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Casey’s Story

Welcome to Casey River Fisher's webpage. On November 26th 2012 we admitted Casey into CHLA (Children's Hospital in Los Angeles). On November 29th at approximately 3:00 pm Casey was diagnosed with (ALL) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Up to this point in Casey's life he was an innocent fun loving 8 year old. Now with the diagnoses of cancer his life will be changed forever. As Casey's parents we are going to keep his spirits high but no child should ever have to go thru something like this.

To those who don't know here is a little history of what is going on with our son Casey.Approximately one month ago Casey started to have a fever in the evenings. After multiple blood analysis and ruling out simple causes of his elevated white blood cell count, on Monday the 26th of November after an appointment with Casey's pediatrician, Dr. Jabaji decided it was time to take the steps to find out what was going on with his blood and contacted Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. Upon contacting the hospital the doctors advised us to admit him immediately. Casey was admitted to CHLA Monday night at 9:00 pm.On Wednesday the 28th Casey had a bone marrow biopsy and by Thursday the oncology team gave us the diagnosis that he has (ALL) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
 
On Friday the 29th Casey had his first chemotherapy procedure which involved a Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to administer the first drugs as well as take a sample of the spinal fluid for analysis, also during the procedure they put a PICC line in his arm for drawing blood and administering chemotherapy drugs. After the procedure he then was taken for an MRI and after all he had been thru fell asleep in the MRI machine. Our son's case is a rare one for a few reasons. #1 is that he not only has a high white blood cell count also the eosinophile cells in the white blood cells are extremely high. The normal baseline for eosinophiles should be 3.5% of the white blood cells and Casey's count was 85%. #2 The high eosinophile count in his blood did some damage to the lining of both ventricles of his heart and created blood clots in both ventricles. #3 When they did a bone marrow biopsy they found staph infection in his bone marrow. With this development in his heart the treatment has been slowed because the clots have to be addressed first with a blood thinner and closely monitored because if they break loose the clots can cause and embolism. One bit of good news is that the analysis of the spinal fluid to see if the cancer was in his brain were negative, there were no cancer cells in his brain.Friday night after the MRI the doctors began to give casey the blood thinners to get his blood ready before giving any chemotherapy drugs, as they must work in coordination with each other.
 
Today is Saturday, the blood thinner is still being administered and by this evening the next round of chemotherapy drugs will be given as well.The Oncologist told us that by the 4th or 5th day of chemotherapy the cancer will melt away and signs of cancer will diminish. Even though this is exciting news the whole process including maintenance after 6 months will take 3 years.The doctors as well as this awesome hospital are amazing. The Oncologists, Hematologists, Cardiologists, Infectious disease, along with other specialists make a team who all collaborate together to come up with a plan of how best attack each case.

Long story short this has been a whirlwind week and we are definitely staying positive for a great outcome for Case. We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers and the continued support. Alan, Susan and especially Casey !

Latest Journal Update

One step at a time..

Friday's meeting didn't go the way we had thought it would. We all gathered in the waiting room by the elevators and there a few people there who I'm sure know all about Casey and have had direct contact in treating him in the past but they didn't seem relevant to being in on the meeting. 
Dr. Menteer did most of the talking and as he spoke I could sense that his tone was a bit different from when we met the other day. After he explained all of the circumstances again and given the fact that Casey has high risk A.L.L., he said that Casey is not a candidate for a heart transplant at this time.  
There are many things to consider when talking about doing a heart transplant. It would be a huge decision to do it and Casey would have to endure yet another major, very high risk surgery that by no stretch of the imagination would be easy. 
Yes, the news we heard weighed heavily on our minds and emotions but after having a couple of days to digest the reasoning for their decision it makes a little more sense now. Of course going into all of this the first knee jerk reaction is that you want your child fixed no matter what the cost. But after having some time to absorb what was talked about I understand why they decided the way they did. A doctors first priority is to do no harm, and given all of the variables of Casey's high risk A.L.L. and the fact that doing a heart transplant has the potential of bringing the cancer back, this was indeed the only decision that could be made at this time. 
Dr. Weili Sun is part of the team of oncologists at the hospital and has known Casey from the beginning. Casey's primary oncologist has moved to Texas and when Dr. Sun learned Casey needed a new primary she was happy to step up and take over his case. Casey likes Dr. Sun, she is a familiar face, and most importantly a great doctor. 
So yesterday Dr. Sun came by to see Casey and after a short visit in the room she and I stepped out into the hall to talk. She reiterated what was talked about in the meeting and said that she was actually relieved with the decision. She went on to explain that we are not to the point where there is nothing else we can do for Casey. We are going to get him better now by tuning up his heart and figuring out what will be the best meds to keep him on to send him home on to provide him with the best possible quality of life. The main objective is going to be spanning the gap between now, the end of his chemotherapy treatment, and ultimately when he is ready, a heart transplant. We have had the optimal 5 year cancer free mark stuck in our heads ever since the meeting, but Dr. Sun said that a heart transplant could if fact be done sooner depending on how things go. She said that the chemotherapy could be stopped a little sooner and then we will have to see how he does and make sure the cancer doesn't come back before putting Casey through a huge surgery such as a heart transplant. 
This way we will have more concrete information instead of what we have now, which is only hope. Right now we do not know if his cancer will return or not and it is simply too soon to tell. 
At the end of our conversation Dr. Sun said that we are not having the conversation that there is nothing else we can do..
we have more that can be done and we will keep taking it one step at a time..
We know for a fact that Casey is a super hero kid who will continue to fight no matter what. We must have faith in Casey, the doctors and most importantly God..
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Comments

8 Comments

Doug Brown
By Doug
Here at Dr. Brown's office we are all still on "Team Fisher"! Our thoughts and prayers are with you always.
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1 person hearted this
Miguel Cervantes
By Miguel Cervantes (Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department)
As I read this post I see such an amazing mother who is incredibly strong. Casey...you are one tough guy! The ability of you and your family to endure throughout these trying times is an inspiration to us all. I will continue to keep you in my prayers Casey! Praying that God would continue to have His healing hand upon you and continue to give your family strength. God Bless you all.
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kay dean
By Kay Dean
Casey is a very special little boy and an all around awesome kid! I am praying for him and for mom and dad and his medical team. May God bless you all and give you strength.
Please let me know if you need me to help out with anything on the home front. I can provide a doggie hotel for your pets if you need me to.
All my love to Casey!!!
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Terrill Helander
By Terrill Helander
Fisher Strong! My heart goes out to you. Big hugs to all.
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2 people hearted this
Phillip Edwards
By Phillip Edwards
Casey
Your still my hero, think of you every day. I'm going fishing today at the Cape (ask your Mom) she will know and i will catch one just for you.Maybe someday you could come out here and go fishing at the Cape with me .I'm sending many prayers your way and much love for you and your family
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Stacy Ellis
By
Casey has proven he IS a Super Hero!!!!...as Teri knows this is how I refer to my Dad. He too has proven he has super powers and continues to fight every single day to be here with us. Since my Dad became ill back in 2006,there have been days when the news has been about as bad as it could get and then the tide changes and so does my Dad's outcome. So amazing again proving miracles do happen every day! This is Especially true when we are dealing with super hero's who have super strength and a huge will to live. Their will is even stronger because our heroes are surrounded by people who love them more than anything in the world, and they know and feel it. Casey is in a great place with excellent physicians who care. The fact that there is now a "plan B" means everything. There is still more time to fight!!! We love you guys and we think of Casey every day. In our way we are fighting with you and keeping you guys in our prayers and positive thoughts...xoxoxox
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Natalie Kopperud
By The Kopperuds
Praying for Dr.'s to find the answers. Casey is one of the toughest kids I know. Keep up the good fight big man!
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Ann Woodruff
By Ann Woodruff
Praying for your family daily. Praying for medications to be tweaked enough to let you go home first, then praying for Casey to have great laughter and high spirits as you all fight on!
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