Brandon’s parents, Jim and Tonya, will update this page so you can join us on this journey to beat cancer. Feel free to leave messages for Brandon, Kristen or anyone in our family in the comments section, as we will all read those and do appreciate your support and prayers along the way.
Just to bring everyone up to speed, here’s a timeline that brings us to where we are today:
April 25 – Brandon went in for an outpatient laparoscopic diagnostic procedure, during which the surgeon saw some suspicious cells and tissues. She removed his appendix and believed he had appendiceal cancer that may have spread through his abdomen, and she sent those tissues and cells for biopsy. The preliminary pathology showed it was not appendiceal cancer, but they suspected it might be peritoneal mesothelioma and sent the tissues out to another lab. This is an extremely rare cancer affecting around 1 in 2 million, and there are only a few labs in the US who have the capability to diagnose it.
May 5 – Pathology came back confirming primary peritoneal mesothelioma.
May 10 – Met with Dr. Al-Kasspooles (oncology surgeon) at KU Cancer Center for a pre-op consultation on CRS/HIPEC surgery to remove as many of the cancerous cells and tissues as possible and flush the abdomen with warm chemo. This surgery averages 10 hours and will be done on May 25. We are very confident that we have one of the best surgeons with extensive experience doing this surgery.
May 11 – Met with Dr. Chintala (medical oncologist) at KU Cancer Center to discuss post-op treatment. Dr. Chintala told us that since this is such a rare cancer, there is no established protocol for follow-up treatment. She strongly recommended Brandon look into clinical trials at one of the major cancer research hospitals, as there is no current clinical trial for this type of cancer at KU. We were fortunate to get a referral from a well-respected local oncologist to the MD Anderson Cancer Center expert for peritoneal mesothelioma, and we will be contacting him to enroll in a clinical trial as soon as possible.
Our family will fight this with everything we have! Avery Grace has two (of her favorite) words to say to cancer. “No! Stop!” And everyone who knows that little girl knows that cancer better pay attention!