Cancer Sucks

10-16-2009

We are now over 6 years removed from that-which-shall-not-be-named...oh, who are we kidding? - it was leukemia. On the first weekend in September, 2003, at 2 years - 10 months old, Spencer started down a long dark road, with the whole nine yards - aggressive T-cell leukemia, intense chemotherapy, relapse, even more intense chemotherapy, full-body irradiation, and lastly, an umbilical cord blood transplant at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, followed by a long slow recovery. But recover he did, and in grand fashion. In mid 2004 Spencer could not walk up a one inch tall step, but as I write this, last weekend he completed a 14 mile hike in one day on Santa Rosa Island. He is a miracle child...a million-dollar miracle child.

The collection of pages here were written at various times throughout our experience. They have helped many people dealing with similar situations so I continue to leave them up. Please don't hesitate to email us about anything.

 

6-1-2004

Hi, and thanks for visiting. For our up-to-date daily experiences please go to Spencer's Caring Bridge site. But for those who are intersted, on these pages I plan to elaborate a bit more on Spencer, including more specific info on T-ALL Leukemia and its treatment. These pages will be more permanent with more information.

Check the links to the left to read what I've got so far, meanwhile here's some more photos:


This is Spencer's Hickman Catheter, or central line, shortly after it was put in. It's the key to an easier treatment period. He's not too happy in the photo but now he's very protective of his line. But he hates having his dressing changed, which for various reasons we have to do every other day.



Here's he's doing his best to disrupt Matt Pritchard's wedding the week before Spencer was diagnosed. The ceremony has just started and Spencer's making a racket, but a happy racket. These are the things that used to stress us out.

Matt & Kevin & Spencer.



Spencer at the hospital with Gramma Marj. and Grampa Fred, Brian's parents. This is about 3 weeks after treatment started and notice the nice bald spot. His beautiful hair all fell out in about two days. He thought it was funny.


Daddy and Spencer.


This is a pretty remarkable moment. It's several months before Spencer was diagnosed. Spencer is kissing his best bud Matthew Hume, who had only just completed an autologous stem cell transplant for neuroblastoma. This is the first time Matt had seen any other kids since his transplant and Debbie, Matt's mom, was very nervous about him being around kids. Spencer, sensing that Matt was very special, just went up and kissed him on the nose before any of us could pull them apart. Of course I happened to have my camera in my hand. We were all pretty freaked, but Spencer was healthy at the time so we can all laugh about it now. What we'll never laugh about is how two best friends from birth could both end up with cancer, and end up in the same hospital that is 3 1/2 hours away. They were inpatient together several times and once they even took it so far as to hold each other up for procedures in the APU (ambulatory procedure unit).


Thanks Again!
Kerri, Brian, and Spencer Caserio
Email: spencer@(remove)sideoff.com