Can you support CaringBridge during our Holiday giving campaign? Generous donors like you ensure that CaringBridge remains ad-free, private and protected.
Apr 27, 2017 Latest post:
Sep 14, 2017
Here's a brief recap of Cody's cancer journey. In Sept 2011 Cody was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He began 6 months of chemo and was in remission but it only lasted approximately 6 weeks.
In Sept 2012 Cody underwent an auto stem cell transplant at OHSU which means he was able to use his own stem cells. He once again was in remission.
In Jan 2016 Cody developed a painful case of shingles and in Feb was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma for the 3rd time. He started a new biological drug called Brentuximab with treatments every 3 weeks. During his 2nd treatment he went into anaphylactic shock and treatment was stopped. A couple of weeks later he went to Riverbend ICU to start a 12 step desensitization protocol to try and make his body accept this drug and it worked. He continued treatments until Nov 2016 when a PET scan showed the drug was no longer working. During this time despite all the side effects he continued working until his Dr convinced him that his body and immune system needed rest to fight this persistent cancer and his health started declining even faster.
Cody then started 4 different chemos called BEGEV. He was told he could only receive 6 of these treatments (1 every 3 weeks) because of how strong they are. He went in for these chemo's Mon through Thursday then received a Neulasta shot on Friday's. During treatment 3 out of 6 Cody went into anaphylactic shock from Emend, which is a pre-med he was receiving during infusions to help with nausea as well being on high doses of prednisone everyday because the chemo was causing a very, very rare and possibly dangerous type of rash.
During this time OHSU was looking for a matching stem cell donor so Cody could receive an alogeneic stem cell transplant. There are numerous life threatening risks with this type of transplant but it's the only possible chance for long term remission. This process revealed that his younger brother Cyler was a partial but not full match which is called a haploidentical match. Dr. Mazierz at OHSU was able to get Cody into a phase 1/2 Bellicum Pharmaceutical clinical trial for a haploidentical stem cell transplant. Only 36 people are allowed in this trial and Cody is the first one admitted with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Basically, part of Cyler's stem cells are sent to their lab where they will attach a suicide gene so that if Cody's body starts to reject them, called graft versus host disease (GVHD), and the life threatening reaction can't be controlled with prednisone they can give him the "study drug" that will activate the suicide gene and they will die. Cody will also be getting other stem cells from Cyler that will not be altered. It gets very technical after that.
Cyler will have a few days of stem cell collections and a few of them will involve him getting a central line placed as well as 5 days of Neupogen shots to make his bone marrow produce 10 to 15 times more stem cells than normal. Prior to receiving Cylers stem cells Cody will also have a central line placed and will receive 12 days of extremely strong chemo and one low dose full body radiation to destroy his immune system. So, if you're following the journal's when I post Day -12 it's his first day of chemo, Day -11 is his second day of chemo and so on then Day 0 is the day he starts to receive Cyler's stem cells. Then, the day after that is +1 and so on. I'll also post the date on those days. He will remain on the special 14th floor at OHSU until he shows no signs of uncontrolled GVHD, fevers, infections and his blood counts start to come back a little. We will then be staying at a condo in Lake Oswego within the required 20 mile radius of OHSU for approximately 100 days as they monitor him. Cody will be on a special diet and many, many drugs.
Cody has had numerous tests and biopsies so if you have any questions I know he'd be happy to share more details with you.
Also, you can send Cody messages through this site, texts, FB etc...if you'd like. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you.