October 10, 2012 7:31p.m.
O.K. This is Brian's mom here. It's high time I started checking in with reports on Brian. His sister, Charlotte, created this blog for us so we could communicate with the many who are concerned and want to know how Brian is doing.
So, hi everyone. Thank you for all your prayers, fasting, and love you have sent our way. It is totally amazing and overwhelming to try to fathom what is happening to Brian and what is taking place at home in So. Utah and Hurricane in behalf of Brian and our family. We feel so loved and it is such a wonderful thing. The entire last week has been somewhat surreal. I wanted to pinch myself and wake up.
Tuesday, Oct. 2, Dr. Carter called us in to tell us he had consulted with specialists in St. George, and Brian had Leukemia. We needed to get him to Salt Lake as soon as possible, although we could drive him up. We called his Dad (Randy) from work and managed to check in to the Huntsman Cancer Center by 7:30p.m. They wasted no time in beginning testing and treatment. The next day they recommended he be transferred to Primary Children's Medical Center because it would be better for him here. They're doing a clinical study here with a 4th chemo drug which has been shown to have even better results than the regular 3 drugs. We got lucky when the computer chose Brian to be one of the patients who would recieve the drug, as opposed to one in the control group. I think that was really an answer to so many prayers. So here we are.
Since that night, he has had platelets and blood transfusions many times. It gives a whole new meaning to Red Cross blood drives. I look at them hanging on the IV tree and think if it wasn't for those donations, he would be gone.
Today he is on the 6th (of 10) night of chemo. They do it at night, the idea being that people will sleep through some of the discomfort. The first couple nights were tough, with fevers, nausea, headache and pain from various things. Brian has stayed calm and patient through it all. If I hear a little groan, I know he's hurting. The good news is that since he has been recieving chemo, things are much better because the Leukemia cells are much less. His body also has no white cells for defense.
Perhaps you are thinking you didn't want to know all of this...so sorry about that. I'm going to make this a journal of sorts as well. I don't plan on putting out anything that is too personal.
So tonight he is doing well, I am happy to report. If you looked at him, tonight, you wouldn't know he was sick. He's had some platelets and a couple units of blood and he's texting friends and playing video games. He's had visitors today and honestly, the nurses are young and cute tonight. He just rolls with it all, keeping to his activities. I hope tonight is a good night. It should be. Now that the doctors and nurses have fine-tuned the medicines & chemo he has been sleeping well and much more comfortably. So I have less worry, and I just pray there won't be any unexpected problems arise, and that we can continue to stay the course.
There will be 4 courses of treatment consisting of 10 days of chemo, followed by 2 to 3 weeks of cell count recovery. That's when you wait for the numbers to come up in the blood tests. When they reach a certain level, he will be able to go home for a day or two, to maybe 3 weeks, when the white cell count gets high again. Then it's back in the hospital for roughly another month to repeat the same process. Over all, there will be 4 courses, with an estimated 6 months duration, if everything goes well, This is the plan. Time will tell. We pray that everything will go well.
Brian’s Blog was created for all of his friends, family, fans, and community members who are cheering him on in his fight against leukemia. Brian graduated from HHS in May of this year. Many people know Brian due to his leadership, sportsmanship, and outstanding athletic achievements including three state championships in wrestling, a state football championship, state discus champion 2011 and varsity track and soccer teams. He had received a call to serve a full-time mission to Uruguay and was planning to start his mission at the end of the month. After completing his mission to Uruguay, Brian planned to play football at SUU where he has already received a full-ride scholarship. Brian was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) on Tuesday October 2nd. That very day he was taken to Salt Lake City for intensive inpatient care. He has been receiving chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and other treatments. We hope and pray that Brian will recover with the help of competent medical care. Doctors say that there is an 80% chance that Brian’s cancer will respond favorably to treatment. Thank you so much for your support. We will keep you updated regularly on Brian’s progress.
Update: On January 14, 2014, Brian passed away after a 15 1/2 month battle with leukemia. He was in remission following the first series of chemotherapy treatments for only 3 months, in spite of earlier optimism. Another harder hitting chemotherapy began in June with the intention of following with a bone marrow transplant but instead, alternative treatments in Colorado Springs and later Atlanta were chosen. Those also were unsuccessful, too little too late. In November he underwent yet more chemotherapy in Denver. The leukemia did not respond. Brian returned home to Southern Utah friends and family on December 12, 2013. Leukemia took his mortal life, but it can't touch his spirit.