Saturday, July 21, 2018

Reasons to Celebrate

This post is #90 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.

July 21, 2008

It had been a busy summer with Grandma and Grandpa Camp, our family trip to Nashville, and the celebration of Grandma Frankie's life.  The cancer battle had actually become somewhat routine at this point ... weekly blood work, platelet monitoring, and five days of oral chemotherapy per month if those platelets were high enough.

But nothing can shake up a routine like an upcoming MRI.  Hannah was on an every-two-month schedule for these scans, and it was already that time again.  For us as Mom and Dad, the "scanxiety" could be extreme.

But Hannah approached these MRIs with remarkable composure.  She never needed any kind of sedation ... just her headphones and a Carrie Underwood CD.  The biggest stress for her was the insertion of the IV because she was such a "hard stick".  I've wondered if maybe she didn't really understand the life-or-death nature of these scans, or if she was just that confident that everything was going to be fine.  I believe it was the latter.

Thankfully, this particular MRI promised us at least two more months of life.

As you can see from my email from ten years ago today, we had several reasons to celebrate!

Well, we had a good visit at Children’s Hospital today. We first went to the oncology clinic, where an IV was inserted (to be used for the MRI contrast later) without too much difficulty. They drew Hannah’s blood and all of her counts have improved…some even within the normal range! She had her antibiotic breathing treatment, and then we went down to the MRI suite. About 45 minutes later, we were sitting with her oncologist looking at today’s scan compared with her original scan from February 20th. How awesome to see that wonderful, clear MRI picture right beside the MRI picture with the tumor! The oncologist said that today’s scan looked really good to him, but the radiologist will have to read it and we should get the final results tomorrow. We are again very thankful for what God has done!

We are also thankful that this round of chemotherapy has been easier on Hannah than the last one. She took her last dose on Saturday night, and is already feeling pretty much back to normal today. Her nausea was much better controlled by the new drug, and other than some off and on queasiness and fatigue, the five days went by much more quickly than last time! Thank you for praying! She will have eight more rounds of chemo to go, with the next one to start in 23 days. This timetable could change, though, and probably will, based on her platelet counts. It’s nice to know that she will have at least 23 days without any side effects from treatments!

Your prayers have truly made a difference in our lives….God is good, all the time!

Jill and Brad

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