Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wonderful News


I apologize that it took so long to put an update on our blog. We were waiting for a call back from the Oncologist today to get a few question and miss understandings cleared up before we spread the word. We have wonderful news: We have all been anticipating the past couple of days, waiting to find out what the last three months of chemotherapy has done to the tumor in our babies body. Well the MRI scan has shown that there are no visible signs of the tumor in her uterus. That means that with the MRI they were not able to see any of the tumor itself. It also means that without any further actual testing of her uterus where the tumor was they are unable to tell whether all of the living cancer cells are completely gone or not. At this point it is not in her best interest to test the uterus because of her age and size. The Oncologist told us that she was concerned with two abnormal lymph nodes detected by the MRI. Because of the size and location she is fairly confident that the abnormality in the lymph nodes is caused by cancer cells, but she's not sure whether the tissue inside the lymph nodes is living cancer cells or dead cancer cells. The good news is that her AFP levels (hormone secreted by her cancer) are at a healthy level right now. The Oncologist seems to think that the lymph nodes should have shrunk just like the tumor did, so they are perplexed with the differing results. With lymph nodes the best way to tell whether there is living cancerous tissue inside is by surgically removing it and looking at the tissue under a microscope. The Oncologist feels that this would be an extreme measure at this time. Her Lymph nodes in question are sitting near her back and are underneath a lot of her internal organs, the less they mess with internally the better. Although, at the same time it could be beneficial as it would provide definite results fairly quickly. A second option is have a PET scan which can detect some cancerous lymph nodes. Unfortunately germ cell tumors have not been study enough with a PET scanner to know whether or not the results are accurate with that type of cancer. PET scan also exposes her to more radiation (and we all know the least amount of radiation possible is best). So there are pros and cons to having the scan. Another way to monitor the change in cancerous tumors is by checking the tumor marker or hormone secreted by her type of cancer. When her blood draw is done a test of the AFP level can tell whether the germ cell tumor hormone is decreasing, rising, or staying level. This is a good way to monitor whether her tumor is coming back or not (it would do the same for the two lymph nodes as well). We have a few nights to think about what we would like to do and then we will call the Oncologist and together we will decide what to do with the enlarged lymph nodes. Thankfully we will have time to do a little research of our own and study it out in our minds and then pray for guidance concerning this decision. We can also back up our feelings with the medical knowledge and expertise of our Oncologist. Thank you all for the many thoughts and prayers in her behalf, we feel very blessed and fortunate with the results of the MRI scan and are thankful to be able to move on to the next stage of our daughters cancer treatment. I think we will celebrate this weekend the wonderful progress our daughters cancer has made this far!

11 comments:

Amy Marble said...

That is GREAT news - I've been checking your blog all day hoping for an update! Good luck with the other decisions you need to make - we'll continue to keep you all in our prayers!!

Julie said...

Decisions, decisions! I know that whatever you decide will be the right one! Just like Lori advised, celebrate the fact that there are no signs of the tumor and then move on from there. One milestone at a time! It was so fun seeing your little darlings yesterday! I love spending time with my cute little nieces and nephews. You are in our prayers continually and I think it would be great if we could all do a combined fast for your fam. this upcoming fast Sunday. We love you so much and are here to support you in any way that we can.
Lots of love,
Julie

jbbastian said...

I've been checking daily to hear of your results and am so happy to hear your good news! Even the littlest milestones are HUGE when you are talking about cancer. Just thingking about it brings tears to my eyes as I know how much just that little bit of news must ease some of your burdens. Take a deep breath and enjoy your celebration. The only thing you can do is continue to pary and take it all one day at a time. "Remember the days blessings, forget the days troubles." You will continue to remain in our prayers no matter what the outcome!
Bree

Natalie Bagley said...

I've been checking your blog A LOT the last two days. We are so happy about your good news. We know that all of our prayers have been heard and answered. Have fun celebrating and good luck with your upcoming decisions. We always have your family in our thoughts and prayers!!

Laura said...

That is wonderful news! One hurdle is cleared! I know the Lord will guide you with your upcoming decisions. We're praying for you.

Tara said...

That is amazing. Lots of prayers. I have to say, I will miss that little bald head! You better be off to the photographer before that hair grows back. I do have a friend that does pictures, that would do it for no cost if you all want to! She is a pin up Cancer child.

Jennifer and Jason Young said...

love you lots!

Miriam said...

Wonderful news! We are keeping your names in the temple. Listen to the inspiration of the Lord as you make further decisions. You'll do the right thing. We love you.

tiffy girl said...

That is great news! I am so glad to hear of her progress, thank you for keeping a blog so we can kep up with what is going on in her treatment. We will continue to keep you guys in our prayers!

Kent Ottley said...

Best News ever, so good to see you at the Temple open house. We here at the Ottleys/Stocks will continue our prayers and thoughts for you and our Cancer survivors we love you. Thanks for the updates.

mich said...

That is GREAT News!~ I am sorry you have to make another decision. I am sure it will all be fine and you will make the right one. You are still in our prayers! Good Luck! Hope you had a great celebration, she is so stinken CUTE!