1-wk, where Scott will be “Screened" for the Clinical Trial of Abemaciclib, a drug used for treatments of other cancers that has shown good results with Glioblastomas. We will, then, return home only to go back 2 wks. later for follow-up/check up. Then two weeks later for another MRI to see if treatment is doing it’s job. Then monthly for MRI’s and check ups to make sure the drug is still working. If the clinical trial does not appear to be helping then Scott may return to a different chemo drug, Avastin.
Scott & his, immidiate, family wish to express their sincere gratitude, and thanks from the bottom of their hearts. Your support and generosity has carried us through this nightmare and will never be forgotten. We thank you all so much. We love you.