Sunday, March 4, 2018

Cancer Diagnosis

This post is #19 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.

March 4, 2008

I'm going to let my email from this date ten years ago stand alone for today's post.  I will follow up with a bit more detail in tomorrow's post ...

We went back to Arkansas Children’s Hospital today, and Hannah got her stitches out, which was, thankfully a painless process for her. We were able to meet with her surgeon, who shared with us the results of the pathology report.

The results were not what we would have chosen. The surgeon shared the news with us, and then we met with an oncologist who explained what is ahead. The tumor was a glioblastoma, which is an aggressive type of tumor. Now before you all go looking that up on the internet, the oncologist assured us that most of what we might read on the ‘net does not apply in Hannah’s case. It is extremely rare for this type of tumor to occur in the pineal region of the brain, and unusual in someone her age. The prognosis for adults with this type of tumor is not good; however, in children, the prognosis is quite good with treatment. He assured us that the tumor itself is completely gone….this additional treatment is to prevent recurrence. The treatment will involve a combination of radiation and medication. Beginning in about two weeks, after her incision is completely healed, she will begin daily radiation treatments for a period of six weeks. We are praying that the side effects of the radiation and medication will be minimal.

The oncologist also shared with us that our surgeon, Dr. A, is one of the few surgeons in the nation who actually removes pineal tumors. Most of the time, they are not removed, and are treated with radiation and medication. The oncologist told us that we are very fortunate (we say blessed) that Hannah’s has been removed, because that puts us in a much more favorable position, medically speaking. We know that God has had His hand on the situation and has been directing the doctors from the beginning.

Hannah has a positive outlook and said today that she is ready to get on with it. We continue to see God’s peace flowing over and through our family. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

God is good, all the time!
Brad and Jill

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