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7/12/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Please leave messages, as family will be reading these to Bryce during his treatment.
Bryce left Coeur d’Alene for Army Basic Training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on May 22. During the second week of June, he started developing symptoms that took a physical toll on him-- leg pain, swelling, and bruising that were a result of blood clots in his legs. As painful as these things were, they didn’t prevent him from continuing his boot camp training. As was a part of his follow-up for treatment of these symptoms, he went in for a bone scan on June 28. On June 29, during the follow-up for the scan, the doctors at the fort decided to do some blood work. Based on the results of the blood work and a very high white blood cell count, they decided to send him by ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri where he was diagnosed that night with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
His disease is aggressive (his doctors say it developed 2-4 weeks ago), but he’s in the best place he can be right now. ALL can be best described as a “liquid tumor” that attacks your blood and bones, and is most severe when it reaches the spinal fluid and other places in the Central Nervous system. Unfortunately, there are cancer cells in Bryce’s spinal fluid, so they’re treating him appropriately.
His treatment plan will require him to stay in Missouri until roughly mid-August, at the very least. He will be given intravenous and intrathecal (injections via spinal tap) chemotherapy treatments between now and the end of July (along with frequent blood transfusions) to try to get his cancer into remission. If this first 4-week round of chemo is successful and there are no visible signs of his cancer, then he will go into maintenance chemotherapy to keep his cancer at bay until he can get a bone marrow transplant. Typically, siblings are the closest match for a donor so we are hopeful that his sister is a match. If not, he will go onto an international marrow registry to await a donor. We are hopeful that he can be transported somewhere closer to home either before or directly after the marrow transplant.
He’s got a long road ahead of him and he’s looking at roughly a year before life can get “back to normal” assuming everything goes well, but he has an amazing attitude and is young and tough. If anybody can beat this, Bryce can.
While he goes through his treatments this month, family will be flying back and forth to be with him as his days get tougher. He’s got a huge support system and some incredible doctors. All the love, support, and prayers that everyone can send his way are very deeply appreciated!