In April 2020, our community member Sandra Greep wrote in about her husband Dale Greep from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Dale had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer) in his right hip and femur and was in an extreme level of pain. Sandra wrote in at the time to say: "He is in hospital now, and unable to have family visits due to the the COVID-19 situation. His spirits are very low, he has lost over 30 pounds and is unable to eat. He has an infection in his bone, and the tumor is not responding to chemo. The doctors are talking about amputation to extend his life."
Our community intended for Dale's cancer to completely disappear and for him to be healthy and well in every way on April 26th.
Sandra wrote to us this month to share some amazing news about Dale's progress:
To those who intended on behalf of my husband, Dale Greep, I want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation.
I have taken some time to write in with an update so I could give you the most up-to-date results. Dale had a very aggressive form of osteosarcoma in his right femur and hip. His treatment plan was to do three rounds of chemotherapy which would hopefully calcify and shrink the tumor; giving the surgeon a shot at saving Dale’s leg.
After the first round of chemo, Dale had a terrible reaction. His tongue swelled up, mouth and throat canker sores were awful, nausea was constant. But the doctors sent him home anyway; unable to walk, incoherent, and as weak as I had ever seen him. Within a couple of days at home, his kidneys started shutting down. Our sons helped me get him back to the hospital. An internist in the ER decided to do cultures on Dale’s blood draws instead of just the normal run-of-the-mill tests. Turns out Dale had a staph infection in his blood stream and a neutrophil count of zero along with severe dehydration.
This internist’s intuition gave us a 24-hour head-start to getting Dale on the right antibiotic. We are so grateful.
Unfortunately, this kind of infection would populate in the tumor making the original treatment plan impossible. Any additional chemo to shrink the tumor would suppress Dale’s immune system allowing the staph infection to run rampant again. With the tumor as big as it was, radical high amputation was the most likely scenario. Oncology surgeries (because of COVID-19) were only being done one day a week and there were no openings for a month.
The surgeons had scheduled him in for after he completed two more rounds of chemo; which were now cancelled. Imaging showed that the chemo had little effect on the tumor. It actually looked larger. So, we waited for three and half more agonizing weeks until April 29th.
Dale had lost 42 lbs and was so frail. We found out on June 23 that the surgeon did not expect Dale to survive the surgery. Round about this time Dale was chosen for your Intention of the Week.
The prudent, least traumatic, and most practical course of treatment would have been to remove Dale’s leg. Shortest time in surgery, least amount of blood loss etc. But against all odds, our lead surgeon decided that if the other surgeon was game, and the anaesthesiologist was confident he could keep Dale alive; he was going to try and save the leg. Two surgeons spent nine hours removing the femur and hip, removing quad muscles, removing tissue and tumor, removing femoral nerve, and rerouting the circulation in Dale’s leg (femoral artery and several veins were contaminated).
Dale was in disbelief when he woke up in recovery with both legs. We also just found out that his tumor was the size of a BIG honeydew melon. The surgeons were hopeful that they got it all, but there was no way to know how far it had spread. They could just have saved the leg of a dead man.
Recovery was a beast. Dale was so weak. His blood volume was very low, and he needed transfusions. But his pain was GONE!! Even the knee to hip incision was a piece of cake.
Then, we got the most amazing news!! The one round of chemo before surgery was enough to kill that massive tumor. When it was dissected it was 99% necrotic (dead).
The surgeon said they’ve never seen anything like it. It’s now in a tumor bank for research and reference. The surgeon’s exact words were “you must have prayed this thing dead.” Yes, we did, in fact.
We were recently told that all surrounding tissue margins have come back negative for cancer. Lymph nodes are all clear. No sign of metastatic disease. For all intents and purposes, Dale is considered cured of osteosarcoma. We have several rounds of chemo to do, but his first one since the surgery has been tons better. Four more sessions to go.
So, if you’re wondering if what you’re doing makes a difference; let me assure you it changed our world. Keep sharing your positive energy, thoughts, and focus. It’s working miracles for those of us fortunate enough to be the recipients of this magnificent gift. Thank you so much, and may the blessings you wish for others come back to you ❤️.