I started this Cancer Sucks blog in December of 2014. That was almost a year and half ago. It has been a long year, he put up with a lot of pain and sucky stuff. But, he has had a lot of fun too. In that time, he has had two brothers get engaged. One of them got married and the other one is making plans. He got a new nephew who is crazy cute. He has visited some of the funnest places in the world like New York, California, Idaho, Spain, London, and loads of other places on mini vacations with his parents.
He did chemo treatments for about a year and then did radiation treatments for a few months. It was actually just a couple weeks ago when Alec finished his last radiation treatment. We had some things worth celebrating during his treatments when some of his MRI’s looked like his tumor was beginning to shrink. However, it never appeared that the treatments were completely solving the problem. Earlier this week he had another MRI to see how everything was looking after the radiation treatments.
I got a call from my dad last Tuesday to hear about the results of the MRI. That call turned out to be a moment I will never forget. I can still remember when and where I was when I found out Alec had a cancerous brain tumor during his first bout he had with cancer several years ago and then again when I found out the cancer came back in December of 2014. But, both of those calls pale in comparison to this one. My dad called me in the evening while I was sitting at a kitchen table doing some homework for one of my classes. I was in the zone and had my phone on silent and didn’t realize that I had missed a couple calls from my dad. When I finally picked up, what I believe was his third try calling me, he told me that they got Alec’s MRI results and they didn’t look very good. During the time Alec was doing his radiation treatments he had developed new tumors up and down his spine. The doctors told us that he would have about 3 months until these new tumors would start compromising things until his body couldn’t take it anymore.
It is so difficult for me to think and write about this. Alec is my hero, I have and will always look up to him and his nerdy lifestyle. This blog post is not a death sentence. We aren’t giving up and are still trying other things to help slow down the tumors. However, in the meantime we are going to have a lot of fun. Alec is a huge nerd and one of the things he loves is Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings films were all filmed in New Zealand and Alec has always wanted to go there and check out that whole scene. So, that is what we are going to do. Over the last week our whole family has been scrambling to get passports and flights to New Zealand. About 20 of us are going to New Zealand at the end of the month to hit up the sites there and hang out with each other. We are all pretty stoked about it.
Although this whole situation sucks, you can read an old blog post I wrote called Triumph to see how I feel about it.
You can expect to get a blog post soon that is written by Alec so he can tell everyone what he thinks about this and how he is handling it.
Chemo Week 6
Last week Alec finished his 6th round of chemo. It’s crazy to think that we have been doing this for six months now. This was the first time I have been home during a week that Alec was going through the actual treatment. I didn’t really know how it worked until now.
This Is How It Works
On Monday, we go to the hospital to get his port accessed. At the hospital they hook up a tube to his port that stays there all week. Once his port is accessed, he can’t get anything in that area wet until we take out the tube they connected to him. So, he can’t take showers or go cliff jumping while his port is accessed. Once his port is accessed, we can give him is chemo treatments from home. Everyday for the rest of the week at around 2 or 3 o’clock, or whenever he wakes up, my dad connects a small cylinder full of chemo that transfers the stuff through the tubes and port into his blood stream. It usually takes about 4 hours until the cylinder is empty.
Chemo Weeks Are Long And Painful
Like I mentioned before, this was my first time being home with Alec while he did all this stuff. I didn’t realize how much these weeks sucked for him. It was a really rough week, he felt super nauseous all week and didn’t have much energy to do anything but read, play video games, and lose to me in Uno. He doesn’t sleep well at all, especially during chemo weeks, so he is usually up till around 3am either reading or hanging out with dad. I don’t know how my dad does it, he doesn’t get to sleep in and take the naps that Al does. Anyway, that week was no fun, so I am glad it is over.
We have another MRI coming up soon, so we will see where we stand when that comes around.
Alec’s First of Possibly Many Interviews
I decided to take a break from writing and created a video instead. It took us three tries to get it right. The first one lasted about 10 seconds before we restarted. The second take was going well until Riley, our camera guy, realized he wasn’t actually taking a video. Then we stuck with the third try. The video is an interview with Alec. He looks good on screen! Comment below with questions you want me to ask Alec in future interviews. I forgot to turn on the fire in the background though I think that would have been a good touch, right?
Latest News on Al
It has been a few weeks since my last post. Al has had two more treatments and is getting ready for another MRI soon. The chemo has started to catch up to him and he has been feeling super tired. But, he is a champ and handles it all well. I haven’t seen him in a while, but I am coming home this weekend! I am stoked to see him and beat him in all the games we play.
“Anything For A Friend” Fundraiser
My second favorite sister and fourth favorite sibling, Lyndee, put together a fundraiser for Al. Lyndee is incredible and I have always looked up to her. We received donations from many family members and friends. We went through a foundation called “Anything For A Friend.” The foundation they gave us a tree which we tied the donated money too and then the foundation would match up to $500 that we raised. The foundation called us and asked if we would present the tree to Alec at their upcoming fundraiser event that will be this Monday night on the 16th at the Weber State Ballroom. They will give Alec his tree along with telling everyone his story. They are planning to release balloons in honor of Alec which represent hope and love. Dinner will be provided along with a comedy show. If anyone would like to come support Alec and this wonderful foundation, we would love for you to come. You do need to register before you come, you can sign up HERE.
Watch This Video, it Says it All!
I’m super tired and little frustrated today, so I don’t feel like writing much. But, Jake is the most adorable dog in northern Utah. He is super chill, but will also run around and have fun with you. The training is going pretty well, my parents have probably watched several hours of training videos ha. We think he is pretty cool.
Some Big Things are Coming Up
On January 26th Alec is getting a spinal tap to see if any cancer cells are hanging out in his spinal fluid. Then on the 27th he is getting an MRI, and we will get on update on how the chemo is working. This is a big big day. If the MRI shows that the tumor is the same size or has shrunk any, then they will continue with the same chemo treatment he is currently on. If the tumor has grown any, then they will begin a radiation treatment plan.