Today we got the news that Bree’s cancer continues to be in her bone marrow. 75% of the cancer (in the bone marrow) was “killed” by the chemo but there still is a fight to be fought. There is 25% left to get rid of. Needless to say, I was disappointed because I really thought it would be cleared out of her bone marrow, that the docs would have said that she was clean of the cancer and that we could proceed with discussing surgery to remove her tumor and be rid of this whole process… but that’s not the case. It’s a little discouraging because after the doctors saw how much the tumor in her abdomen shrunk he was very optimistic it would be gone in her bone marrow. She will have to go through 4 more rounds of chemotherapy to kill off the rest of the cancer in her bone marrow, which will also continue to shrink the tumor in her abdomen. Since she will need more chemo anyway removing the rest of the tumor by surgery won’t be necessary at this time. In the beginning they expected to do 8 rounds and possible radiation treatments. But, when we discovered the news that her tumor had shrunk more than what was expected we really believed her bone marrow could be clean of this cancer. We wished we could be on our way to recovery ahead of schedule…instead we are just on track and will continue her protocol as expected. We are happy that she is on the road to recovery at any rate. :)
I hope I don’t seem ungrateful for all that we’ve been blessed with thus far. It is a HUGE blessing that her tumor has shrunk so much and so much of the cancer has died, I do just feel disappointed and a little heart broken that my baby will have to go through 3 more months of chemotherapy. 3 more months of hospital stays, antibiotics, blood tests, weekly doctor visits, blood transfusions, etc. I feel like the last 3 months have dragged on and they feel so long…like the time passed by so slowly. I want to have the strength to endure the next 3 months. I NEED to have the strength to endure it. I NEED to be strong for her.
Anyhow, that’s the update today. We are hoping to start her 5th round of chemo on Friday. It should be another 3-day treatment, so we get to watch the Super Bowl in the hospital☺. We’ve enjoyed our time at home being together as a family. Bree’s so happy at home. I’ve enjoyed doing the mundane Mommy chores and now its time to face the music and endure the next chapter of this journey. I want to say thanks for all the comments left here. It makes our family feel so loved, the many sweet things that are said buoy me up and help keep me going….however, I’m not as great as you all think I am… ha ha.
Here we are before her tests last Thursday. Bree loves to pose for the camera!
After her procedures and still smiling!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Posted at 9:34 PM
Friday, January 23, 2009
We were going to wait until Monday to share this info because we had only half of the test results but we know a lot of good people have been curious as to what today’s results showed so here goes…
Today we received the WONDERFUL news from the MRI that Bree’s tumor has shrunk significantly! The chemo is definitely doing its job! The doctor told us it was better than he expected. The tumor is still there but it has shrunk down enough to entertain the idea of doing surgery to remove the tumor. Because of where it is in her body, it might be too difficult to remove (it’s located in between vital organs) but at least we get to have the conversation☺. We will meet with the surgeons next week to determine if surgery is something that we can do. If it can’t be surgically removed then they will do 4 more rounds of chemo. We are still waiting on the bone marrow results as well. These should come back Monday. Fortunately it does look like the areas where it metastasized originally are no longer there…her liver, spleen, bones, right kidney and right adrenal glad. These areas look like they are clean of the tumor…Yea! It still shows up over the left adrenal gland (this is where the tumor started to grow originally). We are waiting to get all the test results so we can meet with her oncologists and determine what the best plan of action will be. But we thought we would share with you some great news.
The bottom line… we are so happy and thrilled to know that her body has responded to the chemotherapy treatments and that she exceeded the doctors’ expectations at this point in her treatment…that’s our Breezy☺. We should know Monday what our next steps would be. In the meantime, we are so thankful to our family, friends, neighbors and strangers from all over that have prayed for Bree. It is truly humbling to feel of the love of so many people. Above all we are grateful to the Lord for blessing Bree and being with our family every step of the way. Today we truly felt blessed!
Posted at 10:40 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
That's right. Tomorrow Bree will undergo a bone marrow biopsy, an MRI of her chest, abdomen and pelvis and urine tests to determine if the chemotherapy she has done for the past 3 months have been working on getting rid of this horrible cancer.
The bone marrow biopsy will look at specific cells (neuroblasts) and this result may be high, low or none at all. We are hoping, of course, for the none at all category. The doctors are hopeful as well. She will also have a urine test, basically just a urine sample and this will test for catecholamines (specific cancerous cells). The MRI will take pictures of her organs and determine the size of her tumor. The tumor may be the same size, or it may have shrunk due to the chemo or it may now turn into a benign tumor (non cancerous). We will know more once ALL the test results come back.
She will be put to sleep because the MRI can take up to 2 hours and the bone marrow takes a while also. I also wanted to let anyone reading this that we will be fasting as a family tomorrow while she having these tests done. Of course, we are asking Heavenly Father that the cancer be gone. However, if this not be His will, we will proceed with the next step. Which would be 4 more rounds of chemo, possible radiation and more tests to follow. I'll post what the results will be on my blog and we should know some on Friday and the rest on Monday....hopefully!
Sorry this was so short. Time is short around here. Thanks for thinking, praying and keeping our little girl in your thoughts!
Posted at 4:32 PM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Today is my sweet hubby's birthday! I wanted to wish him a very Happy Birthday! He is the sweetest, kindest man...and He's gorgeous! He works so hard for our family and always wants the best for us. He is so kind to me, he is a great Dad that loves his kids and I love him so! Happy Birthday babe!
Lately he has taken our boys to a few Suns games. The boys have LOVED this! They each got their turn going with Dad to a game. They had a lot of fun! Mostly because they got to eat lots of candy and be with their Dad to cheer on the Suns!
The boys had a great time! Thanks for taking them babe and have a very Happy Birthday!
P.S. You may notice Caleb has a black eye in the first few pictures. That's what happens when your brother throws a toy truck and you catch it with your face:). That's boys for ya! Also Bree has been home and is doing so great! This has been the first time thus far she didn't get neutropenic or an infection after her chemo! Yea!! End of next week we'll go back for several tests that will tell us if her cancer has shrunk, etc...More to come in the next post...for now Happy Birthday to my hubby Justin!)
Posted at 12:38 PM
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
We’ve been home for 2 days now and I just can’t get over how good it feels to be here! I love seeing my boys, I love being here when Caleb gets off the bus, I love driving Gunner to preschool and I actually love the little daily chores that I disliked so much before. In fact, as I was driving Gunner to preschool this morning, I looked back at the smudges on the windows and just thought to myself how grateful I was just to be a Mom to my kids and enjoy these moments with them while they are little. Never really thought I’d say it, but the smudges made me smile. ☺
As for Breezy girl, she’s doing well here at home. She’s been super happy, very chatty and very full of energy. Even though she’s still kind-of scared of real food, she’s been doing well with her nightly feedings and that has helped her feel better, I’m sure. She doesn’t like to eat much baby food because every time a spoon comes near her, she thinks its medicine so doesn’t want to eat. In fact, this is the face she makes when a spoon or syringe is coming toward her: She purses her lips together and wont open her mouth! Little stinker. (This picture was taken a few weeks ago (before the tube obviously) ☺
Anyway, today was a good but long and tedious day so I thought I’d list a few things I did that I can say I’m proud of. I know this is kind-of random, but hey, it’s always fun to think about the actual things you did instead of the things that you didn’t do. ☺
• Took Gunner to preschool & chatted with a friend in my doorway
• Gave my husband a big hug for all the multiple things he does (love you babe!)
• Took flowers to a friend that was sick
• Played outside on the grass and crunched leaves with my kids
• Killed a spider with Gunner
• Gave my baby a shot, (I’m not really proud of this, but feel accomplished when I can do it by myself each time)
• Watched my boys do tricks on the trampoline
• Flushed Bree’s broviac line with saline and heparin
* Cuddled with Caleb on the couch
• Listened to Bree's little tummy sounds to make sure her feeding tube is in the right spot
• Organized books/clothes/toys to donate to goodwill (still in the process)
• Read books to my boys while Bree slobbered on them
• Chatted with my sis-in-law and felt so grateful that I have such great sisters in law. (She also cleaned my bathroom and my kitchen. She is amazing!)
So, here are some of our latest and greatest pictures of our little miss Bree during this last round of chemotherapy.
My sister brought cupcakes to the hospital. Bree DID like these!
She pulverized hers in a matter of seconds! I hope some of it got in her mouth!
Here she is displaying her talents. Ah, bald heads are good for something right! Ha ha!
Right now we are hoping, fasting and praying that our little girl won't have to go through any more chemo. The doctors have told us that she will need 8 rounds of chemo and they hope that after the 8th round that they will finish off the cancer with radiation, surgery or maybe just leave it in her if the tumor is totally dead. They say that perhaps the 8th round will take care of the tumor without other treatments but they thought most likely it wouldn't. She currently has had 4 rounds and will get all her tests done at the end of the month to see where things are at. We figured we would pray and fast that she surpises everybody and that the tumor will be gone now. We know the Lord's will be done but we can't get a miracle if we don't ask for one right:). Thank you for the continued support and outpouring of love for our little Breezy! You are all so great!
Posted at 8:50 PM
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I had a quiet moment at the hospital and the computer here was free so I thought I'd take a moment to update on Bree's latest treatment.
So far Bree is done with 2 days of her 3 day chemotherapy. This round she received carboplatin, doxirubicin and etoposide (I'm documenting this now for later journaling purposes). The first day she received all three drugs. Today she only received 1 and tomorrow will be the same.
She's been doing well so far. Yesterday she was slightly nauseated and seemed agitated but she can have several different meds to help calm her stomach and keep everything down. She's done well with her NG feedings and has even slept through the night...Thanks to the WONDERFUL nurses here! They were able to sneak in and get her vital signs without waking her. Yea!! Let's hope that continues tonight! I'm crossing my fingers!
After this round and when Bree's counts are back up we will be able to get some tests done to see if all this chemotherapy is working. We are praying for a miracle...asking that this cancer be rid from her body. She will do some of the same tests she did in the beginning...catscans, bonescans, MiBG scans and a bone marrow biopsy. She will also undergo an echocardiogram and hearing tests to measure how her heart is holding up and if she's had any hearing loss from the treatments. I am doubtful that there are any hearing or heart problems because she is the lightest sleeper and can hear us from across the room! And the little thing is already trying to army crawl (well, she's moving backwards, but she's moving!) so I'm pretty sure her little heart is strong as can be!
So that is the plan for now. Sorry if this was kind-of short, I just wanted to do a little update. I'll continue to do more updates of how she's doing once we are home. We are also praying that she won't get any other bacterial infections after this treatment is over. She's been through so much already. One less hospital stay would be so nice! I realize it could all be so much worse but being home is ALWAYS so much better! Until the next time...
Posted at 8:22 PM