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Barrett Family Updates
2/6/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place through John's battle with stage IV colorectal cancer. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Please do not think that we don't want to receive your personal texts and requests for updates...we do!! We just sometimes have a hard time remembering who we've told what and this is a way to keep it all in one place. So, please, keep the texts and phone calls coming!
Here is John's story: On December 8, 2016, John had a colonoscopy (his first) and endoscopy to try to get to the reason for some intestinal issues he'd been having since October. The doctor informed us that he found a tumor in his rectum that was consistent with cancer. He ordered a biopsy which came back the next day and confirmed that the tumor was cancer. We saw a surgeon the following Monday, John had CT scans and an MRI on Tuesday, and on Friday, December 16, the surgeon called us in to tell us that the cancer had spread to John's liver and lungs. We saw an oncologist at St. Jude on Monday, the 19th who confirmed our worst fears that this was stage IV. We felt like every time we saw a doctor, the news got worse. The one thing this oncologist did say was that we should get a second opinion and that he would refer us to a doctor at USC. He said if we could get into a clinical trial, that would be good. Well, we had heard about a doctor at USC through a friend of a friend and it turned out to be the same doctor! The St. Jude doctor was a little doubtful about whether there would be a clinical trial and said it might be tough to get in to see the USC doctor any time soon. On Wednesday, Dec. 23, John got a call saying that the USC doctor couldn't see him until Jan. 9 ( the day he was supposed to start chemo at St. Jude) but that this doctor's colleague had an opening the next day. We decided we would take that appointment but reserve the right to still see the recommended oncologist on the 9th. Boy, are we glad we did! From our first meeting with Dr. Barzi, we felt so much more positive. She was a breath of fresh air! She told us that she did, indeed, have a clinical trial that was suitable for John and she got him set up to begin treatment on January 12. Our Christmas Eve and Christmas were sweet times with family and filled with hope for the first time in over 2 weeks.
The week after Christmas had John at the hospital twice: once to have a cathport placed under his skin below his collar bone, and the other to have a liver biopsy performed. The following two weeks were a lot of waiting and realizing how real this all was. He saw Dr. Barzi one more time for a final clinical trial screening and then waited , with both anticipation and dread, for January 12 to come.