A great day in the Unknown Household! As some of you may know, the Unknown Son was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma almost three years ago to the day (just after his 4th birthday).
Since then, he's gone through almost 20 rounds of chemotherapy, an eight hour surgery to remove the 12 cm. (almost 5 inches, in case you don't speak metric) long tumor in his abdomen (it had grown around almost every major artery and vein in his central cavity), radiation, a stem-cell transplant, and an injection with an experimental drug that's radiation based.
Well, after three years of treatment, we just got his latest round of scans back, we're glad to say that he's completely cancer free.
Thank God for medical research and for us being in the country with the best medical care in the world. His first doctor was good and competent (if a bit young). However, he just wasn't in the same league as the ones we saw later.
His surgeon (one of the best in the country, at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City) was able to remove the tumor that no one else would even go near because of its proximity to major arteries and veins.
His second doctor at Johns Hopkins got us hooked into the network of clinical trials. This brought us to Children's of Philadelphia, where he is currently treated.
His current doctor at CHOP is one of the two or three most well-known neuroblastoma researchers on the planet. He said that a year and a half ago, most people would have considered his cancer (because of its resistance to the treatments we'd already tried) incurable. Ten years ago, he'd be dead. Now, thanks to the incredible strides medicine has made, he's not only alive, but cancer free.
Many people complain about the high cost of medical care. I can understand their complaints. But at the same time, whatever they pay the folks who do this research, it's not nearly enough.
Update: here's some good information on Neuroblastoma in case you're interested.