God Bless Jose and Maggie. Jose passed away from Thymic Carcinoma.

Back in July 2003, my husband, Jose 39 yrs old, had a serious bout with bacterial meningitis. After 4 weeks he slowly started recovering from the meningitis. When an MRI was done a large anterior mediastinal mass was noted. The mass was believed to be a thymoma. (A tumor on his thymus gland) We went to a surgeon, who specialized in thymomas. A ct scan was done, and it was believed to be lymphoma instead of a thymoma. Because the tumor measured 6cm X 12 cm and believe to be putting pressure on his right aorta, we decided to opt for surgery on Sept 4, 2003, hoping it would be a benign thymoma. After surgery, Dr. Roy Williams informed me the mass was unresectable invasive tumor involving both the phrenic nerves and subclavian vein and innominate vein. Basically it was an inoperable tumor. Furthermore it was believed to be thymic carcinoma but that pathology could not concurr, extra test needed to be done. Samples were sent out to Emory University to Dr. Sharon Weiss, Harvard to Dr. Christopher Fletcher, and University of Miami. Emory came back with a diagnosis of a poorly differentiated malignant tumor consistent with melanoma. Harvard labeled it as a poorly differentiated carcinoma, most suggestive of myoepithelial carcinoma probably thymic in origin. We are still awaiting the diagnosis from UM.
Currently, Joe will have his first treatment with chemo this thursday (Oct 16, 2003), cisplatin,cytoxan and maytansine.

Joe had no symptoms, only a dry hacking cough which he still has. If it was not for the near death experience with meningitis we would have never found this mass. Joe has done numerous test after the operation, ct scans of the abdominal, pelvis and chest, bone scan etc. It does not look as if the cancer has metastasized.

If anyone has any additional information which could assist us, pathology diagnosis, treatments used, etc., I would greatly appreciate it or any advice, please email me at

Thank you,


September 2004

It’s been a long year with Jose. He finished his first chemo treatment in Feb of this year. And immediately did a PET/CT Scan and the results were positive. The tumor, had decreased to half it size. So in March, he started radiation which lasted until April. At the end of June he did another PET/CT Scan and the results were not as positive, the tumor had grown. In July he started his second bout of treatments. (Carbonplatium and taxol) Though he has not been able take the required treatments b/c his platlets remain very low, he has taken about three. On friday, he did another PET/CT Scan, we will see what these results have to say later this week. I’ll let you know. Though if you see Jose, even though he has no hair, you wouldn’t believe he was ill. He’s handled this second bout of treatments, vey well, his demeanor has and is positive. In fact he’s been better than I have and I am the positive one in the family. How does that commerical go :”never let them see you sweat.” and that’s what I have done but inside I am scared, even though
my faith has always brought me through those very difficult moments and God has been my rock.


October 2004

The good news is the results from the scan showed no growth in the tumor; the bad news is the results showed no decrease in the tumor. On Monday, Jose starts a new treatment which will hospitalize him for three days. He will have three treatments (week one, week three and week six) each with 3 day stay in the hospital. After the third treatments he’ll do another PET/CT Scan.


Jose De La Rosa
Feb 1, 2005
In December 2004 Jose finished treatment with Etoposide, Ifex and mesna. Last week he had a PET/CT scan and the results were devastating. Ever since he was diagnosed with a mass in Sept 2003, the cancer had remained in one place it never metastasized. The cancer has now exploded. His last study was in Sept. 2004 and the tumor was contained. In this report the following was noted: There are new bilateral large pulmorary nodules and masses. There is new uptake in the left supraclavicular; new abnormal uptake within the right proximal humerus; there is intense FDG noted at T11(spinal); new uptake within the right sacral ala and new uptake within the left posterior rib. As well the mass itself increased in size.

We are going to try a new treatment on Wednesday call Alimita. Though Jose’s body is strong and he has had no side effect with any of his treatments (he has been on numerous chemo and radiation treatments since Sept 2003)his mental state is taking a beating.