Angelo Dabbiero's Journey to Recovery
Angelo started off the summer of 2008 like any other normal, healthy and active teen.... swimming, riding his bike, sleeping over at friends houses, hanging out, eating like a normal starving teen, etc... He played on two different baseball teams and attended football camp in mid July.
He noticed a "bump" in his abdomen area and was hoping that it was nothing serious. Looking at Angelo during this time, you would never be able to tell there was something wrong. He had the strength to endure 2 weeks of aggresive football practice before mentioning any discomfort.
On Monday August 4th, Angelo mentioned the "bump" and that it was starting to get uncomfortable when bending over to pick something up. An appointment was made with our family practitioner and by that Thursday we knew he had an abnormal, softball sized mass in his chest / abdomen area.
On Wednesday, August 13th, the mass was biopsied at The Children's Hospital in Denver. A smaller tumor was removed from his side at that time as well. The results of the biopsy were given to us on Friday, August 15th. Eleven days after he first mentioned the discomfort in his chest we were told it was a cancerous tumor called Rhabdomyosarcoma. Further tests would have to be performed to know exactly what is was, what it was attached to and how to treat the tumor in preparation for removal.
On Monday August 18th he began a 7 day hostpital stay for surgeries and tests. A bone scrape and bone marrow sample were taken, (extra samples were taken for research purposes) and he also had a Mediport device surgically implanted in his chest. This device allows the medical staff to easily access his blood system. It eliminates the need to continually poke his veins over the course of his treatment. He also had a cat scan, a PET CT scan, and a Bone Scan done to see exactly where the cancer was in his body.
On Wednesday, August 20th we were told the tests had revealed 2 additonal, smaller, tumors and a single cancerous lymph node. Because the cancer is located in his chest / abdomen region and had spread at the time of diagnosis, it was called a Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.
This is a TREATABLE CANCER! Although this is serious and people do die from this type of cancer, it is very treatable and Angelo is expected to make a full recovery. The good news is that the cancer is not in any organ and it is not in any bones or in his bone marrow.
On Thursday, August 21st, Angelo began his chemo treatments. They are scheduled to be administered every two to three weeks and will continue for 1 year.
Surgery to remove any and all remaining tumors will be scheduled following 4 months of chemotherapy. Any cancerous lymph nodes that may still be present will be surgically removed at that time as well.
The doctors expect a full and complete recovery and explain that his good physical and positive mental conditions will help him through the recovery process during the next year. We are hopeful that family and friends will continue to text, call visit him in the days and months ahead - as this really lifts his spirits and will keep his recovery moving forward.
Angelo is a wonderful person and we hope that everyone in our community will help us in tending to his emotional, physical and spiritual needs during his treatment and jouney to recovery.
***** We do ask that you stay far away from him if you or someone in your family is sick or is coming down with something this cold and flu season. Please do not cough or sneeze on him. One of the side effects of chemo is a weakened immune system and a cold or flu can put him in the hospital. *****