Monday, May 01, 2006

Lilly Invites You to Walk

Hey there!

Coming up this Saturday, May 6, I want to invite you to spend an hour or so of your busy day in Lindenwood park for the Pathway of Hope Walk to benefit cancer research.

The walk was started by an acquaintance of mine who lost her mother to cancer. Now I know there are many great walks for cancer, including the Relay for Life, but I guess I wanted to point this one to you because of the timing of the walk, and news of my friend Nick.

Nick, and his wife Julie are ND natives that have transplanted in Phoenix, where Nick is a police officer in one of the most dangerous cities in America, and Julie is a free-lance writer and stay at home mom to their two boys.

About 18 months ago, Nick was diagnosed with testicular cancer, still quite rare, and most common with men in their thirties. It is probably most well known as being the type of cancer that Lance Armstrong had. It can also be a very deadly cancer as it is still rare and can spread quickly.

After initial surgery, Nick was on the mend. Soon back at work, and with blood tests every month, we all seemed to breath a little easier.

Then, last October, his cancer returned. A large tumor in his abdomen and chemotherapy was required. He became quite sick from that, but being the trooper that he is, rallied on, continued to work when he could and played dad to Brody and Colin.

After chemo, he was back to monitoring blood and body scans monthly to watch the tumor which was still there, but seemed to be dormant. Hallelujah! Remission was the word we'd all be waiting for.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago, when his tumor marker tests came back elevated.
As I mentioned earlier, TC is still quite rare and in only about 5% of cases, does it return, if treated early. Now Nick is one of the lucky 5%. Protocol for treating returning TC is invasive surgery and/or a stem-cell marrow type transplant, very experimental and often the last resort.

Last week, Nick and Julie flew to Portland, OR to consult with one of the best TC doctors in the country, as a matter of fact, he was one of Lance Armstrong's doctors. He suggested that Nick have the surgery to remove the retroperitoneal lymph nodes. He said anytime there is growth in a tumor after chemo, surgery is the next step. It requires an incision from his chest to groin, then the organs in his abdomen will be taken out so they can remove the lymph nodes which are located alongside the spine. He'll be hospitalized 5 days and will need 6 weeks of recovery time afterwards. Whether or not another round of chemo is needed will depend on whether the lymph nodes come back postive for cancer.

The reason I'm telling you all this is that I hope you can help Nick, and others like him with fighting this terrible disease. I know just about all of you have been touched one way or another by cancer, I myself am a breast cancer survivor of almost seven years. I will not be able to walk myself this Saturday as I will be working, BUT, I WILL be making a donation on behalf of Nick. I hope you will do the same.

Here is the website for more information: http://www.pathwayofhope.info/.


Thanks in advance.

Lilly

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