Nov 14, 2020 Latest post:
Nov 20, 2020
Hello Family and Friends,
When I first put together this site I was somewhat confused on how and where to put everything together (this site is a little difficult to navigate). I was not sure what to really say or write, I only knew what to write during that moment in time and the current status of my brother Dominic. I then realized after talking with my father that we needed to tell this from the beginning because not everyone knows the whole story from the start of what Dom has gone through and endured. I appreciate all who have visited and the support from friends and family thus far. We need to be strong and courageous for my brother Dom because that will only make him stronger and fight better. Strength comes in numbers.
Dominic was Diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in May of 2020. Just 2 months after Dominic and his wife Kristen brought a new baby girl (Arwyn) into this world.
In May 2020 Dominic was experiencing rectal bleeding, so much so that he passed out due to loss of blood. Dominic was admitted to the Minneapolis Veterans hospital, received a blood transfusion and then a series of tests including colonoscopy, MRI, and CT Scan. The physicians were not able to complete the colonoscopy due to the size of the tumor and its obstruction. These tests also revealed that the cancer had spread to his liver, in addition to his colon being significantly obstructed by a tumor
In the coming weeks, a treatment plan was outlined by his care team which involved an aggressive round of Chemotherapy, both oral and intravenous. Dominic was considered very young for this type of cancer, and he was physically in very excellent shape, so this aggressive approach was considered low risk
The goal was to shrink the tumors, particularly the ones on the liver, so surgery could be performed to remove both the liver tumors and the colon tumor
Dominic began a biweekly round of intravenous chemo along with daily rounds of oral chemo. This began in June and continued through August. During this treatment period Dominic’s Tumor markers became significantly lower, and scans revealed significant reductions in the liver tumors, which was considered the high risk one, this was good news. However, there was not much change in the colon tumor. The doctors changed the chemo treatment in mid-August, not so much to further shrink the Colon Tumor, but a more surgical friendly Chemo, in preparation for a Mid-September surgery to remove the Tumors from his colon and liver. The goal was to perform this surgery around the 15th of September
During the treatment period, Dominic was experiencing progressively more pain due to the colon tumor, as well as bowel obstructions. This pain and discomfort further increased in late August and by the beginning of September the pain and discomfort were not tolerable, in addition his bowels were not moving. Dominic was admitted to the hospital, at which time it was determined that there was a significant bowel obstruction. Emergency Ostomy surgery was performed as well as removal of the blockage matter (5 pounds) During surgery it was also discovered that the cancer had spread to his stomach. This put another curve into the treatment plan. It was also determined that they would not remove the colon Tumor at this time as it required further shrinkage in order that they would not impact the rectum during surgery
September was a difficult Month for Dominic, not only was there significant weight loss, but he also continued to experience significant pain as well as blockage. This again became unbearable. He was readmitted to the hospital to try to manage the pain and determine the blockage. The Doctors felt the blockage was due to the Tumor putting pressure on the lower intestine, not allowing him to pass food. They performed a procedure to place a stomach tube in as well as a tube through his nose to drain the stomach. He also has been receiving nutrients through IV only and cannot eat any solid foods, resulting in additional weight loss
The goal was to shrink the tumor through daily radiation, he began these daily sessions in early October, shortly after being admitted, however he is in his 5th week into the radiation sessions and his condition has not changed, particularly pain management
The care team at the VA was also concerned about Dominic’s condition, another scan revealed that the cancer had further spread to his bones and possibly other organs. Not sure of all the details, or what this means, but the plan is to continue with the radiation and at some point, remove the colon and liver tumors. These dates are not determined as there needs to be significant time lapse after the radiation to insure he has the strength and the ability to heal, right now he has neither, as he has lost a significant amount of weight and the radiation has weakened him
We will keep you updated as we learn more, but please keep Dom in your prayers