“…For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:47
Please pray for Collin. Collin is 6 years old. In December 2012, when he was 4 1/2 he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, which is a form of childhood cancer. It is a type of cancer that has a high risk of re-occurrence so the treatment plan for this type of cancer is intense in hopes to have it never return. At the time of his diagnosis, he had a tumor deep in his abdomen and because of that it was undetectable when feeling his stomach. When they found it, it had already spread into his bone marrow/blood. His leg hurt intermittently, and the tumor in his abdomen had surrounded his valves going in and out of his heart and his kidneys and various other things. Collin began chemo the day after Christmas 2012. The whole treatment was supposed to take a year, but he had some complications and so the treatment took 16 months.
The treatment plan included:
- Induction chemo (six cycles of initial chemo aimed at shrinking the tumor and killing Neuroblastoma cells in his bone marrow.)
- Surgery to remove the tumor
- Bone Marrow Transplant
- Antibody Therapy
Collin had surgery in April 2012 and the large tumor was removed. The surgery itself went miraculously well, although he had lots of problems with fluid in his stomach and still has not regained normal bowel function. Collin finished his induction chemo and was released from the hospital a few days after his 5th birthday and began high dose chemo and transplant on Tuesday, July 9th. He did amazingly well with this as well and was released 18 days after transplant– which meant he was only in the hospital 25 days total for this! He started his radiation therapy on Tuesday, August 20th and completed it on Thursday, September 5th. In October he started his next phase of treatment called antibody therapy. It was not in clinical trial, but is in the “study” phase, which means that there is not 5 year data which is what they use to “prove” the treatment is helpful. However, we have been told by our doctors that they unprecedentedly stopped this in clinical trial because they saw incredible results and wanted it to be considered “standard of care”. So in Collin’s case it is considered part of his treatment. He will have this therapy for approximately the next 6 months. The first 5 therapies were in the hospital for 5 scheduled days at a time, however, due to his reaction to the treatment some of these stays were longer. He finished his last therapy at home in March and had his “tubies” (otherwise known as a CVL) removed the beginning of April.
For two years post treatment, Collin will be scanned as well as have his blood work done every 3 months. Hopefully none of these scans or tests will show any signs of cancer, but will continue to show the miracles of God in His (and our) lives. Due to treatment Collin has a number of complications that are still being monitored. In addition to his Oncology doc he also sees an audiologist as he has significant high frequency hearing loss, so he now wears hearing aids. He also has continued GI issues so he sees a GI doc. He is still being followed by an optometrist since his eyes (mainly his left eye) still has dilation issues due to his antibody therapy. Last but not least, he is being monitored for iron overload due to the number of transfusions he received during treatment.
We will never be done with this battle, but we are so thankful for the countless answers to pray we have received on Collin’s behalf and are so thankful he is here. We pray that as he grows, this experience will help him talk to others about the power of God. Thank you for those who continue to pray for our son- no prayer that is said is taken for granted and no prayer goes unheard by our gracious God.
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