For those who don't know Parker's Story here it is:
In November of 2020, he began having pain in his back and chest. He thought maybe it was pulled muscles etc... Parker went to see a chiropractor that his friend recommended. (we are very thankful for this chiropractor) The chiropractor took x-rays of his chest and saw abnormalities. He recommended that Parker should go to a lab for a more in-depth scan. The next scan showed several masses around his heart and lungs. Which led us (thanks to another friend) to Banner MD Anderson. He met with an oncologist (Dr. Erikson) there on Dec. 18th, and he suspected Parker had Hodgkin's Lymphoma based on the scan.
Dr. Erikson wanted Parker to go to the hospital to have tests done.
Parker was admitted to the hospital after Christmas 2020 (during Covid, no visitors were allowed) He spent New Years Eve in the hospital. They did a biopsy of the lymph node.
He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma stage 2 Bulky B. Stage 2 means it is in the torso area, Bulky B is related to the size of the mass.
He started his first round of Chemo (ABVD) in the hospital, then continued the chemo regiment after he got out. Covid made it so he could not have visitors during his chemo treatments which was difficult. Porter was able to drive Parker to and from his chemo.
He finished his chemo the end of June 2021, (I was able to go with him for his final few chemo's) and we were excited to ring the last chemo visit bell!
Pet Scan in July 2021 showed cancer not gone.
Started a maintenance infusion treatment Brentuximab, from Sept. 2021 to Nov. 2021
Radiation was considered at this time, but Banner was concerned that due to the location of the tumors, radiation may cause damage to his heart and lungs.
Parker did get Coivid at the end of August 2021.
Stem Cell transplant became an option.
Our insurance did not cover Banner for stem cell transplant only Mayo.
Parker went to Mayo, and met with the oncologist, Dr. Rosenthal. She wanted to have Mayo do another scan (Nov. 19th) to see what we were dealing with.
Started another chemo, Pembro, Dec. 2021 to Jan 2022 regiment with Mayo waiting for approval for stem cell transplant. Cancer is getting smaller but still not gone.
Through all of this, Parker has had a PICC Line, Central line, Port which became infected, so they eventually removed it. (story for another time : ))
They put in another port for this chemo due to the intensity of one of the drugs which was extremely painful when administered through an IV.
Parker was then scheduled for another PET Scan Jan. 18th 2022 after his infusion. Parker gets Covid again, pushes the PET Scan to January 31.
Pet Scan still not negative for cancer. The scan shows the chemo has messed up his thyroid. Parker is now on Levothyroxine to help with the thyroid issue.
Proton radiation is considered, the oncologists wants the cancer to be gone before doing stem cell to increase the chance of the cancer not coming back.
Parker meets with Mayo's radiologist, Dr. Rule, he creates a plan for proton therapy twice a day for a total of 20 sessions. Proton therapy is a form of radiation that is targeted at the tumors, and less harmful to the other areas, for Parker this was his heart and lungs.
They decide to continue with the harvesting of stem cells while waiting for proton radiation to be approved.
Harvesting of stem cells consists of giving injection for 3 - 4 days to increase the production of stem cells.
Then harvesting is 3 to 4 days with an IV in both arms, one to collect the blood, then the blood is separated, stems cells are collected and then then the blood is put back in through the other IV. This process takes 4 to 5 hours. You can not move your arm for that time.
They started the shot Friday 2/25, Sat. then Sunday. He went in on Monday to get the final shot, thankfully his white blood cell count was way up, so they decided to collect the stems that afternoon. They were able to harvest enough stem cells in one four hour session instead of the 3 to 4 day process. He/we were so thankful, he had a week off. They needed to harvest 4 million stem cells, they got 6.2 million. (I have no idea how these are counted.)
He then started radiation on Thursday 3/10, and his last session on 3/24. It was supposed to be 3/23 but the machine broke down, so he had a day off.
Parker is scheduled to check into the hospital on 3/28.
We are taking this all one day at a time. We are thankful to be moving forward with the stem cell transplant!