Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brian Gets a Hair Net! What?!

Just a quick note...

Today Brian got a port surgically placed in his chest. This will be used for chemo to protect his veins.  We arrived at 9:30 at Baptist South, had a quick meet and greet with the surgeon then were swept off to the hospital for pre-op and surgery.  Brian was given some happy meds and doesn't remember the surgery but recovered quickly.  Of course he was making jokes before and after the happy meds. My favorite thing that happened today was when Brian looked down and saw the iodine on his chest and said, "Oh man! I got a sunburn!"  Thanks for all the love! Looking forward to a fun, restful rest of the break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Hey everyone! We are back and it feels good to be home with the baby and pups.  On Friday, we met with the medical oncologist at Sloan Kettering.  She was wonderful. She said that the first step is getting the pathology reports that we've been waiting on forever to ensure we are treating the right thing. She said we should have them no later than Friday.  Then we would start chemo here in Jacksonville (hopefully the first week in December). The MSKCC doctor will work closely with our doctor here to set up the chemo cycles. From our understanding it will be 3 days of chemo then 3 weeks off (1 cycle). Then we would repeat scans and start another cycle.  The reason for doing chemo is two fold: first to shrink the masses and second to ensure no more spreading.  They'll want to meet back in NYC with us some time in Januaryish.  Overall, the doctor was very kind, reassuring, and knowledgable. We are very happy with the referral and decision to meet with the doctors at MSKCC.

Most importantly, we really appreciate all the love and support that continues to flow in. This is far from easy and knowing that our village is large is such a blessing and comfort to us during this difficult time. We love you all!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

NYC Day 1

Mini update! Today was Brian's first day of appointments in NYC at MSKCC. They met with the surgeon. Karen and Brian are so blown away by how knowledgeable they are up at Sloan. The surgeon wants to do chemo before the surgery to shrink the tumor. That means surgery will not be for at least 12 weeks. They will have a follow up appointment with the surgeon in 7 weeks from now (after a few rounds of chemo) at MSKCC. 

They will meet with the oncologist tomorrow to find out more about chemo. They do not know where (even what state) the chemo will be in yet. They still don't know what kind of sarcoma it is, but MSKCC will be doing their own testing and expect to know in a week. 

Brian gets to top off his day with another CT scan today, then is finished with appointments until tomorrow. Yay! 

I hope its not too cold up there. We miss you Karen and Brian! Stay warm! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Read This First

Hey Y'all!
This is Cally blogging on behalf of Karen and Brian.  They will be using this site to keep everyone updated about their current journey.  Every now and then,  I will post for them, too.

Let Me Catch You Up to Speed
As you may have heard, Brian found a tumor under his arm and was concerned about how quickly it had grown.  The tumor was biopsied and found to be a sarcoma, which is a form of cancer.  As of right now, they have not found out what kind of sarcoma it is.  To find out more about sarcomas, watch this video by click this link: What's New in Sarcoma Treatment

After additional scans, they found bilateral masses on his adrenal glands, as well.

So What is Next?
Brian has appointments on Thursday and Friday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City.  They are hoping to be given some direction and find out more about the cancer and treatment plans (and eventually find out what kind of sarcoma it is). MSKCC is one of the top cancer centers in the nation. The family is confident that he is in the best hands. 

What Can You Do?
Be normal.  With all the craziness of appointments, uncertainty, and planning, Brian is pretty sick of talking about it all.  If you have questions or want to help, the best thing to do is talk to Karen or myself.  Continue to talk to Brian like you normally do.  Make fun of him.  Complain about traffic. Ask about the Redskins. Call him bald.

Karen, on the other hand, is okay with talking about the situation, and loves getting texts from everyone :) Feel free to contact her with words of encouragement, questions, and thoughts.

Many people have asked how they can help.  As of right now, the best way is prayer and encouragement and being normal.  Once they find out more, there will be updates about specific needs.  This whole situation is creating quite an emotional, logistics, and financial burden on their family.  I know we are all wanting to help, and Karen and Brian really appreciate the kindness of the community around them.  That being said, we are in a holding pattern for now, so stay tuned.

Karen and Brian are so thankful for the community around them.  They are blown away by the kindness and support they have already received.