Canyon’s Story

Site created on September 2, 2018

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.

Canyon was diagnosed on Thurs., Aug. 23rd with a rare form of Soft Tissue Sarcoma. His diagnosis was confirmed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on Fri., Aug. 31st as incurable terminal Stage 4 Soft Tissue Sarcoma - Synovial that began in his left calf and has spread to his lung and bone .  We were told by the doctors at the Mayo Clinic that this soft tissue sarcoma is rare in itself and that there are 50 different types of soft tissue sarcoma, Canyon's being Synovial and that there is a 1% chance of a person being diagnosed with this sarcoma. 

As we mentioned, this all began on Aug. 23rd but looking back, the pieces of the puzzle come together.  Even though this is a rare form of cancer it is commonly undetected in young male athletes.  Canyon noticed a small bump on his left calf during the spring of his freshmen year at BVU but thought little of it and there was no pain. In the fall of his sophomore basketball season the bump on his calf reappeared and gave him some discomfort that any athlete would play through. The athletic trainers at his school worked with him to treat what was thought to be a run of the mill sports injury and the area in his calf decreased with physical therapy. Canyon continued to play and finish his season not really thinking much of it because it was improving with the physical therapy. Jump to this past June as he and his teammates played summer basketball, the bump resurfaced with some pain/discomfort and again thinking it was due to basketball he sought physical therapy here locally and again the area on his leg went down. He did experience some minor chest pain but attributed it to rough defensive basketball underneath the basket.  In addition, in the most recent weeks in August he began to experience some back discomfort while trying to sleep. 

Jump to Aug. 23rd, we noticed that the lump on his leg had returned significantly and what  seemed to be out of the blue with no basketball happening.  His mom asked him to please let her make an appointment with the family Doctor to "just get it checked out before heading back to BVU for the fall" , which is where this journey all began. Canyon had a normal 11 am doctor's visit scheduled for Aug. 23rd and Dr. Matthew Herrmann was concerned with the size of the lump, along with the mention of Canyon's minor chest and back discomfort. He then jumped into action and ordered X-rays and blood tests then made additional appointments for yet that day of a CT scan and MRI. By the end of the day Canyon and his parents were back in the same 11 am doctors office receiving the life changing shock of their lives news.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Trish Hopkins

We are back home after a week in the hospital (Tuesday - Friday) for procedures and chemo.

Since the last update Canyon has had a PET scan, another chest tube, as well as another Cryoblation procedure and to top it all off a round of chemo. Whew, that is a lot! He's still standing - no surprise 😉 

First off, last week's PET scan (July 2) showed that the original chemo cocktail is again stabilizing things and there are no new spots! (Cue: Everyone leap with joy here) 😊 😊 😊 The downside was that he also had another (very large this time) pneumothorax, which required a chest tube right before the 4th 😩 (booo). This meant no getting in the water with his friends as he had planned. Although HUGE shout out to Dave Anker, he fixed Canyon up in style with his personal pontoon aka floating dock, complete with shade and fans so that Canyon could float around his friends and enjoy the day. THANK YOU Kristi and Dave, you guys are the best! Also to Alan and Teresa Algreen for providing the perfect spot for fireworks.

Friday morning July 5th he went back to the hospital for a procedure where they take the blood from your port and via infusion through the chest tube attempt to get the lung to stick to the wall to enable the lung to stay expanded and avoid collapsing. He enjoyed a good week-end (even with the chest tube "hanging around") with a couple of Memphis Redbirds games vs I-Cubs, a delicious meal with the family provided by older brother Denton and then back to the hospital for the week.

Tuesday morning bright and early he was admitted for another Cryoblation procedure on his sternum to blast another tumor. At that time, an X-ray showed that Friday's procedure did not take and later in the day attempted another similar procedure with Talc via infusion through the chest tube in the same fashion, however MUCH more discomfort and pain with this one. The nurses and doctors were on it immediately to provide oxygen and immediate meds which calmed everything down quickly. The good news is the next morning the X-ray looked fabulous, the lung had "stuck" to the wall and they were able to remove the chest tube (after being in for a week). 

Wednesday he started another round of chemo and after another blood transfusion was released on Friday evening.

He is recuperating at home and hopes to feel well enough to cheer on his brother Denton's HS BB team in their first round of Districts tonight.

A few follow up appointments scheduled over the next couple of weeks and then hopefully receive the all clear to head to Wisconsin for a week in the woods and on the lake with the family for a much needed break and relaxation for all. Love the Northwoods!

The next round of chemo will start immediately the Monday after we return and then another PET shortly after to be sure the chemo is still effective and no organs have been affected from the long term use of this particular chemo cocktail. Crossing our fingers we hear back from Boston in the mean time. 

His day to day has improved immensely after returning back to the original plan, in that his breathing has improved greatly, he has reduced his pain medications significantly, and he feels more like getting out and about. Keep the continued prayers for Boston and for the next cocktail that will be the miracle we're praying for.

Canyon's rock'in it and keeping up the fight #Moosestrong
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