Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep you updated about Jacob. Please begin by reading the introduction, My Story.
Please visit often to read the latest journal entries, and, if you choose, write us a note in our guestbook. We appreciate you taking time to check in on Jacob. Your support means the world to us!
On April 18, Jacob woke up in the the night with severe pains in his belly. We were afraid it was his appendix, so Matt took him to the emergency room. The doctors took x-rays, determined there was no acute emergency, and sent Jacob home. By Monday afternoon, he felt better.
For the following few weeks, Jacob would have severe stomach pain for a couple of days, and then return to normal. Our pediatrician ran 2 series of blood tests, which came back negative. On May 13, Dr. LeCours sent Jacob for a CT scan, which I'm sure will one day prove to be the thing that saved Jacob's life. It led to Jacob's diagnosis, despite his lack of symptoms.
On May 20, 2009, following a biopsy of a lymph node in his abdomen, Jacob was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. On Friday, May 22, a scan showed that the cancer had metastasized in his bones, which means that he is in stage 4 of the disease.
The standard protocol for patients with stage 4 neuroblastoma is a series of six 21-day chemotherapy cycles, interspersed with surgery and radiation, followed by a stem cell transplant, and then more chemotherapy. The intense protocol spans at least a year.
This is not a case in which we can realistically hope that Jacob will “get well soon.” The best case scenario is that he responds well enough to each treatment that he progresses through the clinical trial and follows the protocol to completion, including a 2 month stem cell transplant at Dana Farber in Boston. I am not pretending to comprehend what this means to our lives or how greatly Jacob will suffer. I am simply repeating what I know of the structure of the protocol so far. I know that the procedure will be devastating to Jacob's 8-year-old body. It must be, in order to kill the cancer.
As Jacob enters his 2nd round of chemo, he is strong and looks healthy. Had he not already lost his georgeous red hair (due to chemo), you would not know this witty, energetic, sparking boy is ill. He is currently pain free and accepting of the apheresis catheter in his chest, along with frequent visits to see the great Dr. Pearce at Albany Med. He struggled a bit with his 1st round of chemo, but he bounced back. He begins this journey in good physical condition, and in the best of hands, with an army of supporters behind him.
We are going to make sure that Jacob is cured of this cancer, and we are going to do this with your support. Thank you for reading this one brief chapter of Jacob's Story. There are countless pages yet unwritten.