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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Slowly Recovering

We knew that the final round of chemo was a heavy hitter, and we are seeing the proof of it. I am so thankful they don't do 7 rounds of chemo any more, because I think Brian would have been one of the statistics. The good news is that he's doing well, but it is a remarkably slower recovery compared to previous count recovery periods. He feels good, sometimes a bit light headed, but nothing serious . He is able to do a lot of things, but his ANC (frontline immune system defenses-nutriphil cells in the blood) is still at 200, no change in 3 days, unlike before when it was 800 by now, and the risk from infection was lower. His platelets are way low, also which at this point before were way higher, so he's getting a transfusion today to get those up...and decrease bleeding risks. He's been given lots of platelets before in the course of his treatments, but not this late in the game. So, for what it's worth, I'm going to be pushing his nutrition even harder in the next week or so. I am so thankful he is doing well and the treatments are over!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Still Improving

2 days later and Brian is still improving. So glad and thankful! No headaches or fever yesterday or today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Doing A Little Better

Tonight Brian is doing a little better. Hooray! No headache all day and no headache tonight either, (as of 8 pm). He had a low fever this morning, and it doesn't seem to be spiking tonight! This is really big progress. There were some monocytes in the CBC report this morning and that is the first real sign that the counts are coming back up. Today marked 3 weeks in the hospital this round. He's not eating well yet, ( since he's been having headaches and fevers) but is eating a little and I expect that to improve soon. So, there's some good news tonight. I hope things continue in this direction, and that tonight is un-eventful, unlike the last couple nights, when he had some minor but unusual breathing issues and ended up needing a little oxygen to sleep comfortably. Probably won't be perfect yet, but should be better. He's been on his laptop for hours now, so that's another really good sign. Thanks for keeping tabs on Brian. We appreciate your love and support. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Endurance Test

There is this period of time between the relief from the last chemo and going home that has grown to be somewhat of an endurance test. When the counts hit bottom, it is good, because they have to go there before they can come up again. But - there is that space of an unknown quantity of time that increasingly with each chemo, becomes more of an issue, and that is what Brian is dealing with now. At the present, he is fighting fevers, headaches, mouth sores, etc., this is all part of what goes on and is to be expected. It is wonderful that they have medicines that modify if not resolve these temporarily...and then one day the counts come back, or at least to a minimum and the difficult times become history. I am thankful that this is all we have to complain about, and pray that Brian doesn't get sick from anything else while going through this. He is hanging in there, is alert and on top of his care and being a patient- patient. He is after all, ALMOST FINISHED!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yippie Skippie

"Yippie Skippie"- that was the reaction of our nurse from Boston, when she got the second CBC back this morning. EVERYTHING is normal, right where it should be. The report was a freak, she said it happens once in a while. We are all relieved!

A Little Puzzled

The nurses are a little puzzled because the red blood cells are high this morning, so they have redone the CBC and are waiting to see if it is the same. Monday he got 2 units of blood. Tuesday's labs showed little improvement in the red blood cells in spite of that, yet today they are over the top. Yesterday he was given platelets, but today they are still low, as if there were no effect. This wouldn't be a big surprise if he had previously been given many more transfusions, but they say he hasn't had enough to cause that. Maybe tomorrow they will shoot up...? It makes Brian worry a bit, I am hopeful that it is just a temporary thing as the bone marrow works to bring things back to normal after the chemo . He has a low temp again today, his body is working hard.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Count Recovery Days

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. There hasn't been that much to write about. We knew these bottom count days were coming, and tried to prepare for them and hoped they'd go better than the last time. Annoying headache, mouth sores, sometimes requiring pain meds, but as he passes through these days the time is getting closer, whenever it will be, when he will get his counts back up and be able to go home. We are so thankful that this is the last round! Just praying that he keeps from all the illnesses that are going around. Don't want to go there. On the bright side, we've been talking about traveling this spring... Meanwhile time for a platelet transfusion. Sounds bad, but totally painless. They just hook him up and start it. So far, he has not had any problems with blood or platelet transfusions. I hope that continues to be the case.