Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
In October 2016 Ricardo was admitted to Manteca Kaiser for an unrelated medical condition. During a routine CT scan, an 8 mm mass was discovered on his left kidney which we were told was suspicious for carcinoma. Upon further exploration, an additional 2mm nodule was discovered in his right lung as well. Immediately Ricardo had a consultation with a urologist to discuss removing his entire kidney. Ricardo then had a biopsy of the nodule on his lung which confirmed his Renal Cell Carcinoma diagnosis.
On November 21st, 2016 Ricardo underwent a radical nephrectomy procedure in which his urologist removed his entire left kidney along with his adrenal gland. He did excellent during surgery and was even up and walking the next day and was eventually discharged after only one night in the hospital!!! A few days later he received his pathology report from his kidney mass which identified his particular type of Renal Cell Carcinoma as a Clear Cell type with Sarcomatoid pattern. This means that medications work well on the clear cell portion of the cell, however the sarcomatoid patterns tends to be more aggressive. Ricardo has had several scans of his entire body, and so far the only place his cancer has spread is to a few tiny nodules in his lung. Although Ricardo is technically considered Stage IV, we are very lucky that since we have removed the "mothership" of the cancer that lived in his kidney, all that remains is a few tiny nodules in his lung.
As it currently stands, we are waiting for Ricardo to make a full recovery from his nephrectomy prior to starting any treatment. His oncologist has recommended doing a tag team defense against the cancer cells. One medication is a pill form of chemotherapy called Sutent, and the other is an IV form of chemotherapy called Gemzar. The Gemzar is more of a nuclear blast on the cancer, whereas the Sutent tends to be a more focused form, where it targets the cancer cells specifically. The Sutent can cause blood thinning so it is imperative that Ricardo's incision is 100% closed prior to starting this medication, or else he would be at risk for infection.
We have had to push back treatment a few times now due to a longer than expected healing time, but our hope is that as of 1/12/17, he will be 100% healed and will be able to start his treatment. The plan for treatment is Sutent every day, and the IV chemo once every 8 days for 2 weeks. After the 2 week period, he will have 1 week off of all chemo medications in order to let his body rest, and then start that treatment over again.
While we have been (not so) patiently waiting for treatment, Ricardo's oldest sister Marie has connected us with a holistic friend of hers, Dr. Ali. Along with the help of his brother John, Marie was able to arrange a meeting for Ricardo with Dr. Ali to discuss some alternatives to chemotherapy as well as healthy eating habits, and all around general healthy lifestyle. We have introduced some of Dr. Ali's beliefs into our daily lives such as a strict supplement regime, organic diet, and juicing. Through these better habits, Ricardo was able to lose approx. 25 lbs, and was able to control his blood sugar well enough that he was able discontinue taking one of his diabetic medications that he had previously twice daily!
We thank each and every one of you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Without such a great support system, this journey would be entirely different. Each time someone says "let me know if you need ANYTHING", we know that it is sincere and heartfelt. All of you know Ricardo, and therefore you know how strong he is, and that he will indeed, KICK CANCERS ASS!!!!