Laz vs. Cancer: The Battle has Ended.
Organized by: Tracey Fonteboa
Tracey Fonteboa via Crowdrise
April 17, 2015
Hi guys. Sorry it's been so long without an update. Life is finally starting to calm down a little since most of the important stuff has been taken care of. The kids are doing fairly well. They are enjoying their grief counseling program. Sydney is realizing a bit more each day that Daddy is not coming back...I'll find her in her bed crying that she wants Daddy back. I feel so strong until I see the kiddos struggling.
I registered Isaiah for Kindergarten last week...my little man is growing up so fast. The two big kids will also be taking some free swim lessons that the YMCA is offering next week...although they are excited, it is going to make for a crazy week.
Oh, and the corporate 5k was this past week. We were out there sporting our "Who is Laz?" tshirts...in the rain! I can't thank Disti enough for all the support they have provided for our family.
Once again, thank you all for your amazing support. The outpouring of love, prayers, meals, financial support, emotional support, babysitting....the list goes on! I couldn't do this on my own...and I know that I don't have to, because I have wonderful friends and family to walk this new path with me.
Hey all. Thank you so much for your immense support. It would make Laz so happy to know that I will not need to scramble to go back to work in order to support our kiddos. I am so grateful to all of you for providing our family that opportunity. Although I am open to the opportunity for work, with Sydney only attending school from 9-1 each day, that is very difficult.
We are starting to settle into a new routine and life is progressing. Of course we all have many ups and downs. Considering it's only been a few weeks, I think we are doing fairly well. The kids will start grief counseling next week at A New Hope for Kids (Mommy too). Natalie is very much looking forward to meeting some other kids that really understand what she is going through. All of my kids' teachers have also been amazing through this whole process, giving my kids a little extra love and keeping me well informed of any concerns.
Once again, thank you for everything.
Family and friends...Laz's battle with kidney cancer finally came to an end on March 12, 2015 at 7am. His last day at home was extrememly peaceful and he was comfortable. He was so comfortable that he was even asking for his tablet, glasses and tv remote just hours before his passing. The crisis nurse that was in our home overnight did a fantastic job taking care of Laz and being compasionate towards me. The kids were able to give Daddy a hug and kiss goodnight and that is exactly what he wanted. I thank you immensley for you generous support as I try to establish a new normal for myself and the kids. If you'd like to visit him, his final resting place is at All Faiths Memorial Park in Cassleberry.
Hey guys! Since the last update, much has happened. Laz began his new treatment almost 3 weeks ago. Although nothing definitive has been determined yet, it would seem that the new treatment isn’t doing much better than the last treatment. Laz’s blood labs are in the toilet, making his immune system practically non-existent. He has been having frequent nosebleeds due to his platelet count being so low. He has also been taking a normal 3-5 hour nap each afternoon from his chemotherapy fatigue. Laz had a brain MRI and shoulder xrays done on Saturday. Although we still await the results of the brain MRI, the shoulder xray shows that there has been growth of the tumors in his bone since his 1/26 scan, likely the cause of the increased pain he has been having.
On a different note, and I know this makes many people uncomfortable, we have been getting our ducks in a row. We have planned Laz’s funeral service over at St. Stephens, giving him the opportunity to choose his readings, music, and the people involved. We have also consulted with the funeral home, choosing his casket and locking in the current price. And lastly, we have purchased 2 plots over at All Faiths Memorial Park. Laz is very happy with the lovely corner lot that he hand picked. We still need to schedule an appointment to choose his memorial stone (gravestone). We also met with a lawyer today to draw up our updated wills, durable powers of attorney, health care surrogates and living wills. I understand that these matters may be a lot for everyone to swallow, but Laz has been very determined to leave me with the least amount of stress possible should it be his time to join Jesus in paradise. It is through your generosity that we have been and will be able to pay for all of these necessary services when the time comes.
I understand that many people would like to come visit. Please have patience with me as I try to schedule in as much as Laz can handle. We have many relatives flying in from NY this month, in fact taking up 3 full weeks out of the month. He loves having visitors, but often gets overwhelmed with too many people and visits that are lengthy. We also have regular appointments, including his chemotherapy sessions every Tuesday. We will also see his Oncologist this Wednesday and his Radiation Oncologist on Friday. In between his appointments are activities for the kids as well. Natalie has begun seeing a therapist to help her manage her emotions through this difficult and confusing time and Isaiah will go for the first time this week as well. And, time permitting, I will be making an appointment for myself as well.
Of course we are eternally grateful for your continued support, in all aspects. Your financial support allows Laz some reduced stress that his family will be ok. Your prayers keep us all hopeful. And your meals keep us fed, and allow us the opportunity to spend more family time since I do not need to cook and grocery shop often. If you would like to bring us a meal, you can sign up at TakeThemAMeal.com The password is Laz2014. Thank you again for your continued support. And don’t forget...please share.
Hey everyone...first off, I want to thank each and every one of you for coming to read our fundraising page. We are in eternal debt for all of the spiritual, emotional, and financial support that we have received. Unfortunately, per the norm, this update is not delivering the best of news.
We had a consultation at the Moffitt Center in Tampa again this past Monday. Although there was nothing new occuring since our stay at Altamonte Hospital, the physician there was extremely thorough in explaining everything and sat us down in front of the computer to view Laz’s most recent scans. This visit was a real eye opener for Laz, viewing the extensive amount of cancer that is circulating in his body.
On Wednesday, we followed up with Laz’s oncologist here in Orlando. It has been determined that, once again, his medication is not working. Laz has multiple new masses on the surface of his body (probably 7-8 that we have found). We are currently in the process of getting his new medication, Sutent, from the mail order pharmacy...hopefully we can have this medication by Tuesday. Laz will also begin a course of traditional chemotherapy on Tuesday, along with an injection therapy to help reduce the risk of bone fractures. He has started a new medication to help with the bone pain in his hips, but we are prepared with his cane and wheelchair on hand.
With all of this on our shoulders, our trusted Oncologist is very concerned. He feels that if we cannot find a medication that will stop the spread of Laz’s extremely aggressive cancer, he may have little more than 6 weeks left with us. Laz was given the option to sign a “DNR” or do not resuscitate order, and he chose to do so. Please continue to pray for our family...we need it now more than ever. Thank you.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your continued support...in the form of prayers, meals, well wishes and finances. We are speechless at the outpouring of generosity. As many of you may know, Laz was admitted to Florida Hospital in Altamonte last Saturday evening. After waiting all day for a bed to come available, we had to go to the ER, as Laz was sporting 103 fever. He remained hospitalized until this past Thursday when we came home around 9pm. During this hospitalization, he was treated for an infected abscess, high fevers and increased pain. We have come to find out, after a series of CT, MRI and Neurobone scans, that Laz's cancer has spread to the bones in his hips, pelvis, spine and left shoulder. He will be continuing with his daily chemotherapy and we are doing well with pain management. We have a followup with his oncologist next week and will be rescheduling our missed appt at the Moffitt Center in Tampa. Again, thank you. Please continue to pray for our family as we weather this storm.
So, a few changes have occurred over the past few weeks. The oncologist determined that the chemotherapy was not effective and switched him to a new one. He started taking the new chemotherapy this past Wednesday. The consultation with the surgeon went fine, but it was decided to hold off a few weeks to see if the new chemo is working. The results of the Foundation One (F1) came back with some suggestions for medications that may be effective in treating Laz's very aggressive cancer. Skip to today and we are back in the hospital, sigh. It turns out that the mass under his arm is actually an abscess, or staff infection. He has been running a very high fever since this morning and we were waiting for a bed to open up at the hospital, but once his fever hit 103°, his oncologist sent us to the ER. Turns out the hospital is at 107% capacity, so we may be in the ER for quite a while. Laz has already received 2 rounds of antibiotics, motrin, Tylenol and pain meds. The Dr already came in and gently drained the abscess. We will be consulting with the surgeon and oncologist in the morning. The ER Dr said we came in just at the right time as this could have gotten much worse very quickly. Please continue to pray for Laz and he requests prayers for our family. Thank you.
Laz had three followup appointments this week. Initial radiation on the large mass in his chest was seemingly effective. It is smaller and necrotic (dead) in the center. Several other masses in his chest are also shrinking. His brain MRI also showed no new activity. However, he has new masses in his armpit and on his lung surgery scar. His oncologist is not convinced that the chemotherapy is working. He is going to have one more treatment and then a scan on Jan 20th to check progress. He had a consultation with the radiation oncologist today to start radiation on the large mass on his back and possibly his armpit, however, it cannot coincide with the chemotherapy. So, we have to wait on the radiation...next appt Jan 26th. We are also headed back to Tampa on the 29th for another consultation at the Moffitt Center. He also has a followup with the neurosurgeon on the 15th...hoping to get clearance to start driving again. I have (hopefully temporarily) given up my part time job at Natalie's elementary school in order to take care of Laz full time. We also unfortunately found out today that there is a 5 month waiting period on his dissability, putting his first payment in June of 2015. Although he is very hopeful to return to work in February, it just makes life a little bit more stressful. As always, we thank all of you for your prayers, your kind words, and your financial and moral support. Each day is a blessing.
So, Laz is having chemotherapy treatment #3 today. He had some CT scans and a brain MRI done yesterday. We are still waiting on results of the brain MRI (Jan 6) and the chest CT. The CT of the pelvis and abdomen show new growth in the adrenals, in his ribs and in the muscle near his spine. We are hoping to squeeze in a visit with the oncologist next week. We just submitted paperwork to complete a special F1 study (takes 3 weeks) that will help the Dr's determine the best treatment options for him based on previous cases. Thank you for all your blessings and continued support and please keep those prayers rolling in...
Laz had his first chemotherapy treatment at midnight last night. He's feeling a bit off, but otherwise handling it seemingly well so far. Prior to his treatment, he had a baseline CT chest scan done. Unfortunately, this scan showed significant growth of existing cancer during the last few weeks and multiple new nodules in his left lung. There is also some fluid build up in his left lung. As always, he's going to keep fighting this agressive beast. His next chemotherapy treatment is Christmas Eve. Your support has been overwhelming and much needed. We are eternally grateful for all of your prayers, moral support and financial suport. Please continue to pray for our family and spread the word. God is good. Thank you.
Written by Laz:
Having my ups and downs here at the hospital. The care is phenomenal but it is not easy being stuck somewhere for 3 weeks straight now. It’s not always physical pain or emotional toil or spiritual reflections, it’s always a combination of everything. But again, I recognize I am made human, not really made to know all of this means. Just let go and let God.
I hope you’re getting tired of hearing of journey which is filled all all sorts of good juju juice, the inspiring prayers received, the love that comes in from near and far. These small acts of kindness just fill me with such good vides, so much so, that I am bursting with gratitude. Which greatly helps me look forward with further determination and hope.
Not to leave out I love repeat-visitors, definitely love repeat visitors bearing yummying good eats (hint hint). Come one call all (just check with Tracey first)
So with that little twinkle of energy, I’m got my sh*t together and have entered Beast. Mode (mohawk included to continue past tradition) I feeling better than I have since I’ve walked through the ER here three weeks ago.
And I’m not stopping without an epic ass kicking first. You are my rock and foundation there, please keep up with sharing my foundraiser. And always, least of all, please continue to pray from my beautiful family.
Here’s a little recall of what I have down so far and want I have to deal with soon
Round 1: Kidney vs. Laz. Laz wins.
Round 2: Left lung vs. Laz. Laz wlns.
Round 3: Brain Tumor vs. Laz. Laz wins.
Round 4: High dose radiation to Pulmonary artery vs. Laz (still pending Battle 9 and Battle 10).
Round 5: Paralyzed vocal chord vs. Laz. Laz wins.
Round 6: Installation of a port for lifelong chemotherapy treatments. Laz wins.
Round 7: Lifetime Chemo Vs Laz.
Yet those how waitwait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Laz is receiving his 8th radiation treatment today...only 2 more to go! He had his vocal cord surgery yesterday which went smoothly. He is on complete voice rest for 2 days, but says he already feels much better from the procedure! He was in good spirits this morning. We have an awesome nurse right now who arranged for a set of clippers so I was able to give Laz his traditional warrior mohawk this morning for his Round 4 fight! He is going to be getting the staples removed from his head today and will also be having a port installed. This is very exciting, as he is on about IV number 8. Poor guy has been poked so many times. His Gamma Knife radiation is set for Tuesday at 5:30am. He is also currently receiving iron infusions to try to get him up to normal levels before he starts his chemo on Wednesday. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers. We are eternally grateful for all of your support. The Comedy for a Cause event last night was incredible. The support we have received from the many communities we are a part of has been overwhelming. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Laz continues to stay inpatient at the hospital. The course of action changed as the two masses in his chest "joined forces" and became one 13cm mass that is infringing on his pulmonary artery. He is now on schedule to receive 10 rounds of radiation. He has received 3 already and will get 7 more between now and Dec 17th. He is scheduled to have his vocal cord surgery on Dec 11th, as an inpatient procedure. After that, they will begin to discuss discharge from the hospital to continue his radiation on an outpatient basis. He is also scheduled to have his Gamma Kife radiation on Dec 16th. Also, as previously planned, he will begin chemo after the radiation is complete. He loves getting visitors, please contact me before heading up to make sure he is not at radiation or sleeping.
**And the most recent**12/1/14
Laz is currently inpatient at the hospital. He had brain surgery on Thanksgiving day to remove a grape sized tumor from his right parietal lobe. Brain surgery went well and he is recovering from that, alhough he still has no peripheral vision on the left side. Laz vs. Cancer Round 3 will be completed in two weeks with a Gamma Knife radiation to the brain. We now move onto round 4...Laz has several tumors in his chest which are inoperable. One mass is beginning to wrap aroud his pulmonary artery. He will be having high level radiation (4-5 treatments) during the coming week. Following that he will begin a course of chemotherapy in an effort to shrink the tumors. Please continue to pray for our family. We are grateful to each and every one of you for your prayer support, financial support and moral support. We need it all now more than ever.
***NEWEST UPDATE*** 9/19/14
Yesterday, Laz had a consultation at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. We left with mixed emotions, because there is no treatment available to try to prevent his cancer from returning again. He is on an organized surveillance plan, starting with scans the first week in December. We can be hopeful that his reoccurrence was an isolated incident (which is about a 25% chance). He will continue to have very regular Oncologist visits and scans, but right now is focused on recovering from his lung surgery. Thank you everyone for your prayers, your financial support, babysitting and your delicious meals. We can't imagine doing this without the amazing support we have received from family and friends; we are humbly grateful. Everyday is a gift.
We are so blessed to have all of you in our lives. Our family is eternally grateful for each and every one of you. With the funds we have raised, we will be able to pay off last year's medical bills, when Laz lost his kidney. We can also start chipping away at last weeks surgery, when Laz lost 20% of his lung. Any further funds raised will be used towards upcoming treatments, travel expenses to and from Tampa and unpaid time off of work for treatment related absences.
For those of you that don't know my husband, Laz, he is 34 years old, a hard working man, father to 3 small children and an amazing husband. He is also the sole provider for his family, as I am a stay at home Mom.
Laz's cancer saga continues . . . after having a full nephrectomy (kidney removal) in May of 2013, he was recently faced with a re-diagnosis. On September 3rd, 2014, Laz had a mass removed, resulting in the loss of 20% of his left lung, with the same diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma with a sarcomatoid feature. Along with this partial lung removal, came another hefty amount of medical bills - piling on top of the bills we had to finance last year.
The road ahead of us is daunting. We will be faced with further testing/scans, traveling to a cancer center in Tampa, more rounds of aggressive chemotherapy and possible unpaid time off of work. This whole experience has taught us that tables can change as easy as flipping a coin; We used to be the family always willing to help with our time and talents and are now on the other side. It is with humble hearts that we are reaching out for any help that you may be able to provide to help our family with medical expenses during this difficult time.