All of Chad’s updates are here — all in one convenient little place in reverse chronological order.
November 10, 2010: Chad passed away at 4:55am.
**Lots of stuff in between. I’ll try to update when I can.**
August 17, 2010: Chad was admitted to the Hospice Home of Wake County. He was beginning to have multiple seizures, falling a lot, and having increased difficulty walking with stability.
**So much happened between July 10 & August 17. I will amend this section when I can**
July 10, 2010: Chad began steroid therapy in hopes of reducing swelling and lessening the intensity of his headaches.
July 8, 2010: Chad enrolled in Hospice.
June 29, 2010: We traveled to Winston-Salem for an MRI and meeting with Dr. T. We learned that Chad has aggressive regrowth. After listening to a list of options for treatment, Chad made the brave decision to end all treatment and spend the rest of his time enjoying friends and family.
May 11, 2010: Chad suffered a major seizure that lasted 33 minutes. He was taken to WakeMed by ambulance to check the tumor and make sure nothing was going on. The medical team kept him overnight because they were afraid he may have another seizure within 24 hours. The CT Scan showed nothing; but they also didn’t have any prior images to compare it with. He was realeased the next day and given orders to follow up with his neurologist within 2 weeks for medication changes.
March 4, 2010: Visited Dr. T. No major change noted on MRI; wants neurologist to take over seizure medication. Dr. L had some ideas about changing Chad’s medications, but wants Dr. Glenn (Neurologist in Raleigh) to take over pain management.
March 2, 2010: Major seizure while walking in the neighborhood. I’m told by neighbors that it lasted 5-7 minutes and Chad had a rather long post-dictal period; unable to speak or walk for nearly 45 minutes after seizure.
February 21, 2010: Chad had a seizure. Our appointment with Dr. T has been moved to Marc 4. Chad’s memory continues to be poor, but he is out of bed a bit more than “normal”.
January 4, 2010: We meet with Dr. Tatter to discuss pain management. We moved this appointment up from 1/25. Chad’s incisions have healed well, but Dr. T isn’t sure why he’s still having such intense pain. He orders an immediate CT and x-ray, but finds nothing that would explain the pain. We plan to meet again February 8 to discuss options follwong a more detailed MRI.
December 26: Chad had two seizures because he forgot to take his medications.
December 25: A big change today. Chad is in bed nearly all day, only up for about 3 hours.
December 17: After an intense evening on 12/16, Chad finally has his pain under control. He still complains of a headache, but states it is manageable. Depsite my requests, Chad is discharged to go home. I don’t feel he’s ready.
December 16: Chad receives his second shunt, with the end routed to his pleural cavity. He is in recovery quickly, but has a difficult time getting his pain under control.
December 15: Chad is admitted to WFUBMC for testing related to his surgery (chest CT, chest xray, blood draws)
November 30: Met with Dr. Tatter again to discuss options. Surgery for second shunt set for December 16.
November 7: Shunt revision surgery performed. Distal end of shunt rerouted to Chad’s pleural cavity instead of peritoneal.
November 5: Check up in Winston-Salem with Dr. Tatter. Admitted for shunt revision surgery. No new tumor growth noted.
October 15: Seizure
October 7: Shunt series of x-rays and a CT scan to check shunt tubing
August – present: I slacked. I’ll look up this info & post when I get a chance.
July 15, 2009: End of Radiation and joint Temodar (chemo) therapy.
June 19, 2009: Chad shaves his head. And we can see the dry skin from the radiation treatments.
June 18, 2009: Chad notices his hair is falling out in several spots.
June 3, 2009: Radiation treatments begin at 1:30
June 2, 2009: Radiation dry-run
May 12, 2009: Chad received an ultrasound to detect a DVT (blood clot) in his right leg. He was put back on blood thinners and Lovenox shots for 7 days.
May 3, 2009: Discharged from WFUBMC. Radiation will be delayed for a few more weeks.
May 1, 2009: Chad received a shunt via surgery to release the excess CSF build-up.
April 30, 2009: Chad was admitted to WFUBMC after a routine follow-up visit. MRI results revealed a severe spinal fluid leak. Pathology report confirms a WHO Grade II Oligodendroglioma. There area small percentage of cells dividing at a quicker rate, signaling a possible change in cell structure.
March 20, 2009: Dr. Stephen Tatter successfully removed some of Chad’s primary tumor. Radiation to follow in about a month.
February 24, 2009: Consultation with Doctors Shaw & Tatter at WFUBMC. We learn that the smaller tumor is nearly gone, and surgery is now an option! Details to come as they are available.
February 11, 2009: Dr. Campbell called with results; tumors still stable but there are a few areas of concern. We are being referred to Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital for a second opinion.
February 10, 2009: Met with Dr. Campbell to discuss MRI results, but she had not yet received them. Blood work within normal range.
February 4, 2009: 16 month post-op MRI.
December 5, 2008: Results of biopsy showed no malignant cells.
December 1, 2008: Fine needle aspiration of thyroid.
November 25, 2008: Chad had an ultrasound of the thyroid mass. Dr. Meehan (primary doctor) recommends a needle biopsy.
November 13, 2008: CT Scan results don’t show blood clots, but does show a 9mm mass on his thyroid.
November 11, 2008: Chad had a chest CT scan to rule out blood clots from the chest pain he had with the last two rounds of chemo.
November 10, 2008: MRI shows tumors are still stable. Dr. Campbell & Chad decided to take a Chemo Holiday for 3 months and then reevaluate after a 3-month MRI. Also met with PA Kovacks – neuro eval still normal. We took our hot air balloon ride today – it was beautiful, but the combination of heat (from the burner), heights, and sudden movement left Chad feelings a little anxious.
November 3, 2008: 12 month post-op MRI.
October 17 – 21, 2008: Round 10 of Temodar. The toxicity seems to have built up over the course of treatment. Chad was too nauseous to take the final dose of this round. He again experienced severe chest pain.
September 19 – 23, 2008: Round 9 of Temodar. Chad experienced severe chest pains he felt were similar to Pulmonary Emboli. They resolved themselves quickly.
September 17, 2008: Attempted another EEG to invoke a seizure. Didn’t work.
September 9, 2008: Neuro eval with Dr. Glenn was normal. Suggested another EEG.
August 23 – 27, 2008: Round 8 of Temodar.
August 11, 2008: MRI reports no change. Chad & Dr. Campbell decide to stay on Temodar. We’ve found research that notes the median range for response is 12 months.
August 4, 2008: 9 month post-op MRI.
July 21 – 25, 2008: Round 7 of Temodar. The effects seem to be lingering longer, as Chad didn’t feel well enough to return to work until July 30.
June 23 – 27, 2008: Round 6 of Temodar.
May 26 – 30, 2008: Round 5 of Temodar.
May 19, 2008: MRI showed no change. Continue Temodar.
May 14, 2008: Six month post-op MRI.
April 29 – May 3, 2008: Round 4 of Temodar.
March 31 – April 4, 2008: Round 3 of Temodar.
March 18, 2008: Chad was granted permission to drive by Kitty Kovacks, PA to Dr Glenn.
March 3 – 7, 2008: Round 2 of Temodar. Chad discovered that taking Kytril is necessary for combating nausea.
February 8, 2008: Ended Round 1 of Temodar. No major complaints, and he handled it fairly well.
February 4, 2008: Met with Dr. Campbell to discuss our different options and opinions from different doctors. Chad decided to start with Temodar, and a chemo cycle that will last for 5 days out of every 28. Chad started Temodar that night.
January 31, 2008: Had EEG at Raleigh Neurology. They were unable to induce a seizure to locate the propagation site.
January 29, 2008: Finally hear from Duke, Steve Silverman. They suggest forgoing treatment for now, and monitor with MRIs every 3 months. We don’t feel comfortable with that.
January 24, 2008: Met with neurologist, Dr. Glenn. She recommended an EEG for a baseline.
January 15, 2008: Another Keppra increase due to increased anxiety levels. We are also referred to a neurologist from Dr. Koelevled since Chad is having a few symptoms.
January 14, 2008: Wake Forest consult with Dr. Lesser & Dr. Tatter. They recommend standard chemo & radiation.
January 9, 2008: Wake Forest consult with Dr. Shaw. He told us the tumor had been there approximately ten years.
January 2, 2008: 2-month follow-up MRI at WakeMed.
December 28, 2007: Chad was taken to the ER again due to a large seizure. Dr. Koeleveld recommended going in because he obviously needed a medication change.
December 27, 2007: Talked to Dr. Henry Friedman from Duke. He wants all of Chad’s medical records & biopsy sample for analysis.
December 21, 2007: Met with Dr. Campbell again, to discuss most recent pathology report from Dr. Berger at Johns Hopkins University. His expert opinion is a clearly defined Grade II Oligodendroglioma. We’re very skeptical about this – there is a vary vast difference between High Grade Mixed Glioma & a Grade II Oligo. (We continue to question this – and have been told that it’s subjective to the pathologist’s perception of cells. Frustrating!)
December 13, 2007: Consultation with Dr. Reilly (radiology oncologist) at Cancer Centers of NC. He agreed to getting more opinions and set up appointments for us with Wake Forest to explore other treatment options.
December 7, 2007: First consult with Dr. Campbell (oncologist) at Cancer Centers of NC. Discussed chemotherapy options, and recommended starting aggressively and immediately.
December 3, 2007: Chad started working from home 20 hours per week.
November 29, 2007: Released from hospital. Continued Lovenox injections at home.
November 27, 2007: Went to Urgent Care for back/chest pain. After an x-ray and exam, we were told to go to the ER. Turns out, Chad had several Pumonary Emboli. He was again admitted to the hospital and put on blood thinners.
November 26, 2007: Staples removed (26 in all) at Dr. Koeleveld’s office. We mention the back spasms again, and are told that it’s probably anxiety.
November 22, 2007: Thanksgiving. Rash & chest pain develop (believed to be back spasms from lack of activity). Allergic reaction to Dilantin, put on Keppra for seizure control.
Novmber 21, 2007: Released from the hospital with the diagnosis of Grade 3 Mixed Glioma. It was the day beofre Thanksgiving.
November 17, 2007: Craniotomy performed to debulk tumor and get a sample for biopsy. Dr. Koeleveld could not remove any of the tumor. Preliminary histology graded the tumor at a mid-to-high grade mixed glioma.
November 12, 2007: Chad was rushed to the ER after a series of seizures. A few were tonic-clonic (losing consciousness). A CT scan showed a large mass in left frontal lobe of his brain, and a follow-up CT showed a smaller mass in the temporal lobe.