Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The HUGE Miracle Only 2mm Big

If the collar looks like it is on wrong...it's because it is. Her Dad was in charge of getting her ready for bed.

Even Olive knows her dad has screwed up.

For those of you keeping track, the calendar has rolled over four times since Olive's last trip down to Primary Children Medical Center. Every 3-4 months, Olive's brain stem and spinal cord are scanned to monitor and measure the growth and stability of her tumor. Each time Richard and I head down to SLC, I am overcome with dread. Never, have we left with great news. All but once, has the scan showed that Olive was in need of immediate tumor removal surgery. This past October, we received the best news of the entire year, when they told us that chemo had stabilized her tumor and it had not grown. That had been the best news until now....

This past Thursday, as I was sitting in the very same chair in the very same waiting room where I first heard of the news of my baby's tumor, I felt has if I had spent a lifetime in that chair. Yet I felt as unprepared for whatever news they were going to give me has I had over a year and a half ago.

The Doctor called my name. I couldn't get up. the doctor came over and told me he needed to discuss the results of the scan with me. I held my breath. He asked my if I had a followup appointment with our neurosurgeon and my heart stopped. Then he said, "It appears that the tumor is shrinking." For a moment the world stopped spinning and time stood still. This was news we had been told we might never receive.

I had drawn the attention of all the other waiting parents in the room. All eyes were on me watching this miracle unfold there in that same terrible waiting room where this whole thing had started. The same type of parents who some 18 months ago looked away as they heard the news of my baby's tumor at the same time I did. The parents who last time were secretly glad that the news was mine and not theirs. The parents who wanted to comfort me, but didn't know how, or knew that there was no comfort they could offer. This time the parents all came to hug and congratulate me. To join in the celebration I was having. Everyone knew this was a miracle.

When we meet with Dr. Brockmeyer he too was stunned by the results. Olive's tumor which at one time was over several inches long had been reduced to 8mm through the course of surgery. Although relatively tiny, this group of small cells still posed a huge risk. They have the potential to rapidly divide and grow if not destroyed. Her scan shows that since October, her tumor has shrunk by 2mm. Only about 1/12 of an inch, but it is smaller. We are headed the right direction if only 2mm at a time. Inch by 1/12 of an inch Olive is going to kick cancer's butt.

Other good news included a hearing test that came back normal. Worried that her chemo drugs could be causing hearing loss, Olive's hearing has to be monitored as well. Things sound great. In addition, her collar is doing a great job at keeping her spinal cord well aligned. With missing vertebrate, the weight of Olive's head could cause curvature of her neck and spine. All looks good.

God is answering our prayers. Thank you for your constant faith. Even when my faith might waver,and I am too tired to pray. I know that God is still listening to all of your prayers, and I am strengthened to know that.

On a side note my Mom and I decided to fly out to Colorado with my kids and visit my sister. We are spending a week in Pueblo and having a great time. The kids love cousin Ruby and have had fun having sleepovers every night for a week. Getting back to real life will be a bummer. For now I say, "Let them eat cake."