This post is #146 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.
After our appointment on Monday, we expected that Hannah would continue with school since she was still not able to start chemo. Instead, the ongoing side effects from the radiation began to unexpectedly intensify. The morning nausea and near-constant headaches were increasing, preventing her from attending school. This exacerbation caused us to question whether her issues were indeed still due to side effects of the radiation treatments ... or something else. We contacted her oncologist at Children's and let him know what was going on, and he immediately put some steps into motion.
He recommended that we visit her local ophthalmologist so he could check her for any signs of increasing intracranial pressure. This was the same doctor who recommended the MRI back in February, and who broke the news to us about the presence of the tumor. He got us in immediately, examined her thoroughly, and gave us the welcome news that there didn't seem to be any signs of building pressure in her brain.
Our oncologist also recommended a new MRI ... always a nerve-wracking prospect ... but certainly warranted, considering her increasing issues. We were grateful that he was on top of things, and hopeful that the MRI would be scheduled soon.
My email from a decade ago outlines these concerns, and includes a word of thanks to all those who donate blood and platelets. That gratitude is just as strong today. If not for the blood and platelet donations of a multitude of strangers, we would not have had Hannah with us as long as we did!
Hannah's had a little bit of a rough week this week. She's been struggling with morning nausea every day, and has also been having some mild headaches. We feel that the nausea may still be due to some of the side effects of the radiation treatments, although we are getting some things checked out. We went to see her ophthalmologist yesterday, on her oncologist's recommendation, so he could check her for any signs of increased intracranial pressure. He did not find any indication of increased pressure, so that was good news. Our oncologist has also recommended a new MRI scan, and we are waiting to hear from them as to when it will be scheduled. We will be going to Children's Hospital tomorrow for bloodwork and a probable platelet infusion. Maybe we will find out more at that time. We are thankful that once she gets through the morning, she usually feels better in the afternoon and evening.
I do want to say a word of thanks to all those of you out there who donate blood and platelets. We added it up the other day, and we figure that Hannah has had about twelve units of blood and probably about twenty units of platelets. Several people have asked us about donating blood or platelets specifically for Hannah. Children's Hospital actually discourages people from donating to specific patients, but rather just to donate in general because there are so many people who need blood. So to all of you who give of your time to donate blood or platelets, thank you! And please continue, not just for Hannah, but for all the cancer patients who so desperately need it!
God is good, all the time!
This verse sums it all up..."We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. We always carry in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." II Corinthians 4:7-10
Jill and Brad