Apr 29, 2019 Latest post:
Jun 10, 2021
Welcome to Corey's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.
Corey and Kim's world turned "upside down" on April 11th. Prior to then, Corey didn't experience any specific symptoms. In mid-March, while vacationing in Florida, Corey came down with a cold that resulted in a sinus infection. After returning home at the end of March, he was prescribed antibiotics to treat the sinus infection. The antibiotics didn't seem to help his sinus infection and he continued to feel "yucky" - he was achy, fatigued as the day went on, and feverish at times.
Although he wasn't feeling great, Corey decided to join Kim and Evan for college tours in Iowa and Illinois. On April 10th, while touring the college in Iowa, Corey became fatigued and wasn't feeling well so he left the tour early and slept in the truck for 3 hours. Kim and Evan were going to bring him home and then continue on to Illinois but I-35 was closed due to a snow storm. So, Corey continued on to Illinois with them. When he woke on April 11th, he noticed a pain in his right abdomen he hadn't previously experienced. Kim decided to take him to Urgent Care and they directed them to the Emergency Room of St Francis Medical Center in Peoria IL. After several tests, they determined Corey had a ruptured appendix and required emergency surgery. They did not recommend making the trip home for the surgery since the appendix had already ruptured. So, late on the night of April 11th, Corey underwent an emergency appendectomy. Mid-way through the surgery, the surgeon came out and informed Kim they had found a mass on the lower portion of the appendix which also spread to the end of his small intestine and beginning of his large intestine. The surgeon indicated he was quite certain the mass was cancerous. The surgeon proceeded to remove the affected portions of the small and large intestine as well as some lymph nodes. The long wait for pathology results began.
Corey remained in the hospital in Peoria for a week. He struggled with pain and nausea. While in the hospital, they also performed CT scans of his liver and lungs which came back clear. He was finally discharged from St Francis Medical Center in Peoria on April 18th and they made the 7 hour journey home. The official pathology results were released on April 22nd and confirmed the news no one was hoping to hear.
Corey has been diagnosed with Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. His cancer is stage 3 since it was present in 9 of the 13 lymph nodes removed. This type of cancer typically occurs in the lungs. It is extremely rare to occur in organs outside of the lungs. Since it is small cell, it is very aggressive and has a high probability of spreading to other organs such as the liver, lungs, adrenal glands, lymph nodes in other areas of the body, and the brain. The good news is the pathology report confirmed the entire mass was removed as all of the margins involving the intestine were clear of cancer. It is also very good the previous CT scans of the liver and lungs were also clear.
Corey and Kim met with 2 different oncologists within the metro area and are waiting to hear back from the Mayo Clinic. Both oncologists were consistent in their treatment recommendations. Corey will soon undergo both a PET scan along with an MRI of the brain to ensure the cancer has not spread. If those scans are clear, Corey will likely begin chemotherapy treatment within the next two weeks. The goal of chemotherapy is to prevent spread and kill any tiny, lingering cancer cells that could exist. They don’t recommend starting chemotherapy any sooner as his body needs to a bit more time to recover from the surgery.
We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Corey is young and in good overall health aside from the recent cancer diagnosis. The oncologist is optimistic and striving for a CURE! Cancer is not OK! Please pray for Corey, Kim, Emily, and Evan as they move through this difficult journey. Please pray for a CURE!