Friday, April 5, 2013

A Timeline

Today marks exactly one week since the initial discovery of Patrick's tumor.  As I'm sure any cancer survivor would tell you, the first few weeks after diagnosis are a whirlwind.  Patrick and Emily have been to several different specialists and to many appointments.  Meanwhile, they are also adjusting to the new mindset they must have to move forward with treatment.

In an effort to "catch everyone up," I feel I can best do that by creating a simple timeline of the last week.

--  Friday, March 29, 2013:  Patrick went to his gastroenterologist for a "routine" colonoscopy due to changes in his bowel habits and a family history of colorectal cancer.  At the time of this procedure, most everyone (the doc included) were concerned about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis based on Patrick's symptoms.  The colonoscopy unexpectedly revealed a 7cm tumor in Patrick's rectum.  Tissue biopsies were taken, and Patrick was scheduled for a CT scan.

-- Tuesday, April 2, 2013:  Patrick underwent a CT scan to look for cancer lesions elsewhere in his body.

-- Thursday, April 4, 2013:  Patrick and Emily returned to the gastroenterologist to discuss the results of the biopsies and the CT scan.  The tumor biopsies indicated that Patrick's tumor was malignant (cancerous), and although it was deemed "partially inconclusive" there was some evidence of lymph node involvement.  The CT scan showed a small lesion on Patrick's liver.  However, it is not known if this liver lesion is related to the cancer in Patrick's rectum.

-- Friday, April 5, 2013:  Patrick and Emily met with a medical oncologist.  This doctor further explained Patrick's tumor "anatomy."  He concluded that the lymph nodes surrounding the tumor are inflamed but not necessarily cancerous (think of how the lymph nodes in your neck become swollen when you have strep throat).  Unfortunately, he also informed Patrick and Emily that there were two questionable lesions on Patrick's lungs.  Like the liver lesions, it is currently unknown whether these are related to the rectal cancer.  The oncologist scheduled Patrick for a PET scan next week.  This scan will help determine whether the lymph nodes surrounding the tumor are inflamed or cancerous.  This will help in "staging" Patrick's cancer.

--  The Plan:  On Monday, April 8, 2013, Patrick and Emily are traveling to UVA for a follow-up colonoscopy, a tumor ultrasound, and to meet with a surgical oncologist.  It is a HUGE day for them.  More biopsies of the tumor will be taken during this colonoscopy, and the tumor's "anatomy" will be further examined during the ultrasound.  Each of these procedures, along with the PET scan, will be used both for "staging" Patrick's tumor and for developing a more longterm treatment plan.  The PET scan will be scheduled for next week.  The lesions on Patrick's liver and lungs are too small to biopsy at this time.  In the future, their reaction to chemotherapy will determine whether or not they are related to the cancer.

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Want to pray specifically?

Please pray that the lymph nodes surrounding Patrick's tumor are ONLY INFLAMED and do NOT contain cancer cells.  This would mean a less advanced-stage cancer diagnosis.

However, any and all prayers are greatly appreciated!


  1. Praying for you Patrick! God can give you victory over this, and use this as a way to witness to many. God's got this! Love and hugs, Marney

  2. Hi Patrick & Emily,

    I am testing out the commenting feature on here. And ... I just want to say that it was an honor to support you two today at UVA. My heart is breaking for you ... but I am also humbled and inspired by your positivity. Prayers and love always.



  4. Patrick and Emily,
    GOD is the God of life, and HE not only creates it, HE restores it also. GOD is the great Healer. Matt. 6: 10 "Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." This is the prayer for Patrick. GOD's will be done over Patrick here on earth as it is in Heaven. There is no sickness or illness up there and God let your healing touch bless Patrick right now. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray that this colon cancer and every bit of cancer is totally removed by HIS BLOOD! AMEN

  5. Patrick and family,
    I don't know you but you are my brother in Christ and my family and I will send prayers for you continually. If there is anything we can help with, please let Jennifer know.

  6. Patrick and Emily,
    I too do not you personally, but am so inspired by you faith and your love for the Lord. I'm praying that the radiation and chemo does all that the doctors desire for you Patrick and I pray for complete healing. For each of you and your family, I pray for comfort, peace and strength to face each new day.
    Thank you for loving and serving the youth of Wayne Hill Baptist Church. May each of them also draw closer and closer to the Lord as they travel this journey with you.

    God Bless You Patrick and Emily!

  7. Tonight we are studying the book of Philippians in our Bible Study time. As I was reading the book again, I thought of you as I read how the apostle Paul encouraged the Philippians. We all have hope because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us. We have memorized verses from Philippians (1:6, 4:6-7, 4:13) and 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
    Lillian and I are praying daily that you will receive comfort, peace, and strength as you travel this journey.
    May God be glorified as he blesses you Patrick and Emily!

  8. This is Gail Zimmerman, a friend of Carolyn's, 13 years ago I was diagnoised with rectal cancer which seems very familiar with what you are going through Patrick. My gastro doctor sent me to Duke University where I received the same type treatment you are undergoing. Radiation along with chemo (I had a chemo pump which is how they treated it then that I wore for 24 hours a day for the entire time radiation was being given). This treatment was very successful. The tumor had shrunk to nothing when my surgery was done and did not have to have a colostomy and all the lymph nodes that had been affected in that area were clear. My prayers will be with you as you travel this journey. May God give you the strength to endure and to give you peace that you will survive this journey!!!

  9. Psalm 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."

    Jeremiah 30:17 "For I will restore health unto you, and I will heal you of your wounds, saith the Lord."