Andrew was in Seattle visiting friends and family for Christmas. On the evening of Saturday December 27 Andrew started experiencing some pain and discomfort in his abdomen. He had a big day of eating - so thought nothing of it until he was unable to get to sleep that night, as the pain worsened and worsened. My mother finally encouraged him to go to the ER around 2:30am. He was in the hospital for several hours where they took an x-ray of his abdomen and found a few tumors. He was told they look cancerous and needed to see an oncologist right away. The next day him and my mother met with the oncologist, underwent several more tests and discovered tumors in his liver and abdomen area. The next several days consisted of tests and another meeting with the oncologist. The lab's initial tests were only able to confirm that, yes, the cells were cancerous, but we were told they needed more time to do more testing.
Just this past Monday, 1/5/09, Andrew and my mother were back in the oncologists office to receive the diagnosis. They learned that Andrew has an extremely rare form of cancer: desmoplastic small round cell cancer. Click here for a definition. This type of cancer is so rare, it is hard to find much information or research on it. The doctor explained there is no "cure" for this type of cancer, meaning it can not be put into remission. The doctor said his option is to undergo chemotherapy for 1 year - 1 week of chemo in the hospital and 3 weeks recovering at home. It is an aggressive type of cancer, according to the doctor, therefore making the chemo aggressive as well. The hope is the years worth of chemo will shrink the tumors enough to where they can strategically operate and remove all of them.
Andrew had a PET and CT scan this morning and has one more test tomorrow morning. From here, we don't know what the plan is. Only two places in the country deal with this specific cancer: MD Anderson hospital in Houston, TX and a hospital in New York. Andrew would like to fly to Houston in the next few days to meet and talk with the team of doctors there.
Since he lives in St. Louis, MO, Andrew needs to still decide where he will receive his treatment - Seattle, St. Louis or Houston.
That is all the news I have for now. We believe in a God who is bigger than us and One who can perform miracles. We as a family and friends are devastated and muddling through a tremendous amount of grief right now. We do cling to the hope we have in God and are praying and begging God for complete healing. WE ASK THAT YOU DO THE SAME!!!
And please pass this website along to anyone and everyone who knows and loves Andrew.