Greg Kasson

First post: May 14, 2017 Latest post: Aug 21, 2017
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Greg was diagnosed with Renal Cell Cancer (kidney cancer) in December, 2016 after presenting to his Dr with severe left shoulder pain.  He had surgery on Decemeber 27 to remove his kidney, and shortly after received radiation therapy to the shoulder to help with pain control.   At the time of diagnosis the cancer had spread to his bones, especially his shoulder, and to his lungs.  After recovering from surgery he participated in a clinical trial that was offered at the university of Michigan, involving the study of how high dose IL2 in combination with Nivolumab (Opdivo) would offer a patient a better outcome.  The IL2 was given over a week, for two weeks, with a week in between as a break.   IL2 is an extremely aggressive therapy, with many side effects therefore the patient is admitted inpatient for both those weeks.  Greg was transferred to the ICU during both those weeks for supportive care, and recovered both times in about 24 hours.   He then received the Nivolumab a week after the last week of IL2.

Since that first dose of Nivolumab, Greg started having sever pain in his right hip.  He went to the hospital and it was found that the cancer had spread to his hip and he had broken the hip.  It was not displaced, so he does not need surgery at this time, and he again received radiation, to this hip to help with pain and prevent further tumor growth.    Recent scans have displayed that the cancer that was already known on his skull (not in his brain) and his right ribs, has also increased and he will be receiving radiation to these two areas in the next 2 weeks.

This week Greg had repeat of his scans / tests to get a baseline of his disease before he starts a new therapy.  The plan was to continue with the Nivolumab, no longer in the study in Michigan, but here at the James - closer to home.  The CT results this week provided mixed response.  The lesions in the lungs are no longer visible!!  Unfortunately, the lesions in the liver have grown, and a few new areas in and around the liver have been identified.  Due to this new information, the doctor made the decision that Greg needs to start a therapy that will work quicker, so he will be starting an oral chemo agent this next week to attack and fight these areas!  The Nivolumab is not off the table, and will possibly be added once insurance comes through with a determination.  The plan will be to repeat the scans after 6 weeks on the oral agent to see the progress that the oral agent WILL MAKE on killing the cancer!!  We ask that you all continue prayers, thoughts, and well wishes as Greg continues this journey with God's presence and healing hands.  

Thank you so much for all the continued support.  We will keep all updated on his progress and God's plan.

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