Share. Connect. Love.

Posted 2016-10-21T03:08:00Z

October 20, 2016

As most of you know, we moved Shawn to the Ashland Community Hospice Care Center on the evening of Wednesday, October 12.  He spent two peaceful nights there surrounded by many friends and family members, some of which only left his side for brief periods of time.  It was on the morning of Friday, October 14, after a period of interaction with distant loved ones and friends, and one last night beside me, that Shawn was able to let go of the struggle he had faced head-on for so many months, allowing us to see him enter a state of peace and eternal comfort and happiness.  It was the saddest, yet the most precious moment of my life. Shawn and I shared many years of health and happiness, the last twelve of those years we shared with our three wonderful children.  While I am devastated that his life on Earth is over, I feel grateful and blessed to have been a part of it.  I will always cherish our life together and will work vigilantly to ensure our children will always know what a fabulous person their father was. [...]

Posted 2016-10-12T03:25:13Z

October 11, 2016

The past week has been quite tough. After complications last week with the second clinical study, Shawn's treatment plan was changed to dose with just the targeting drug portion of the study. After just four daily doses, however, further complications from the lymphoma have occurred in his kidneys, stomach, and intestines, haulting treatment for the cancer. Shawn was admitted to the ICU at Huntington's St. Mary's yesterday and was treated for symptoms while tests were run. While our medical teams worked so vigilantly over the last fourteen months, we made a difficult decision today to stop aggressive treatment and proceed with comfort care. We truly feel blessed to have so many members of our family, friends, coworkers, and comforting medical staff surrounding us with prayers, love, and kindness. The children and I are so thankful to have enjoyed our life with such a caring, humorous, brilliant and delightful husband and father. He has touched many, many lives with his gentle and generous character. His faith in our Lord God and Jesus Christ has been unwavering. He has set the ultimate example of faithfulness, morality, and honesty of which I am so proud and will carry on through our children. May God bless each and every one of you for supporting us on this journey. [...]

Posted 2016-10-06T16:01:47Z

October 6

Shawn started a different clinical study on Friday, September 30. This study combines two oral medicines that have both been used to treat lymphoma, but have not been used in conjunction with each other. They are both medicines to which his cancer has not yet been exposed, so the hope is that the treatment will attack the resistant cancer cells so that he can move forward to stem cell transplant. This week, however, a complication has arisen in which a vein leading from his liver has been obstructed by the tumor, which has affected liver function. Today we are at St. Mary's in Huntington where they are attempting to first drain fluid from his abdomen that has built up due to the liver issue, followed by a procedure to place a stent in the obstructed vein. If all goes well today, we will return to Columbus for the week two treatment in the clinical study. Treatment is planned to continue once a week for a month, followed by scans to check progress. After week four, his medical team will decide to either continue with the study, move ahead toward transplant, or take some other path to get him to transplant. Please continue to pray for Shawn, our family, and the medical professionals who are treating him. This journey has been very challenging for us all and we sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support from our loved ones, family, and friends. Thank you and may God bless you all![...]

Posted 2016-09-17T02:07:15Z

September 16, 2016

The results from today's PET scan were a little disappointing, yet not unexpected.  While we had hoped for the last two cycles of chemo to have a more dramatic effect on the amount and activity of Shawn's lymphoma, the reality is that the chemo was only effective in controlling the cancer and keeping it at a manageable level until he can be placed in another clinical study. While some of the cancer cells seem to respond to chemo at the start of a cycle, there are deeper, more resistant cells that continue to be actively growing. The next clinical in which Shawn will participate involves targeting drugs that will hopefully be effective enough to reduce the activity and amount of the lymphoma and diminish it to the point where a stem cell transplant is possible.  So for now, we will look toward the next clinical in the hopes that after a couple of months transplant will be possible. [...]

Posted 2016-08-02T16:19:09Z

August 2

Shawn began a new regimen of chemotherapy at The James yesterday.  It is a three week cycle, done on an outpatient basis. Day 1 involved infusions of 3 different medicines, hydration (to help kidney function), and an oral medication that he continues for days 2 - 4.  On day 8, he will go back to Columbus for an infusion of one medicine, then an injection of Neulasta on day 9.  He will have labs drawn twice weekly, which the doctors will use to check many levels that indicate effectiveness of the treatment.  This chemotherapy is meant to be a "bridge" to fight the cancer until the doctor can secure him a slot in another clinical study.  We are confident that his medical team is doing everything possible to help Shawn beat this disease, and we are equally faithful that God hears our prayers and will restore him to health.  Thank you all for praying and sending your positive thoughts as we continue this tough journey.  Love, Sarah[...]

Posted 2016-07-28T02:15:34Z

July 27th

Today's visit to OSU Cancer Center was not as promising as we'd hoped it would be.  The medicines in the clinical trial proved to be ineffective, and in fact, the main tumor has increased in size by 30%, and there are multiple enlarged lymph nodes present.  The tumor is causing pressure on his spleen and intestines, which is causing him increased nausea and vomiting.  The plan for now is to start a different combo of chemo medicines (via outpatient infusion at The James) starting next week.  This chemo is meant to keep the cancer from increasing during the "washout" period between clinical trials.  Hopefully after one chemo cycle, he will be able to enter another clinical trial that can help knock the cancer down to a level that can be overcome with the stem cell transplant. [...]

Posted 2016-07-08T01:22:10Z

July 7.2016

Our visit to OSUCC James went well yesterday.  White blood count was a bit low, so we're being very careful.  He's a bit dehydrated so fluids were given along with the infusion for the second cycle of the clinical trial treatment.  The doctor said that from an examination and lab result standpoint, we have reason to believe that the current treatment is working. No guarantees, of course, but good news! Shawn is scheduled for scans to look at the progress gained from this treatment on July 27th, which is Nick's 12th Birthday. I'm hoping we'll have wonderful news for Nick's Bday. The doctor said that if the clinical treatment is working to bring the cancer to remission, we will continue until transplant.  If the scans show that the treatment is not working, we will move on to the backup plan, which requires a "wash out" between clinical trials.  This means that Shawn would be given a chemo treatment (to which his cancer has not been exposed) for a two to four week period between trials. Then, another trial treatment would be introduced in hopes that the cancer could be brought within range to conduct the stem cell transplant.  All very technical stuff that I have read all about and still don't completely understand, but I'm trusting Dr. Christian with my heart. Shawn has lost more weight and isn't withstanding the medicine well at all, due to the nausea and fatigue involved. He is not able to work much at this point.  But he is determined to get to the next step, which is encouraging.  The kids have been okay through this process, but it's starting to take it's toll on all of us.  We feel blessed, however, with the continuing support and prayers we continue to receive from all of you! Thank you so much! Hugs and love, Sarah [...]

Posted 2016-06-15T17:06:00Z

June 15

Once again, our journey of treatment and healing of Shawn's lymphoma has thrown us a curveball! The PET scan Shawn had on Friday revealed that while the most recent chemotherapy Shawn has been getting for the past six weeks (R.I.C.E.) has decreased the amount of cancer present and decreased the size of his tumor, the activity of the cancer has increased significantly.  The lymphoma that remains seems to be resisting chemotherapy, which means that if chemo is continued, the cancer will most likely grow at a rate at which the chemo would be ineffective.  Therefore, his treatment plan has changed once again.  The ultimate goal is for Shawn to undergo a stem-cell transplant, for which a sibling donor has been identified.  However, before the transplant can be done, the amount and activity of lymphoma present must be decreased more to remove the risk of the cancer growing before the new stem cells can build up in his body.  He will be starting a clinical trial tomorrow, during which two FDA approved cancer-fighting medications will be combined.  He will receive an infusion on day one (as an outpatient at OSU James) and then an oral pill medication will be taken each day at the same time for 21 days.  After 2 cycles (six weeks) the PET scan will be repeated and hopefully will show the decreases needed in amount/activity of cancer to undergo the transplant.  This is a delay we were hoping wouldn't occur, but we are very thankful to have other options presented.  Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as treatment continues.[...]

Posted 2016-05-24T03:13:01Z

May 23

After another 3 day chemo cycle, Shawn came home last night and is feeling okay, though very weak and tired. He is scheduled for one more cycle of chemo and a PET scan on June 10. This will hopefully be followed by his stem cell transplant toward the end of June. [...]

Posted 2016-05-20T23:50:40Z

May 20th

Today Shawn is back at the James for another 3-day round of chemotherapy. His condition upon entering today's treatment proved to be much more positive than when he underwent the same chemo 3 1/2 weeks ago, and some medications were adjusted, so we're quite hopeful that his body will be more receptive to this treatment and he will get to come home after only a few days.  In about three more weeks, Shawn will have a PET scan to determine if enough of the cancer has been eliminated for him to undergo stem cell transplant.  If needed, another round of the current chemotherapy will be administered. But if he is ready for transplant, he will be hospitalized for several weeks while receiving the transplant and post-transplant treatment, then he'll remain in Columbus for several more weeks until it can be determined that his body has accepted the new stem cells. We have a long road ahead but are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received. Once again, so many thanks go out to all of you who are keeping us in your thoughts and prayers![...]