Monday, June 22, 2015

Results Are In...

     Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for keeping our little Hazelnut and our family in your thoughts and prayers this weekend.  We just got home from our appointment, and the results are in:

     For those of you who may not be aware, Hazel has not been officially cancer free this past year.  Fifteen months ago, the doctors first declared her NED (No Evidence of Disease).  They saw a spot on her kidney light up on the MIBG scan (the one specifically done for Neuroblastoma), but deemed it normal kidney uptake.  At each subsequent scan, they would still see this spot, so they began to suspect this was not normal, but actually residual disease.  So with the help of a new machine, she was rescanned and it was, in fact, determined to be residual disease.  So over this last year, we have continued to watch this spot very closely, and have prayed for it to disappear so we could claim Hazel cancer free.  Her scans three months ago showed that the spot actually got smaller, but it was still lighting up, ever so slightly on the MIBG portion of the scan.  Today, the spot remained the same size, but there was ZERO UPTAKE ON THE MIBG!!!!  

     So clinically, she cannot be declared NED, but in my heart I truly believe GOD HAS HEALED HER!  

Psalms 18:6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.

     Of course, we will continue to be nervous and frightened that this beast might return, and will probably be for the rest of our daughter's life.  But I am reminded, that as I wait, I get to do so while resting in God's arms, and that even if the worst was to happen, we have a hope beyond this world.

Psalms 33:20-22 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

     Now that Hazel had reached her 1-Year-Post Treatment mark, and we are entering year 2, she will continue on the same schedule of scans every three months, for another full year. In year 3, she will then move to scans every four months.  Then in year 4, she will again move to scans every six months.  When she finally reaches year 5, and if she is still cancer-free, she can be declared in remission and then will only have to have scans once a year until her doctors deem it no longer necessary.  She still has a long road ahead, and we will always ask for and appreciate your prayers!  However, in the meantime, we will celebrate each day as a gift from God!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

1 Year Post Treatment Scans

     I had a completely different post planned for today where I would update you on how our little Hazelnut has been doing, but I will save that for tomorrow because instead I would like to take a moment to ask for your thoughts and prayers once again.  As many of you may have seen on Hazel's Facebook page, our very sweet little friend Bailey, who we met through CHLA and has been fighting Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, received the most heartbreaking news yesterday that her cancer is continuing to spread throughout her body despite the aggressive treatments she has been undergoing and was sent home on hospice care to live her remaining days with her family.  My heart is literally in pieces and I BEG for your prayers and support for the Haney family.  First, pray for a MIRACLE!!  However, if God chooses to bring her home to a place of ZERO suffering, please pray that Bailey's journey from this life to the next be one that is pain-free and peaceful; that her mother, father and 3.5 year old brother will be given a peace that surpasses all understanding and that they can hold onto one another as they cling to His promises during this time.

     This news is especially difficult for me to process for a thousand different reasons, but probably the most pressing and burdensome issue is that this news comes on the eve of Hazel's 1-year post treatment scans.  We are heading down to the hospital today for the radioactive iodine injection, she will be scanned tomorrow morning, and then we meet with her oncologist Monday morning for results.  

     We have seen so many of our friends with the same disease relapse, and many take their last breaths here on earth, so my heart is heavy and fearful as we face these next few days.  I am thankful for God's healing of my daughter, and now more than ever ask Him for His continued healing.  

     Please also pray for the condition of the hearts and souls of all parents of children fighting this terrible and, many times, insidious disease.  Those still in treatment much watch as their child battles for their life, not only against Cancer but against the side effects of many outdated and toxic treatments. Those with children like Hazel, who have fought and won, live everyday with an overwhelming sense of relief and thankfulness, that is also coupled with survivorship guilt, anger that others are suffering and extreme fear that your child may suffer again. And of course those who have or are currently about to face the loss of their child. Their hearts are ripped in ways that most people cannot even fathom. 

Childhood Cancer is not rare.

It does not discriminate.

It's is not fair.

It is ruthless.

It needs our awareness and support.

It needs a cure!!