Monday, September 21, 2009

ANGEL - LUCAS TRAN, CALIFORNIA, USA

Kira, Chinh and Aiden in a beautiful purple field
Thy, Kira, Lucas and Chinh
Baby Lucas


This is the story of a little boy that touched so many peoples lives, Lucas Tran. His memories shall live forever.


Although i never had the chance to meet Lucas there are ceratinly so many things that will always remind me of him - we got to know him through the beautiful, descriptive, treasured writing of his parents. The colour purple, we believe that this was definitely Lucas favorite colour. Vaccum cleaners! Yip, Lucas loved them! And i believe he truly was a little inventor to.


Lucas memories and legacy lives on through his parents, his sister Kira and little brother Aiden.

The family is currently faced with devastating news of Thy's Mom, who has terminal cancer. I ask you all for your prayers for peace and comfort and strength and guidance for this lovely , always
Here is bit about Lucas and the journey he travelled on:

On Friday 8/13/04, during a 9mth wellness checkup, Lucas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. The primary tumor was located above the adrenal gland on the right side of Lucas' body and extended past the midline to the left side. There were also some nodules in the liver.Because the primary tumor was large enough to cross the midline of the body and had spread to the liver, Lucas' condition was characterized as INSS Stage 4 (the most advanced stage).



One piece of good news was that no cancer was found outside of the primary tumor and the nodules in the liver.


The second piece of good news came from the biopsy result which indicated that the tumor is MYCN amplified negative. This marker is used to determine how aggressive the cancer is and thereby how aggressive the treatment must be. An unfavorable MYCN amplified result would have made Lucas a high-risk case. Since it was favorable, Lucas' condition was considered intermediate-risk. Unfortunately, another test result from the biopsy indicated unfavorable for the tumor cell ploidy marker. This means that Lucas will need to undergo eight three-week cycles of chemotherapy instead of four. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for children with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma was 80% at the time.


The third marker, Shimada classification of the tumor cell, was favorable but did not affect the treatment plan because the ploidy marker was already unfavorable.A

fter completing eight cycles of chemotherapy, the primary tumor shrank significantly. Lucas then had a debulking surgery in which 90% of the shrunken primary tumor was removed. The doctors hoped that the nodules on the liver were killed by chemotherapy because they were risky to surgically remove. The liver nodules and remaining tumor were monitored by scans every three months.


One year after the surgery, Lucas' oncologists believed that it was safe to space the scans out every six months because the chance of a relapse for his risk category was so low beyond that point.


Four months after this point, Lucas complained, "my tummy hurt." On Tuesday August 29, 2006, further testing showed that his tumor was back and perhaps bigger than ever. Worse yet, the cancer cells had spread to his bone marrow.The new tumor looks to have grown out around the remaining portion of the original tumor. In the bone marrow, the portion in the right upper arm has a high concentration of neuroblastoma cells. The bone marrow in the left upper arm also has heightened concentration but to a lesser degree. There is also a lump near Lucas' left collar bone, probably from a cancerous lymph node. With this relapse, Lucas' condition is now being treated as a high-risk case.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for children with high-risk neuroblastoma is 30%.
He started the COG ANBL02P1 protocol and finished 5 cycles of chemo (consisting of Cytoxin, Doxorubicin, Cisplatin, Vincristine, Topotecan, Etoposide/VP-16) at LPCH followed by an incomplete resection at MSKCC. Then he completed the 6th cycle at LPCH followed by MIBG-I131 treatment, conditioning (Melphalan, Carboplatin, and VP-16), stem-cell transplant, and 12 days (6 days of large field, 6 coned in) of radiation at UCSF.
We left for NY 5/16 to start 3F8. MSKCC gave away our space in the study so Lucas waited for an extra month to start 3F8 with glucan. At the beginning of July, Lucas' liver function tests became elevated (5-6 times normal) just before a new 3F8+glucan slot opened up for him (so he did not receive 3F8). In the meantime, he had started Accutane.

Halfway through the 3rd cycle of Accutane, Lucas started complaining of headaches and extremity pains. September 20, 2007, he had an urgent head CT which showed metastasis to the bone between the eyes. Later that day, Lucas had his first MRI which showed more extensive disease--both optic nerves were encased with tumor. He had 12 doses of head radiation and took Temodar (without Irinotecan due to concern that both would sensitize his head too much for radiation).

Sadly, the cancer rapidly progressed and took his life. He is dearly missed by his father-Chinh, mother-Thy, big sister-Kira, and baby brother-Aiden (that he was looking forward to meeting but only knows him as a dot from the first ultrasound picture).

To Chinh, Thy, Kira, Aiden and the rest of the family, you remain in our thoughts and prayers and we continue to pray for strength and comfort and guidance for you all, all our love and support always!

19 comments:

Lacey said...

Another cute boy. Another sad but sweet story. RIP sweet boy.

Debbie said...

I too only knew this family and little boy through the writings of his mother-but what an impact Lucas left on my heart! Praying for his family always...
Debbie

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