One of our loyal supporters is asking for help from Grant’s Gift Foundation in spreading the word about a special blood drive being held at: 1203 South Tyler St across from St Tammany Parish Hospital on July 22nd from 1-5pm. This blood drive is being organized by friends and family members of, Ben Blanchard, a young man who will require blood multiple times in the future for his ongoing treatment of cancer. Please show your support by taking 30min of your day on July 22nd and stop in to donate and by sharing this post via Facebook and Twitter using the buttons below. The latest update follows . . .
Good afternoon friends.
This was a big week of appointments for Ben. First, he had a CT scan that showed that his tumor is stable in size. Again, there was no evidence of spread which is great news. This was not a PET so we didn't get the additional information about activity (previous PET showed decreased uptake/activity). There may be another PET scan next month.
We met with the thoracic surgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist. This was the first meeting with the surgeon and radiation oncologist who were both great, answered my million questions and communicated well with the rest of the team. There were multiple plans proposed but ultimately this is the plan:
Ben is getting cycle #6 of chemotherapy this weekend and will come home for the next 3 weeks to recover. Dr Patel (oncologist) has made some adjustments to his schedule/meds so hopefully the mucositis/esophagitis will not be as bad as last time.
The next step will be radiation before surgery. The radiation oncologist felt that this was the most aggressive way to treat the tumor with the least amount of side effects. Ben may get some low dose chemo during the radiation but this is to be determined. The simulation (scan used for planning) will be August 4th and he will start later that week. Radiation is daily, 5 days a week for 5 weeks. Again, he was encouraged to stay in Houston and receive the radiation under the direction of the physician who specializes in sarcoma radiation. So, he will be in Houston until mid September.
He will then come home again to recover and go back for surgery 4-6 weeks after radiation ends. The surgeon felt confident he can resect the tumor with clear margins. He will work with a plastic surgeon to rebuild the chest wall in this area where the ribs will need to be removed. Then back to more chemo.
Of course, there will be other doctors appointments, imaging studies, ect before now and then but this is the big picture plan.
As some of you know or can imagine, this hard chemotherapy regimen is wearing on Ben. He is more fatigued, weak and worn down with cumulative dosing. He is lucky to have so many supportive friends and relatives who have checked on him, called, written and visited during the last 3 months. Please continue to show him your support, I know it means a lot to him!
Again, Ben will require blood multiple times in the future so donating is a great way to help. There is a blood drive at my office in Covington on July 22nd from 1-5pm:
1203 South Tyler St across from St Tammany Parish Hospital. Thank you to everyone who has donated to Imerman Angels. Below are the links for blood and Team IA again.
Imerman Angels Chicago Marathon fundraiser:
South LA blood bank:
Thank you again for your help, prayers and support! Carrie