Pretty wacky stuff, he's 16 years old and can't come to school for the rest of the year because he's got this big ol' cancerous tumor on the right side of his body pushing everything left. He's gotta go through Chemo or however you spell it and it just seems to me like there's not way he can avoid redoing part of the 11th grade, as if having cancer wasn't enough to worry about. We heard that it's benign, which I reckon means it won't grow anymore, but then why would they do chemo? Anyhow, I just wanted to say keep him and his family in your prayers if you would. thanks.
That just plain sucks. To go through something like that, especially at such a young age is just tough. I wish all the best for he and his family.
Good news is it's benign. Even though it won't progress any further, benign tumors can be dangerous if they are pressing on a vital organ, so getting them removed is generally a good idea. Once it's gone though it shouldn't come back so there is some good news.
Still a tough ordeal. Hopefully he gets to 100% and can move on with his life.
I think having to delay his junior year is small beans compared to what he'll have to go through with chemo. My mother passed away at age 43 about 6 years ago. She was doing chemo for a while, but the cancer had spread too far. Chemo would have only prolonged her life, not saved her. She ultimately preferred to give up the chemo because it was so unbearable. I guess the reason I tell you this is to help you help him go through this. Knapp's wife is a survivor so he might have some good advice for you on how to best be supportive. I will certainly have your friend in our nightly prayers. Can we have a first name?
Scott's his name, and ya I've heard Chemo is some nasty stuff and as you mentioned about the vital organ thing, we don't know for sure, but I believe his brother said it's pushing on his lung, it's just scary.
My wife will be three years past treatment for invasive breast cancer this January, so believe me – I’ve been there. Cancer is a horrifying word to hear, so do your best to be there for him if he needs you.
If he has a benign tumor then I'm not sure why they would bother with chemo, though. It would seem like something they could remove surgically, then hit with radiation if they needed to. Chemo is a really blunt tool – it just attacks the fastest-growing cells in your body, all over your body, at random. That’s why when you take chemo they have to work really hard to keep your blood production going; your blood cells/bone marrow are some of the fastest-growing cells in your body, so when you get nuked with chemo it kills blood/marrow at the same time it’s killing the cancer. So chemo is something they don’t do unless they need to. It’s poison and your doctor would NEVER prescribe it for you if the alternative weren’t worse.
The fact that they’re giving him chemo makes me believe that his cancer is malignant. What I would suspect is that it is growing (malignant), but not invading other parts of his body (metastasizing). Metastasized cancer is extremely difficult to force into remission, so you want to get your cancer before it begins to metastasize.
If they caught it early enough his prognosis is probably very, very good. My wife’s cancer was quite advanced and had begun to move into her local lymphatic system. While a dire situation, it was not impossible to stop the spread and force into remission, and that seems like where we are today. So even if your friend’s situation looks grim there are some really aggressive, positive things they can do and his outlook is quite possibly very good.
While he’s going through chemo he’s going to be listless as all hell. He’s going to be depressed, and he may just want to hole up and have everyone leave him alone. If he does, do your best to respect his wishes, but at the same time make sure he knows that if he needs you that you’ll be around, just to talk, to go for a drive, or maybe just to sit around and do nothing. Just being there is one of the greatest things you can do for him.
One more thing – encourage him STRENUOUSLY to shop around for an oncologist. Check them out and do not just take the first one available from the phone book or whatever. There are lots of great doctors out there, and there are some who I wouldn’t want to treat my cat. It’s his body and his choice, so be sure he gets a good, qualified oncologist.
Tell him I said “good luck” and that he should remain positive. If he has to have cancer, this is a “good” time to have it, with the advances they’re making in treatment. It’s no longer an automatic death sentence, that’s for sure.
By it's very definiton, if the tumor is benign, it's non-cancerous (benign tumor - A noncancerous growth that does not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body. National Cancer Institute), so it can't be both benign and cancerous. This is actually a common point of confusion. That said, a non-cancerous tumor can be just as painful and problematic as a cancerous one (I can attest to that from personal experience having had a large brain tumor 5 years ago that fortunately turned out to be non-cancerous. I was lucky that surgery was enough to remove the entire tumor and thankful that subsequent chemo or radiation was not required as the doctor warned might be the case). Regardless of what type tumor your friend has, I hope and pray he pulls through with little or no suffering - he will need and be lucky to have friends like you by his side for support.
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everyone thanks for the support, and Knapp, thanks for all the information, that was great really man thank you. And yes we've determined that it's not benign, it's something we had heard but we know for sure that they don't do chemo unless it's not benign (My mother's a nurse and she told me that they wouldn't do that unless it was cancerous, and she also said just from what I told her that it sounds like lymphatic cancer, which really freaks me out). Also Knapp, I wish I could do just that, hang out with him, talk, just chill, but it's crazy crazy tough the hospital he's at is in downtown St. Louis and me and my friends all being 16-17 our parents don't want us down there by ourselves, they said they would take us now and again but it's hard for them to get time also, see? It'd be great to just go hang out for an hour or two or three after school every day but it's virtually impossible. Anyhow, thanks for all the prayers and support guys, keep 'em comin'.
For those of you wondering he came home yesterday night, we now know it's a bone cancer, which is really scary to all of us but we heard it straight from him that it has not infected his bones at all or any organs, which I assume would be very good news. He's going through chemo every other week, which I'm also told is not very bad as far as chemo goes, but that's just what my dad tells me, apparently they can hit you with it once a week or more if neccessary? The fact that it's bone cancer still is very scary but it's not in his bones yet and I guess they've isolated it which is good news for sure. Keep him in your thoughts prayers if you would, thanks again.