Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about Chase. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.
Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.
Chase was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage 2/B in Oct 2011. Chase was 18 years old and had just started his senior year in high school. After enduring a neck biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, PET scan, heart test, pulmonary test, numerous blood work, placement of a port, a couple stays at the hospital, he began 6 months of chemotherapy. We were assured by all that this was the "good" cancer! Chase did very well thru his inital treatment with only a few setbacks here and there. We were thrilled to finish his chemo treatments and begin radiation since this was the beginning of the end of this journey.
On April 17, 2012 Chase had a PET scan to prepare for his radiation treatments. On April 18th, we had an appt with the doctors to discuss the treatment. On this day, we were told Chase's cancer was back! The doctors, as well and Regan, Grandma, myself and Chase were shocked. No one had prepared us for this! We were devastated! On that day we were told Chase needed more chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. We would likely need to go to Seattle for treatment for 3 months. I feel this news hit us harder than being told initially in Oct that Chase had cancer. Chase was looking forward to graduation, college but mostly to being cancer free. How were we all going to get thru this again?! We were, and still are, overwhelmed.
The following day we went back to see our oncologist, Dr. Kaya. He spoke with us about a clinical trial that the doctors with the Seattle Cancer Alliance were doing. He felt this was what Chase needed. This protocal could be done in Spokane if Chase responded well. We were encouraged. Chase needed another neck node biopsy, another bone marrow biopsy, dental exam, heart exam, pulmonary exam & meeting with transplant counselor. We did the inital neck node biopsy with Dr. Mitchell, who is a ENT physican who I work with and had initally diagnosed Chase. When the reports came back the biopsy did not show any cancer. This threw all of us and the doctors felt this could be a good sign but we were warned to be cautiously optimistic. We needed to do ANOTHER neck biopsy. This time in the hospital where pathology could test the sample as Chase was in surgery so there would be no question on the results. This was done May 1st. Biopsy was positive for Relapsed Hodgkins Lymphoma. I know I was told to be CAUTIOUSLY optimistic but I was AGAIN devastated by the news.
So here we are getting ready to start round 2 in this battle which will include high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Hodgkins may have won round one but I can guarantee Chase will win round 2!! Our family has received so much love and support and for this we are grateful. We want to share this journey with you. This is not going to be easy and Chase will need all of us to help him thru this. Your positive words and the kindness & generosity shown to our family has been what gave Chase the strength he needed to get thru the first time. He will need that more now. The battle starts on Monday, May 7th. 3 days in a row of chemo treatments. I will try my best to maintain this site with information and I am hopeful Chase may join in at some point as well. This site is for anyone who cares about Chase.
Now that I am feeling more comfortable, I thought I should attempt to get this update out to all of you. On Thursday last week, we met with Chase's doctor to review the PET scan. In addition, it was also Chase's chemo day. When we spoke with Dr. Kaya, we discussed the spots on Chase's lungs that lit up on the PET scan. Dr. Kaya also mentioned that Chase's tonsil area lit up. This wasn't mentioned previously. So now we have two areas to consider. Dr. Kaya feels fairly certain that we shouldn't be concerned and we discussed the watching and waiting strategy. Dr. Kaya mentioned that it is not uncommon to see the tonsils light up on the PET scans but he will at times send patients to have the throat scoped just to be certain. As you all must know by now, in Chase's case, he seems to always be in that percentage that "unusual" happens to. We decided it may be best to just have Chase's throat looked at. I knew we (ok, mostly me and Regan) would be worried about that spot until the next PET scan and I couldn't go another 3 months questioning if we should have taken a closer look. Yesterday, Chase saw Dr. Mitchell (one of the ENT's I work for). He is one of our head and neck cancer physicians and the one that did all of Chase's neck biopsies so I feel very comfortable with his opinion. Chase wasn't really excited about the scope procedure but it was quick and simple. So long story short, Dr. Mitchell assured us we didn't need to be concerned with his throat/tonsils, everything looked nice and boring. Whew! As far as the lungs, we will likely do a CAT scan in 6 wks and see if there have been any changes. At this point and I am feeling as comfortable as possible that it was the cold he had previously that is showing up.
We are now in what should be the final three months of Chase's one year of chemo treatments. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers! We never stop appreciating all the kind words and inquiries on Chase. It is amazing to know how many people are praying for and thinking of him.