Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Thank you to all who have been journeying along with Chris, Jenn, and the family during this challenging time. Your love, support, and prayers mean so much!
As many of you already know, this journey began in December 2020 when Chris complained of severe pain in his foot and calf. This led to visits to a podiatrist and a cortisone shot which was thought to make it all better. Unfortunately, the pain continued and even increased, leading to an awful visit with his primary doctor giving an incorrect diagnosis and terrifying prognosis.
Jenn and Chris found themselves at Frederick Health frightened by that information. The doctors at Frederick Health were much more reassuring and encouraged them to walk through the process of testing, diagnosis, and a plan of care. They found Chris had a blood clot and they inserted an IBC filter to prevent the clot from traveling to his heart. Jenn sought guidance from the doctor and, with much prayer, asked to have Chris transferred to John’s Hopkins where he could have an entire team of experts working on his case. Due to COVID restrictions on visitations, this was a difficult decision; however, it has proven to be the very best care for Chris and peace of mind for Jenn and the family.
From the beginning, the team at Hopkins got right to work on getting Chris stabilized and putting Jenn at ease. After running tests, they discharged Chris home to Jenn’s excellent care.
The news has been difficult as lesions were discovered on Chris’s liver. This was an indication that there is cancer in Chris’s body and they determined to locate the source. In the meantime, they found Chris had a number of mini-strokes which have led to impaired vision and confusion. The hope is that over time and with in-home, low stress therapy, these will improve.
The doctors then determined the cancer source is in his lower esophagus. The diagnosis is Adenocarcinoma. Because this cancer is not a rare cancer, they were able to have his chemotherapy treatments, Folfox, in Frederick. It is intended that Chris will take this treatment for three months, completing it the end of May or early June. He takes Folfox in pill form Monday - Friday, except every other Thursday he goes into the cancer center for a chemo infusion.
The great news is that Chris has been tolerating his treatments very well. They have found that his bloodwork has been steadily improving: hemoglobin is almost normal, white and red blood cells are going up.
The not so great news is that last week Jenn had to take Chris to Frederick Health due to a new blood cot in his leg. Due to the brain bleeds relating to the mini-strokes, he cannot be given blood thinners. They kept him a few days then released him home again.
The current plan is for the neurologist at John’s Hopkins and the oncologist at Frederick Health to get together this week via phone to address the blood clots and come up with possible treatment.
This week has brought further complications. Chris was found to have abnormal kidney function. This brought him back to Frederick Health where they have discovered fluid in his lungs.
As many of you have already been aware, this whole process has caused Chris extreme fatigue. In turn, as you might imagine, it has caused Jenn extreme fatigue.
That is the reason for the creation of this Caringbridge site. My name is Phyllis Albro. Jenn and I have been friends for almost 30 years.I offered to create this site to be a regular source of accurate information for each of you. It’s understandable for details to end up muddled like a game of telephone in elementary school after passing from one person to another. All information on this site is verified by Jenn or Star before being posted so it is trustworthy.
This is also a place you can offer an encouraging word, a prayer, share a funny thought, pictures, or memory to Chris, Jenn, the family and each other. Much love and many blessings to each of you.