May 24, 2022 Latest post:
Jul 25, 2022
Back in August 2019 Joel started to have some discomfort and irritation while urinating. What we thought was just a stubborn UTI turned out to be bladder cancer.
Joel recieved the official diagnosis in November 2019 and promptly started MVAC chemotherapy treatments. This was followed by a procedure called a radical cystectomy in which his bladder, prostate and surrounding lymph nodes were removed. At this same time, Joel was given a neobladder, which was a new bladder made out of a piece of his intestines.
The surgery was long and the recovery took about 8 weeks. We had recieved word that the biopsies of removed organs and tissue revealed instances of 2 living cancer cells in a couple of lymph nodes.
The following year, Joel was in a medical trial for Keytruda which is an immunotherapy drug used to treat other cancers. Things were going very well until August of 2021 when Joel started having unexplained back pain. Using a CT scan, the doctors were able to determine that the bladder had spread to 2 places in his spine.
This discovery resulted in further testing to identify where else the cancer may be and start a new treatment regimen. Joel received targeted radiation and another targeted immunotheraphy/chemotherapy. The targeted immunotherapy/chemotherapy worked to keep things at bay for 6 months, but alas, the cancer was stronger than the treatment.
The subsequent last few months have involved multiple trips to the ER for pain and bowel obstructions while still trying multiple types of chemo therapies. It was discovered that the cancer had spread to his abdomen and are causing constriction in his colon.