Peyton Harvey is a 15 year old young man from Marshalltown, Iowa. He attends East Marshall High School and will be a sophomore this year. He is active in East Marshall sports in Football and Track. He is also on the improve team. He is very active and his favorite activities are video games, golf, hunting, fishing, hiking and rock climbing. His favorite teams are the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Oakland Raiders.
For about eight months Peyton had been complaining about back aches. We took it as growing pains. We even took him to the doctor to be seen. It was diagnosed as back spasms.
We recently returned from a very nice family vacation in the Black Hills. Peyton started de-tasseling three days after we got back. When he came home that day his back pain was so bad he couldn’t sit or lay down. The only thing that helped somewhat relieve the pain was to walk. He was literally walking around the yard at 1:30 a.m. It was that day, July 16th that we discovered the mass on his back. I wasn’t sure what it was so I made him an appointment for a message. That was the best thing I ever done. If I wouldn’t have do that he may be still walking around with it today with it continuing to grow.
I got Peyton and hour message at my chiropractor office (also has message therapists on staff). The message never happened; about 10 minutes later she called me back to discuss something and I could tell by the look on her and the chiropractors face that something wasn’t good. They explained how normal inflammation flattens out and how Peyton’s mass is stationary with no pain association that deeply concerned him. They suggested going to the doctor and that we should go that day.
That was the day that changed our life as we know it; July 17, 2015. The x-ray showed a large tumor on his left back and spine region. Two days later we had a CT scan that indicated a high probability of Ewing’s Sarcoma. His biopsy came back July 27th as Ewing’s Sarcoma.
That was horrible news. We continued to pray for it to be benign. We have had some promising news though. After two CT scans, a PET scan and bone scan, the tumor is localized and not metastasized. From what I have researched that greatly increases the odds of beating this terrible disease. There is also some fluid on the lining of the lung that they plan to treat with radiation in case there are cancer cells in it. They said a biopsy is not worth it and the radiation would take care of any cancer cells IF they would even exist.
That brings us to date. Peyton got home this past Monday from a five day stay in the hospital. The doctors told him this year is going to really suck but is needed to live a long healthy life in the future. The plan so far is Chemo for 12 weeks. Removal of the tumor and radiation then 22 more weeks of chemo. The tumor is on three ribs in on his spine. They said they can remove ribs but not a spine. They also said because of how aggressive Ewing’s is the have to hammer it hard and keep attacking. From what I gather Ewing’s isn’t staged; it’s just plain nasty and aggressive!
We feel great about our choice to have Peyton’s treatment take place at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. They have been unbelievable supportive to us. We agreed to be part of a study where group A gets the standard treatment used by hundreds of participating hospitals across the country and Group B gets the standard treatment plus one additional drug that has been proven effective in treating a reoccurrence of the cancer. A computer randomly chooses and Peyton is in group B. We are stoked about that. One more drug with nasty side effects but we feel the positives outweigh the benefits.
Peyton is in great spirits and is ready for this fight. He is 100% confident he will beat it. He did his research and is focused on the fact that if you catch it before it spreads it has a very high survival rate. His positive spirit and attitude is what help his mother and I get through the day. We are confident in Peyton and his medical team. We pray every day and look forward to this year to be over so Peyton and us can return to a normal life.
Finally I want to give a shout out to all of our friends and family and even complete strangers on their support through this. We never expected to go through this but we are shocked how much help there is out there. Support keeps pouring in but we owe a big shout out to the Dance Marathon and the U of I, the USSA organization and have even been contacted by Make a Wish. These have helped keep Peyton’s spirits high.