Thursday, April 1, 2010

Original Diagnosis

Feeling discomfort and pain, Jesse Edward Hammon went to his doctor. After initial testing, doctors realized that the problem was larger than expected. Doctors informed Jesse that he had a tumor in his abdomen but it was unknown if it was cancerous.
Jesse’s world was turned upside down. He was soon diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Desmoplastic small round celled sarcoma on the third of March 2010. Could this really be happening, and yet it was.
This particular form of cancer is especially difficult to treat because so little is known about it. Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a rare, highly aggressive tumor. Jesse’s cancer is mostly in his abdomen. This cancer spreads to the lymph nodes and lining of the abdomen. With further information, we learned that this cancer is more common in males and usually affects adolescents and young adults. Jesse is only 24 years old; he is a healthy, happy and fun loving guy.
There was not a local doctor that could treat the tumor. Jesse does not have insurance. He had just started a new job and had not received it yet.
The staff at EIRMC was amazing. Doctor Schmutz his radiologist, Doctor Sweetzer his oncologist, his nurse Cindy, social worker Burk and many others did everything in their power to get him where he needed to be, and with the right medical care providers. Jesse was accepted and transferred to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in SLC. Very few hospitals in the United States are equipped with the knowledge or resources needed to treat this form of cancer, and we felt very blessed that one was so close that would take him under the circumstances.
On the 7th of March Jesse met with Doctor Gouw at Huntsman. Dr. Gouw suggested aggressive Chemotherapy immediately. Desmoplastic small round cell tumors are often treated with aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. It is important to surgically resect (remove) all sites of disease in order to eradicate the cancer. Unfortunately, this is often not possible.
Jesse responded to the treatment very well. He is keeping his spirits high, although he has had to shave his goatee and has lost weight.
Jesse’s tumor is currently inoperable, but after four rounds of chemo the doctor believes that they will be able to remove a portion of the tumor. The tumor is the size of a deflated soccer ball and is not a round mass, it is intertwined throughout his abdomen and potions of his lungs. It is hoped that through the aggressive chemotherapy the mass will shrink and make surgery more successful.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your having to deal with this at such an early age. One of my former students at Rigby High suggested I join this page, and I did, but I've hesitated getting back to you. Cancer is such an ugly disease, and it shows little mercy in how it strikes the young and old so randomly.

    I went through aggressive chemotherapy in 2003 and 2004. It ended my teaching career, but the treatment saved my life. I never thought I would live to see my grandsons get old enough to remember me, and in '05, my daughter was still carrying my first granddaughter. That little one is almost five now, and I now have another granddaughter born this past January.

    My grandchildren all remember me--at least all but the little three-month-old, and I'm still living the dream: hoping to see them into young adulthood. But the fight was very difficult. If you need someone to talk to at any time, call me. My name is in the phone book, or e-mail me at

    I'm assuming you were a Rigby High graduate or that you lived in Jefferson County after attending high school in Ririe or West Jefferson. Either way, you have a friend somewhere, who knew us both.

    I wish you the best. And I pray that you and your family will see the wonder of what is possible. My doctor told me in January of '05, that I had two weeks to two months to live.

    I pray that things go well for you. I still have problems with my immune system, and you'll possibly see that too, but you have advantages that I never had. You are so young and have so much to live to see.

    Hang in there. I wish you the best.

    Jon Ward

  2. Our family wishes you the very best at this difficult time. You are blessed with a loving, supportive family. You are all very special people. Leesa Wall

  3. I LOVE YOU BROTHER . I know things have been extremly hard for the both of us this last year and i know that with all we have been through it has got too make us stronger, I pray to dad every night and i know that he is going to take care of you, this is just another hurdle that we are going to jump over. You are the most kind, gentle, loving,funny,person,i have ever known and i am so blessed to be your sister and spend my life with you.You truely are one of a kind and i love you so much.

  4. Jesse, you are not alone with this disease. There is a Yahoo group for DSRCT with caregivers and patients exchange current treatment information about desmoplastic small round cell tumor. You are welcome to join or you can just drop by and read or look over the information kept in the Files and Links pages:

    Best wishes to you.

    Patty Robertson
    DSRCT Group Moderator

  5. I miss you Jess you were a great friend, it's been five years since you passed you are still in our thoughts and prayers.