Steve Bakkens fight against cancer
As most of you know Steve Bakken has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer with metastasis to his liver. The 29 year old husband and father of two learned about this diagnosis about a month ago. He has recently started his long road of cancer treatments.
If you don't know Steve, thanks for making it this far. Here's a quick intro: Steve is married to Laura and they have 2 young beautiful kids (Conner and Colbie) and are currently living in Cambridge, Mn. He is the type of person that would do anything for his friends and family, works hard, Avid outdoorsman,easy to get along with and has a talent for making any situation better. This is our chance to help make Steves situation better.
I've created this site to give us a chance to stay updated and support the Bakkens. We all know cancer sucks, but it's also very expensive to treat. Any amount of donations is greatly appreciated.
I'll be posting Lauras updates for now.
From Laura- April 3rd
Steve Bakken was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He will be getting a port (permanent iv) placed this week and starting chemo either this week or early next week...depends on when the port is placed. Surgery to remove the colon mass will be in the future once the chemo has had time to shrink the mass. He will be having chemo treatments every other week and will be a 48hr infusion that he'll be able to do at home.
We appreciate all good vibes/thoughts and prayers! We are staying as positive as we can in this situation. Having so many amazing family and friends close by to help out makes everything easier.
Sorry everyone for not doing an update in what seems like forever, this summer is just crazy busy! Steve is doing awesome for a guy with stage four colon cancer. He is starting to get more stength and stamina back every day but still tuckers out pretty easily. He's sleeping better and starting to put back on some of the weight he lost while on chemo. His CEA cancer markers are now at .8 which is absolutely amazing after only 2 infusions of the Keytruda. That tells us that the tumors have for sure stopped growing and that they are probably shrinking. Steve will go in tomorrow for a CT scan which will give us a definitive answer at to what the tumors are looking like now. I will let everyone know next week what the doctors are thinking. We will see his oncologist next week who will then pass on the scans and labs over to the doctors at the Mayo. Originally the Mayo docs said they wanted Steve to get a minimal of 4-6 infusions before surgery, he has completed 3 so far. Hopefully in a couple months they will be talking surgery.
Looking back I realized that I never let you all know that Steve was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Lynch Syndrome which is the reason he has the ugly cancer. Steve's mom also had this genetic disorder and most of you know she suffered through multiple rounds of cancers and unfortunately lost her battle two years ago. Lynch Syndrome increases your likely hood of multiple different cancers, with the biggest incidence being colon. From here on out Steve will be having lots of preventitive screening done every year. Our kiddos will be tested in their teens and if they have it then they will start preventitve screening at 19 which includes yearly colonoscopies, biopsies, CT scans and blood work. Fingers crossed they won't have it, but if they do we know the plan and can prepare them for it when the time comes.
Thank you again for the continued support, prayers and good ju-ju!!!
Over due Steve update:
First off we want to again thank everyone who helped out with the benefit and everyone who came out to support us whether at the benefit, through the go fund me page, through personal cards and FB messages. I hope everyone of you someday or time in your life gets to feel the amount of love we feel everyday from you all (just hopefully in different circumstances)
Steve had his second immunotherapy infusion of Keytruda yesterday, he is tolerating it like a champ. So far he hasn't had any side effects that we are aware of. He's had an increase of pain over the last month which is requiring a low dose of pain meds to keep him up and running with our two littles. Despite the pain he is starting to get more and more energy back since stopping the chemo. The doctors are watching his labs closely to make sure his liver and kidneys are tolerating the new med and luckily they are. Before starting the new treatment they checked his CEA blood marker which is a way to see if the tumors are growing (the bigger the number the bigger the tumors are getting) his number 3 weeks ago was 9 and this week, drum roll please......it was 2, yes a 2!!!!!! That means we have the right drug!!! You have no idea how amazing it was for Steve to get that phone call yesterday, I haven't seen him that giddy and happy for a very long time! Steve will have another infusion in 3 weeks and then another ct scan to see just how much the tumors have shrunk. We will be in contact again with his Mayo doctors after the next CT to see what they recommend i.e. more infusions vs surgery. For now we are just so excited and relieved that Steve was able to get started on this new amazing drug and that it's working on his devil tumors.
Like always we appreciate all the support, love, prayers and good vibes you all continue to send our way!!
Steve finished up his 4th round of chemo last week, woohoo! This last one proved to be the worst yet, he got hand foot syndrome which is when the chemo can't escape through the pores in your hands and feet due to callouses so it builds up causing horrible pain and feels like they are on fire. He was also a lot more exhausted this time and took a couple extra days to recoup.
We will be heading down to the Mayo June 1st and 2nd (yes, the two days before the benefit) for two full days of tests/imaging/meeting surgeons and oncologists. We will find out if the chemo has been doing it's super important job of shrinking the liver tumors. If it has, then Steve will be going under the knife on June 16th
Just a reminder....we love visitors!!! So feel free to stop over and entertain us for a bit unless you're sick...then stay home get rest and drink lots of fluids!
Little update on Steve Bakkens cancer journey...
After his last chemo (2wks ago) he developed a small blood clot in his neck/shoulder region probably due to his port (the permanent IV in his chest) so he had to get started on blood thinners in the form of stomach shots twice a day *yay* . He will remain on this for 4-6 weeks since it was only a small clot and not in a vital organ. We went to the Mayo last week and met with Steve's future liver surgeon to find out the plan for surgery is. Steve will do 2 more rounds of chemo (the first being right now as I'm writing this) and then a repeat CT scan in roughly 3 weeks back down at Mayo to see how the liver tumors are responding to his current chemo regimen. If the tumors have shrunk enough they will schedule his surgery for the week of June 12th or 19th. The surgery would involve removing the 2 liver tumors, the gallbladder (just for precautionary measures), the colon mass and the affected lymph nodes. Now if the tumors haven't shrunk enough they will either continue his current chemo for a couple more weeks or change up the regimen and again try it out for 4 treatments before repeating a CT scan. Steve has started to lose his hair so I was finally given permission to practice my hair cutting skills on him to give him a shorter cut and what do you know, I'm pretty dang good:)
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, we really truly appreciate it!!