Jason Dookhie (#TeamJason)
Our fifteen year-old son Jason was diagnosed with Thymic Carcinoma in January 2016. Jason is a remarkably strong person and handled the initial shock fairly well.
Jason received 8 chemotherapy treatments at Cohen’s Children Hospital (LIJ) in New Hyde Park NY under the care of Dr. Carolyn Fein-Levy. There was a significant reduction in the tumor’s size at a few treatments and the tumor was less active. While this was great news, his doctors didn’t recommend surgery at that time, but we decided to get a second opinion. We travelled to Pittsburgh to see a doctor that specializes in robotic thoracic surgery. We were hoping that Dr. Sakaria can provide us with some additional weapons to fight this battle but unfortunately Jason’s wasn’t a candidate for robotic surgery. Dr. Sarkaria didn’t recommend surgery and that confirmed the opinion we received from Dr. Fein-Levy and Dr. Glassman. Dr. Sarkaria also agreed that we should continue with Chemo treatments and revisit surgery at a later stage.
After the 8th (final chemo), we had a bit of a setback in Jason’s fight against cancer. Following his scans, it appeared that the chemo treatment had run its course and we needed to find alternate treatment options. It also appeared that the cancer had spread to other areas of his body. Definitely not the news we were expecting given his progress.
Dr. Fein-Levy from LIJ recommended that we seek alternate treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Specifically, she recommended that we see Dr. Wolden. Dr. Wolden and her team at MSKCC and Procure Treatment Centers were awesome! Initially, they used standard IMRT radiation and gradually moved onto more intense Proton therapy to precisely target the tumor. There was significant reduction in the size and activity of the tumor.
Jason is currently taking Sunitnib (oral chemo) on a daily basis. He is scheduled to have an MRI of the spine in the upcoming weeks and a pet scan early 2017.
In terms of coping with this ordeal, there are of course good days and bad days but Jason keeps us going he’s taking everything like a champ. As parents, we have also gone through the emotional roller coaster ride a few times now but we are okay. Jason celebrated his 15th birthday in May and now he is back in school. We are doing our very best to make our lives as normal as can be.