Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your prayers and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Derek's mom, Sue, is serving as his main caregiver. Grandpa Don also lives at the home and is helping as much as possible. Lindsay (sister) is not working over the summer so spends most days hanging out with Derek and helping with chores or errands. Derek's dad, Greg, lives on Whidbey Island but visits when he can. Family friend Shelly Pepin is also living at the house and helping tremendously with errands & chores. On top of all of this, countless other family and friends have offered their support as well. Clearly, Derek is very loved!
We have outlined his medical journey below:
April, 2014- Derek was diagnosed with a grade 2, diffuse astrocytoma brain tumor after having his first seizure. By the grace of God, he was on grass when he collapsed and with friends who were able to call 911 and get his to the ER immediately.
May, 2014- Derek had brain surgery at Evergreen Hospital removing enough of the tumor to release pressure on his skull (caused by the swelling of the tumor).
October, 2014- Derek suffered his second seizure at home in Kirkland.
October-November, 2014- Derek was treated with proton radiation at Seattle Cancer Care's Northgate facility. The treatment made him sleepy and feel 'foggy', but otherwise he took it very well.
July, 2015- Derek suffered his third major seizure while traveling through England, Scotland & Ireland with his mom and sister. He was in Ireland at the time of the seizure. This lead to the discovery of a second grouping of tumor cells in the back of his brain.
July-August, 2015- Derek's new tumor cells were treated with proton radiation at Seattle Cancer Care's Northgate facility. Again, he had a wonderful experience at this facility.
October, 2015 - April, 2016- Derek was treated with four rounds of PCV chemotherapy. He handled this treatment very well. He suffered the normal symptoms, but at seemingly lower levels than a 'normal' patient may.
May, 2016- A third grouping of tumor cells was found during a routine scan. This cell group is considering much more aggressive than the other two areas.
June, 2016- Derek started Avastin and Temodar to treat the new tumor cells.
June, 2016- Derek was hospitalized due to extreme exhaustion, confusion, and poor balance resulting in many falls. Derek, his family, and doctors are working and praying about how to keep Derek as happy and comfortable as possible at home.