Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep David's many family and friends updated in one place.
David first became ill on July 22, 2017 while traveling to Colorado with our son's Boy Scout Troop. After an urgent care visit and two ER visits, David was transferred by ambulance to a larger hospital in Colorado Springs where he was diagnosed with viral pericarditis. After a few days he was discharged and we headed back home thinking that we were going to put this illness behind us. Instead, David continued to feel sick. He had stomach pain, nausea and vomiting which we were told was related to the cardiac meds he was prescribed. As his vomiting worsened the doctors decided to scale back his medications to see if that would help. It didn't and, after several ER visits due to chest and stomach pain, David was sent for an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). He was diagnosed with gastroparesis, which all the doctors commented was very unusual in an otherwise healthy adult. Within days David was admitted to Deaconess hospital in OKC with intractable vomiting and nausea, chest pain and severe stomach pain. It was here that the doctors discovered David's kidneys had also been affected. After some testing it was decided that David needed a kidney stent placed and he was taken for that procedure. He also had an NG tube and a catheter and many, many tests were conducted for tick borne illness, autoimmune disorders, and more. Nothing was identified that may have caused this illness and after two weeks David was feeling well enough to go home. But that didn't last long at all and within days he needed hospitalization again. David was eventually admitted to Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. His diagnosis was severe gastroparesis, ileus, and kidney complications. He was also noted to have widespread inflammation throughout his digestive system. He needed a GJ tube for all of his nutrition/hydration/meds as he was completely unable to take anything by mouth. Complications continued to pile up and he was unable to remain at home for any length of time. His 5th and final hospital admission brought us a wonderful hospitalist who took one look at David and told him she knew something else was going on and she would not stop looking until she had an answer. As she pored over his medical records she noted a very subtle rise in a white blood cell called eosinophils. Oncology was called in and within a week we had a diagnosis of high grade Stage IV B peripheral T-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The cancer had spread to his stomach, skin, bladder and lungs. He also had 10% involvement of the bone marrow.
David was in the ICU at this point and chemo was started within just a few hours. He responded very, very positively to the CHOP regimen. He is now being seen at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as well as the stem cell team at OU/Stephenson's and the oncology team at Integris. David received an autologous Stem Cell Transplant in OKC on April 12 and did FANTASTIC. He began an 18 month clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston for the immunotherapy drug Keytruda. He's now finished with the infusion/treatment portion of the study and is being monitored and evaluated for any early signs of relapse. It is hoped that this drug will boost David's own immune system to fight any lingering cancer cells and kill any that try to return.