Riley and Davis at Silver Dollar City

Riley and Davis at Silver Dollar City

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A change in direction: Alicia's Cancer

For the next few weeks, maybe months, this blog is going to become an update on Alicia’s cancer and Bo’s continuing awesomeness. We all know how hard it is the first few weeks you have a baby home. That transition, and learning a new routine, is the focus in their home. To help her focus on her nuclear family and home I will be keeping her medical updates here.
Background: On March 26th it was discovered that the lymph nodes in Alicia’s neck were enlarged. Her OB/GYN recommended that they consult with additional doctors to discover the cause of the inflammation. This resulted in a CT scan, some blood work, and a couple days later a fine needle aspiration of the lymph node site. The doctors determined that the appropriate course of action was to induce labor and ensure that Bo was here and healthy before focusing on Alicia’s needs. Inducing began the morning of March 29th and upon realizing that Bo was breech, a c-section was performed. Bo weighed in at 7lbs 5oz, 19 inches long, and was in excellent health. The family was sent home on April 1st. April 3rd, Alicia had a surgical biopsy performed on the left lymph node; April 4th was a CT scan. On April 10th the results of the biopsy returned a rather vague result, Adenocarcinoma of Unknown Origin. This basically means that the cells tell them the cancer started in some type of fluid making cells, but they can’t tell where since there is not a mass/tumor/cluster to start from. Not satisfied with the plan of action laid out with the doctors here, and with the help of others, Alicia got an appointment at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Research Center in Nashville. So on Thursday, April 12th, she had an early morning PET scan in Columbia, followed by a very generously offered private flight to Nashville. While she was flying to Nashville, her biopsy was flying to Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic, and to a research center in California. The consultation in Nashville gave the following information: the cancer was spurred by the extremely high levels of estrogen in pregnancy, the doctor did not see anything concerning on the PET scan, the doctor did not believe that further testing would result in the ability to more successfully treat the cancer than what he already knew. The sample he had sent to California is being analyzed for a more specific DNA sequence, not just a pathology. This doctor also recommended that she receive all her treatment in Jeff City and sent his care plan to an oncologist here.
Alicia’s initial meeting with that oncologist was Monday, April 16. At that meeting it they found out the initial biopsy pathology was confirmed as Adenocarcinoma of Unknown Origin by the Mayo Clinic analysis. She will have a chemo port put in and will received 6 chemo treatments over an 18 week period and will then have surgery to remove the lymph nodes entirely. The surgery to insert the chemo port is currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 24.
I will post more information as it becomes available. If you have questions, please post them in the comments and if it is information I have I will reply, or I will ask Alicia when I can and get back to you.
Bo eats a lot, has an inconsistent schedule, doesn’t always sleep, poops a lot, cries very little, and is generally a perfect 2.5 week old.


  1. Chris and Alicia and kids,
    I am so sorry to hear all of this is happening to your wife/mom/family. We know all too well what life is like with medical needs. Please know that I am in Florida on my knees for you guys praying for fantastic doctors, good results, quick recovery, and a complete healing.

    I will be sure to keep up with the updates on the blog. It's the absolute best way to communicate to a family as large as ours!! Which reminds me... I should update mine... it's been a long while!!

    Blessings to all of you!
    Michelle Gentges

  2. When I texted you both yesterday to check in on Bo and once again congratulate you on your adorable baby boy, I had no idea any of this was going on. I will be thinking of you guys a ton. Alicia - you are one strong cookie and you will beat this!!

    Love you guys!

  3. Thanks for the update Sarah! Love you guys and praying for the best.

  4. I had no idea she and the Boessens were going through so much. Tell Alicia and Chris my thoughts and prayers are with them. If there is anything I can do please let me know. ~Kelli V.

  5. Thoughts and Prayers go out to Alicia and the family.Thanks for doing this blog, great way of keeping in touch.

    Julie Dawson

  6. I am so sorry to hear this news. It makes me sick just reading about it. Will keep all of you guys in our thoughts and prayers.