This post is #155 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.
January 5, 2009
After the long day of sitting around the ER and the stress of waiting for MRI results, we were happy to finally be admitted to a room where Hannah could at least stretch out and get comfortable in a real bed. We were so relieved by the good MRI report we'd received from the resident and the thought that maybe a few doses of steroids could resolve her vision and balance issues, we didn't even mind staying in the hospital overnight.
We woke up that morning with a renewed hope that maybe ... just maybe ... the treatments were working. Maybe all the increased issues we'd been seeing weren't actually signs she was leaving us, but just side effects of the chemo. After all, her MRI was good!
Then came the body blow.
Hannah's oncologist came into our room and gently explained that the emergency room resident had not read the MRI correctly.
My email ...
We are still here at Children's Hospital and our oncologist just came by to see us. He shared with us that the information we were given about the MRI yesterday in the ER was not exactly correct. Apparently, there is some regrowth of cancer cells in the site of the original tumor, and that is the cause of the symptoms Hannah is having. That area cannot be re-radiated and another surgery is not an option, so we will be continuing with the chemotherapy as planned.
He was somewhat concerned that the MRI results did not indicate that the chemo has had any effect yet as far as cutting off the blood supply to the tumors, but he acknowledged that he's never scanned anyone after only one treatment of this particular drug. It may take multiple treatments for there to be any effect. He is also going to add in another chemotherapy drug to her treatment plan (Irinotecan), even though her platelet counts are still not as high as he would like for them to be. She is getting platelets right now, and will be getting the chemo drugs also this afternoon.
We will spend the night again tonight, and should be coming home tomorrow. She does seem to be feeling better due to the steroids, but she has been sleeping almost around the clock, which the doctor explained is due to the location of the tumor.
As you can imagine, this news has come as quite a blow, but we are comforted by the knowledge that God is in control. We have placed Hannah in His hands, and we know that He loves her even more than we do. Please pray along with us that this chemo treatment today will begin the process of obliterating these cancer cells, and that Hannah's symptoms will begin to decrease. We know that even in the midst of a storm, God is good all the time.
Jill and Brad