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September
13
2020

September 13, 2020

The port and filter are gone! Chris and Dylan were in Omaha by 6am Friday for his surgery. The doctors said everything went well. Next month he’ll follow up with his neurosurgeon and then repeat scans with his oncologist in November.

The past year has been a roller coaster and I’m glad it is behind us. We could not have done it without the love and support from all of you and the amazing care he received at UNMC. He will have follow ups every 3 months but plans to live life to the fullest and as normal as possible. He has taught us the power of a positive mindset and to never give up. He advocated for himself and made sure his care team knew his goals. His strength gave us strength.

Thank you again!
  -The DeRocher’s

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September
1
2020

August 31, 2020

It’s time to get the last of the hardware out!
 Last Thursday Chris and Dylan were in Omaha to meet with the vascular surgeon. They did an ultrasound on his legs and the blood clots he developed after surgery last fall are completely gone. His labs looked good so he was given the green light to schedule surgery to remove the filter (that would catch the clots if they broke away before reaching his heart or lungs) in the near future. They will coordinate to get his port out along with the IVC filter so he only has to go under once. He’s pretty excited about that!
 
He started his sophomore year last week and so far so good. We continue to pray for his continued health and the health of his friend Lilly as she starts her own battle with Ewing’s.

August
11
2020

August 11, 2020

Dylan finished chemo one month ago. Since then his hair has started growing back and even had to shave his beard and mustache! Today we returned to Omaha for a day of labs, xrays, echo, and PET scan.  We are happy to report that Dylan is CANCER FREE!!!! The PET scan was perfect. His labs were also great.

In 2 weeks he will meet with his vascular surgeon for an ultrasound of his legs where the blood clots were. If things look great we will schedule surgery to take out his port and IVC filter. He will go back every 3 months for the next 2 years to check labs and scans to make sure things stay on the right track. He will also follow up with his neurosurgeon in October to see how his back is healing. He’s hoping to be cleared for some sports but we will take one day at a time.

He is also excited to be going back to school and to have somewhat of a normal high school year. We want to thank everyone who has prayed for and supported our family over the last year. Prayers for his continued health is much appreciated. Thanks again!

June
10
2020

June 10, 2020

We are back in Omaha for Dylan’s longer chemo stay. Since I posted last he has had a few shorter stays. The hospital still isn’t allowing visitors due to Covid but he is allowed one parent since he’s a minor. Their policy is also to test all patients being admitted for Covid. He said it wasn’t that bad. 

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and are very excited. He has 3 weeks left in his treatment plan after this week and should be done the week of the 4th of July if there are no delays. It has been a long road but he has been amazing through it all.

He has been enjoying time with his big puppy Lugo (almost 40#). He follows Dylan everywhere. Since it has been so hot, he even went swimming. I can’t wait to see how big he will be by the end of summer!

Dylan has been enjoying summer with friends fishing, swimming and spending time in Okoboji. Having a driver’s license is also making that easier. I don’t think I was ready for that!

Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers!


May
13
2020

May 13, 2020

Last week I told you to stay tuned for a special announcement and some of you may have seen it yesterday on my Facebook page, but I also wanted to share it here.

So way back on Dylan’s first night at UNMC in the beginning of September, he met Django during pet therapy. He instantly fell in love with the Bernese Mountain Dog and has had many visits with him during this journey. Little did we know that a few people in LeMars took notice and wanted to do something special for Dylan. He would get his own Berner! 

Lugo was born on February 15th and last night we brought him home.(Named after Hawkeye wrestler-Pat Lugo-who also liked Dylan’s Instagram post about the new pup!) A very special and heartfelt thank you to Jim and Steph Athens Oswald! You picked a gentle soul for Dylan and Lugo has not left his side since we’ve been home-even during chores! Our family cannot thank you enough! I don’t think Dylan has stopped smiling either. I look forward to watching their bond develop and grow! 

P.S. Kerri Stinton I know you had a hand in this too-thank you!


May
5
2020

May 05, 2020

Wow I guess it has been a month since I last posted. We are back in Omaha for his long chemo stay. The past couple of weeks included shorter chemo visits. He also had back xrays done and the neurosurgeon was happy with how everything looked so we don’t have to follow up with them again for 6 months unless there are any issues. 

Dylan burned his hand a couple weeks ago on hot oil while making breakfast so he has also been seeing their plastics/wound team. They had been cleaning and cutting away skin at past visits but today we got good news that we no longer needed daily dressing changes and could just apply Vaseline  daily. Since he’s going through chemo they weren’t sure how fast it would heal but were very happy when they saw it today. We joke that he just wants to see every specialty doctor while here!

He also turned 16 a week ago and didn’t want a cake. He wanted a gallon of chocolate ice cream with candles. So as you can see in the picture, we granted that request! Last week his oncology team sang him happy birthday and this week they brought him ice cream from Coneflower Creamery. They rock!

We are starting to see the finish line and are hoping treatment is done in June barring any long delays due to low counts. He is very excited about that! Stay tuned for a special announcement next week!

Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers!

April
3
2020

April 03, 2020

We are back in Omaha for his long chemo stay. Last week was just an outpatient chemo day. Then his counts dropped pretty low over the weekend and ended up in the ER on Sunday with a bloody nose that wouldn’t stop. His doctor had called ahead for us so he wouldn’t have to wait in the waiting room which was great! A bloody nose with a mask is not fun though! He ended up getting a platelet transfusion along with 2 units of blood. The bloody nose lasted 3 hours and finally stopped after the platelets were on board. He felt much better afterwards. It did however, delay his chemo admission from Tuesday to today.

He was admitted to Buffett Cancer Center again since they had turned the pediatric floor into a Coronavirus unit. The rooms are great. I am allowed to stay in his room since the Ronald McDonald House is now closed. If I leave his room I have to wear a mask. There are no visitors allowed in the hospital except one for pediatric patients and one for labor and delivery patients. I am not supposed to leave the hospital, even to go to my car, until discharge. I was also told they are not allowing outside food delivery either to keep away as many people that don’t need to be here. Good thing I packed snacks! Their cafeteria food is good and they have a Subway so we’ll be fine.

UNMC also started putting up tents outside the ER to screen patients which they will start to utilize in the near future. The staff here is amazing and doing a great job during this crazy time. 

He also wants to give a shout-out to the ladies that draw his labs at Floyd Valley in LeMars. He says you’re fast and it doesn’t hurt a bit! Thank you!

*If you are able and feel safe doing so, please consider donating blood. They have a major shortage right now since blood drives have been canceled but that doesn’t stop the need for it.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers!

March
17
2020

March 17, 2020

Wow the world is a much different place than what it was the last time I posted. Dylan is doing well. Chemo is continuing as scheduled. We had a week delay due to low counts at the end of February but then had a two day inpatient stay the first week of March and last week was an outpatient chemo day. 

He was admitted yesterday for chemo and should come home tonight. Chris said he was admitted to the Buffett Cancer Center this time, which is also connected to UNMC, because they turned the pediatric unit into a Coronavirus quarantine unit. The biocontainment unit is also on that floor which was guarded by US Marshals the last time we were there. Definitely interesting! He normally goes to the Buffett Cancer Center for his oncology appointments and outpatient chemo but the inpatient rooms were for adults patients. As of now they will take the pediatric oncology patients too and other inpatient peds patients will go to a different floor at UNMC. Things are constantly changing so we’ll see what next week brings.

We also got a call from his vascular surgeon and have an appointment in April to talk about taking the IVC filter out that was placed after he developed blood clots following his first surgery back in September. They will do an ultrasound at that appointment to make sure there are no blood clots and then plan a time for the removal.

Chris and Dylan recently went to Atlanta to see Matt, Bristan, and Rylan before the Coronavirus chaos. It’s trips like these that keep Dylan’s spirit up. Unfortunately, our trip to the NCAA wrestling championships in Minneapolis this weekend was canceled. He said one good thing about canceled school for the next month is he won’t get any further behind in school work. Some of his teachers had put his programs online earlier in the year so now he has plenty of time to get caught up!

Some have asked if we’re scared of Coronavirus with Dylan’s health status. I guess I would say I’m no more nervous about him getting Coronavirus than I am of him getting influenza, pneumonia or other infections. Even a cold would be bad for him. But if you know him, he refuses to live in fear or be excluded if he can help it. His positive attitude is something we all should strive for.

Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers!