Kids with Cancer

Justin’s Childhood Cancer Has Relapsed

by Lori Miller
April 19, 2012

Ashleigh Miller Photography

Justin is one of five St. Baldrick’s Foundation 2012 Ambassador Kids.

“It’s true… Justin has relapsed again. Cancer #5! On Thursday, March 29, we found new disease in his bone marrow. His bone marrow has been clean for five years, no activity at all. It’s frankly unbelievable and not a step in the right direction.

We are now in the hospital waiting for his counts to recover and will then prepare for a stem cell harvest. We will harvest his cells for five days in hopes of obtaining enough cells for one or two rescues. After the harvest we will return to NY for scans and restaging. If his body tolerated the chemo well and we received a good stem cell collection, they would consider repeating the chemo cycle. If not, they will go directly to the MIBG therapy. I have heard about this therapy for years, about the child isolation, about the lead lined room and plastic covered equipment, but never thought we would be actually doing the treatment. I was wrong. Justin will be experiencing this treatment and the isolation and the effects of being “HOT” from the radioactive isotope. It’s my understanding, anything that goes in the room stays, except for him and he can’t leave until after he is no longer radioactive. He is alone and we are behind a lead lined shield. After the treatment, when it is safe, we will return to Denver for another round of high dose chemotherapy. This regimen is designed to pretty much take him down to nothing. We will then use our precious stem cells to rescue him. At this point, the cancer needs to be gone. If it’s not, we could possibly repeat the whole thing, but we have to have enough stem cells to do it twice. Currently we do not!

We have one good, valiant effort left to find a cure, here on Earth for Justin. This is it.

It is a very scary place to be in. Justin, Kelly and Kayla know. Justin is okay with the isolation because he ‘can watch TV for 3 days straight and no one can stop him!’ Oh to be 8!

We have one good, valiant effort left to find a cure, here on Earth for Justin. This is it. If this doesn’t work, we will be looking at quality of life and extended his life as long as we can, with good quality and minimal pain. I am selfish; I want him here with us for a long, long time. Please pray for our next miracle.

Thank you for riding this awful roller coaster with us. We are so grateful to each and every one of his fans and for the St. Baldrick’s community.”