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Jul 8, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated on Joe. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Joe was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer on the 7th of August 2013. The cancer has metastasized in his Liver. There is no cure and all therapy he undergoes is palliative.
Joe had ostomy surgery in September of 2013. He has been on FOLFOX with Avastin for 34 rounds, then FOLFOX 5 with Avastin for 20 rounds of chemo, then 20 rounds of FOLFOX without Avastin with radio embolization (radiation beads placed in his liver) 3 times in between the chemo regimen. The current course of action by the Dana Farber team is to try and keep the mets (metastatic tumors) on his liver shrinking as long as possible with different chemo cocktails and radiation. Joe's tumor marker started increasing in the spring of 2015, which means his tumors were growing again. His oncology team assessed that with the chemotherapy loosing effectiveness they would try radiation embolization. This is where they go into the liver and place beads coated in radiation next to the tumors. Joe had both his right and left side of his liver radiated with beads the summer and fall of 2015 to good result. The mets on his liver decreased. Joe's oncologist tried a new chemo pill that did not seem to work well. Over Christmas 2015 Joe enrolled in a clinical trial for immunotherapy. This is the newest breakthrough in cancer therapy. This is what Jimmy Carter took to great effect but has not proven to do well for Joe. Joe had old school radiation to ease his back pain from the growing tumor in February 2016 which helped ease his pain. Joe's oncologist did not think the chemo would work this time around but Joe decided to give it a try since we are out of options. Joe started back on 5FU and had radio embolization again on his liver in June of 2016 to great effect. Joe's CEA (tumor marker) had sky rocketed under the immunotherapy and was decreased severely to his oncologist and everyone's surprise. Joe went back on chemo and had 2 more radioembolizations, the last in January of 2017. Initially the results were good bringing the tumors in his liver down. But now Joe is retaining fluid from his liver and there are no longer any options that will not do greater harm. Joseph passed away in the early morning of the 8th of July 2017.