Chemo day #2 started early – we were in Cincy by 8am this morning! And we got to enjoy some sleet/freezing rain along with Cincy rush hour traffic. Woohoo!
Our new home-away-from-home is the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute Pediatric Center. The staff and providers have been absolutely outstanding and have gone out of their way to make us feel comfortable and supported.
The chemo treatment was relatively uneventful, although the anticipation of it made Lizzy scared. Who can blame her when a bunch of people with masks over their face all start moving toward her at the same time!
But the clinic has a Child Life Specialist (CLS) who comes in and helps distract the child while the nurse inserts the needle into the port. The CLS was awesome and got Lizzy to focus on a video on her ipad such that Lizzy didn’t even know the nurse had accessed her port (although you can’t see in the picture above that Lizzy is squeezing all of the blood out of my fingers!). Chemo finished up, and it was time to relax and watch some Nick Jr. on daddy’s phone!
(Lizzy chillin’ after chemo treatment)
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all smooth sailing today. Dr. Geller (Oncologist) met with us this morning and gave us some unsettling news. The long-awaited pathology report from the Chicago experts came back and the results were “inconclusive”. The issue that is “inconclusive” is a bit complicated, but here is my best attempt to explain it:
The kidney has 2 “sacs” surrounding it that keep it encapsulated and protected from other “stuff” in your gut. With Lizzy, the Wilm’s tumor grew out of the kidney, so a MAJOR issue is whether or not the tumor breached those 2 protective sacs. If it did, it means tumor cells might have (probably did) spill into the abdomen and Radiation Therapy is added to the treatment plan. If the tumor did not breach the sacs, then there is no Radiation, just chemo. In most all cases, the tumor either breaches both sacs or doesn’t breach either sac.
For Lizzy, it appears the tumor breached the first sac but not the second sac. According to Dr. Geller, this is very unusual. It has also created a dilemma for the doctors in terms of trying to classify the tumor as having Breached or Not Breached. The implications of this classification are HUGE!
In essence, Breached = Radiation and Not Breached = No Radiation. As a pre-emptive step, Dr. Geller had us meet with the Radiation Oncologist. He went over all of the risks and rewards of Radiation and said if the determination is Breached, Lizzy would get either 6 or 7 days of Radiation and it would probably happen in the next 2-3 weeks.
Dr. Geller also had us meet with a Fertility specialist. If Lizzy has to have Radiation, there are potential long-term fertility consequences. The fertility specialist talked to us about those consequences and possible ways to mitigate those consequences. She said this was just an overview and if the determination is Breached, she would meet with us again and go more in-depth on this issue.
Family/Friends – I can’t begin to tell you how difficult it was to sit there and listen to this person talk and realize that very very soon, we may be facing a decision that could have permanent and significant consequences for our little girl and her future husband. Even now as I write about it, it takes my breath away.
So, with that said, please please please PRAY that the final result will be NOT BREACHED! We totally believe that God had us in Denver so this tumor could be discovered before it breached the 2nd sac, so we are asking you to join us in begging our Great Physician for wisdom for our earthly physicians and that the earthly physicians will agree that it is NOT BREACHED!
Thank you in advance for those prayers. We love you all and so appreciate your love and support.