Joan Jeffery was diagnosed with cancerous lymphoma in her throat area. She is in ICU trying to fight off the severe effects of the radiation treatment. There is good and a bad. The good is the radiation treatment got rid of the tumour; the bad is side-effects have been so severe they have caused a different set of problems. Because of the position of the tumour in the neck the rays have affected the mouth, lips, throat, oesophagus and the skin from the middle of her chest to halfway up her ears. It has been so sore that not only has she been unable to eat, but talking is a problem too. In hospital they have been re-hydrating her intravenously and have put in a central line in order to feed her intravenously as well. She certainly needs building up in order to assist the healing process. As of Monday, in her husband Peter’s words, “well she is certainly no worse and if anything slightly better” The doctors and nurses are all positive she will pull through this problem and have said once the mouth etc. has healed enough for her to eat properly the improvement should be quite rapid, so I am keeping everything crossed. Please pray for peace of mind for Joan and her husband Peter as she goes through this difficult time. Pray also for guidance for the medical personnel treating her.
Matt Alcantara, age 15, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in his left hip in March 2009. This is a very rare and lethal form of cancer with limited treatment options. He was admitted to Children's here in San Diego and a course of treatment including high dose chemotherapy and amputation of his left hip and leg were recommended. After much research into possible options, he went to Houston for a second opinion. Although the chemotherapy recommendation was the same, a surgical option of performing an internal hemipelvectomy seemed to be better than what was recommended here. After some very difficult courses of chemotherapy, he underwent surgery in Houston in June for the surgery involving removal of most of the left ilium, all of the hip socket and the ball of the top of the femur. Fortunately, despite all of the risks of complications, Matt was able to get through the surgery. After spending approximately a month in the hospital recovering, he came back home to San Diego.
Due to the high risk of the cancer spreading (even after surgery) Matt continued chemotherapy when he returned. In addition, he is undergoing intense physical therapy in order to learn to cope with his physical limitations. He will continue chemo for at least another 9 months (from now). His physical therapy will continue at least 2 years before he reaches his maximum medical improvement.
His family asks for your prayers for Matt and we ask you to pray also for his family in this time of great stress. Their friends set up a donation account to help defray travel and other expenses not covered by insurance. You can look at http://www.mattalcantara.com for information. If you want to follow Matt's progress, look at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mattalcantara.