Beginning of chemotherapy. April 2018

Steve Anderson

First post: Oct 7, 2021 Latest post: Nov 9, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge.  Steve and I are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope, encouragement, and love.  
Steve was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in February of 2018. He had been feeling unreasonably tired and out of breath. After a blood test, we found ourselves in the emergency room at Providence where Steve needed a blood transfusion, as it was discovered that he had hardly any red blood cells. This explained the severe weakness and exhaustion. The next step was to figure out what was causing it. The next week, a colonoscopy showed the tumor in the ascending colon. Shortly after that, Steve had surgery to stage the cancer; that is, to learn what stage the cancer was in. The news that came was that Steve was in Stage 4c, pretty much the most advanced stage. This was devastating news for both of us and to our son, Travis. For a short time, there was some hope that he might qualify for a very specialized procedure done at OHSU, but Steve was not a good candidate, as the cancer was all over his peritoneal cavity. There was really no way to isolate the cancer to remove it. So Steve started chemotherapy in March of 2018 and that continued, in various iterations and combinations until June 30, 2021. That was the day that we were told "no more chemo". It was no longer effective in holding back the cancer and it had run its course. That was a day. I know that we will never forget where we were, how we felt, and the enormity of that message from the oncologist. The standard treatment at that point was an oral chemo pill. We read up on the side effects and Steve made the decision not to pursue that as an option. At this point, we were introduced to a clinical trials nurse who explained that Steve might qualify for a clinical trial of an immunotherapy drug.  He did qualify, and he has received four infusions of this experimental drug as of today. We are awaiting the results of a CT scan that will give us information about whether the immunotherapy is helping his body fight the cancer. 
Steve moved in with me and Travis in August of 2019, and we are all so grateful that we are here together. It was too hard to provide the care and support and family time that we all needed with him living somewhere else. It's cozy, but he is in the right place; with his family who loves him. 

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