Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about our Sweet Patrick. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.
Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.
As many of our friends and family already know, Patrick gave us a bit of a scare in March 2011, when he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease. His was triggered by a random case of Mononucleosis. After a week in the hospital, he was able to return home & responded amazingly well to treatment. He's been followed by our Oncologist/Hematologist every 3 months since then & his blood work has always been normal and he has been off all medications.
Knowing he had mono, we knew it would be a while before he really starting feeling better, but after months of weakness, fatigue, odd aches & pains, night sweats & other random/non-specific symptoms, we went to our primary doctor for a round of blood work, x-rays and even a TB test. All came back normal & they sent us home thinking he just had something viral. That was 2 months ago & Patrick has never really felt any better.
On New Year's Eve, he started having severe abdominal pain, so we went to the ER at AMH. We just knew something was wrong.
They ran blood work, a thyroid test & ordered a CATscan of the abdomen ...just to rule out any "bad stuff." As the blood work starting coming back normal, his pain started to subside & the doctor thought he would be sending us home without any major issues to follow-up with our primary doctor ...then the CAT scan came back.
The doctor came in, closed the door & told us he didn't have great news. Although nothing major showed up in his intestines,they saw several lytic (destruction of bone) lesions on Patrick's pelvis and spine. He explained that this looked like some type of systemic cancer ...maybe Multiple Myeloma or Lymphoma.
He had already consulted with our Oncologist and gave us two options. Option 1: Go home and plan to meet Dr. Fleischhauer (our Oncologist) at his office Tuesday morning (it was a holiday weekend) to start ordering tests. Option 2: Be admitted & start testing right away & Dr. Fleischhauer would come in the next morning (Sunday, New Year's Day) since he was on-call & would answer as many questions as possible and go over the tests ordered & possible outcomes.
We went with Option 2 & the dr. came in Sunday morning, sat down on the couch in our room for about 30-45 min. & went over everything happening so far & planned.
So, from Dec. 31st - Jan. 3rd, Patrick had seemingly every possible blood test available, a CAT scan of the lower abdomen, chest & head, a complete bone scan, x-rays, a 24 hour urine test & a biopsy of one of the lesions on his pelvis.
Let Patrick tell you about the radioactive isotopes they used for the bone scan …very rare apparently …only my little Physicist would be quizzing the techs about what kind of isotopes they use?!?!?!
In true Patrick McDonough form, he is proving to be atypical. All of his blood work is coming back pretty normal, he's not anemic & his liver & kidney functions look great. All things that are stumping the doctors right now. Fortunately, this cancer (or very cancer like disease attacking him) seems to be isolated to the bones (and no load bearing bones yet). His head, chest and other organs look good! He's ridiculously healthy, but for this.