Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Faith not fear!

Clara had a slew of procedures and scans today. Thankfully, she was under general anesthesia during it all so she won't remember a thing. Because of the aggressive nature of the neuroblastoma, they started radiation today. These radiation treatments are targeted at cancer that is threatening her optical nerve. They feel that it went well and are going to follow up with 2 more treatments Thursday and Friday morning. Following the radiation they performed the MIBG. The doctor discussed the results of the scan with us this evening and confirmed what we were already expecting. The cancer has spread on the bones throughout her body. This explains the pain that she has been experiencing the past 3 weeks. They suspect it has only been the last month that this has all started. 

They took her to the OR following the MIBG to get the bone marrow sample, insert the central line and get a biopsy of the large mass on her adrenal gland. The surgeon said that it all went well. They are unable to remove the full tumor because it is wrapped around so many vital parts, including blood vessels that feed the kidneys.  The oncologist explained that this is a very aggressive cancer.  Fortunately some fast growing cancers also disappear quickly with the right treatment.  

They are just about finished creating the treatment program, but in all likelihood, Clara will receive 6 3-week cycles of chemotherapy, in addition to the concurrent radiation treatments that will probably last for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks.  She will also need a bone marrow transplant, a stem cell transplant, and possibly a second bone marrow transplant.  After this first round of treatments, which they refer to as induction, she will start consolidation, wherein they attempt to get the cancer cells that are floating around in the body but that don't show up in scans.  This is where the second bone marrow transplant comes in.  She will likely lose her hair and experience months of nausea and discomfort, most of which can be controlled through medication.  There will be times when we may be able to bring her home over the next 18 weeks, but we won't know for certain until she is well into the therapy.

This is all very overwhelming, but we feel a calm assurance that the Lord's hand is in this.  We have faith that God has a plan for each of us and we hope that His will is for Clara to make it through this ordeal.  We know that we cannot change God's will, and we pray for the strength and courage to accept it, whatever that may mean for Clara and our family.  We are sincerely grateful for those who are sharing this experience with us, praying for our sweet daughter and her caretakers, and contributing in any way to alleviating the burdens that we feel.  We hope that we are all able to learn from this trial and that we each become better people and better followers of Jesus Christ as he carries us through this time of sorrow and uncertainty.

"Hope . . . is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father.” 
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


13 comments:

Jenna said...

You are amazing. Your entire family is amazing. We are praying so hard for sweet little Clara. I love you all.

lovely lindsay said...

sending more love!
love, the stoyan family

Krista said...

Just reading the article on "Hope" by Elder Steven E. Snow. Where would we be without the gentle and constant reminders of the blessings we can enjoy if we have faith and humble ourselves to be teachable and submissive? Nothing seems "fair", but Heavenly Father knows us and is mindful that we want this precious little girl to be well again and for her family to be together again soon. There are literally thousands of people who are praying for Clara and we know the Lord hears our prayers. We love you all so much. We pray that he will keep you tenderly in his care.

Marilyn said...

Prayers, thoughts, and lots of love for your entire family!

With love,
The Lotts

Dlovesocks said...

Natasha, your faith is an inspiration to me. What a pillar of strong you are as you go through this difficult time. My prayers continue for you and your little one for healing and for comfort. The Lord will bless you!

Chelsea said...

Why is Spokane so far away? We'll be there soon enough.

Good luck today sweet Clara!

AshleyFamily said...

Love and prayers to you and your sweet little girl and family. Your faith is inspirational!

-Alison (Gagon) Ashley

Britanny said...

Stay strong Tosh! We are all praying for you guys...

PRP said...

I know we don't really know each other, but we share the same friends and I just wanted to let you know that my little family is praying for yours daily. How lucky Clara is to be surrounded by such phenomenal people.

My best to you....

Kathryn kelly johnston said...

Natasha you are an amazing example of faith to me. So many prayers said for clara, your family, and also including your kids, im sure they are so worried. Lots of hope for you guys!!

Vanessa said...

I really admire your faith, Natasha. Will you need bone marrow donors? I am not exactly sure how all of that works, but we would love to help if we can.

Vicki Blake said...

Praying for your beautiful little girl. Also have our whole Bible study praying for her and all of your family. May God give her and all of you the strength, peace and comfort you will need to get through this trial.

luvdolls said...

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and faith! I am so sorry Clara has to go through this. Like Vanessa, I am hoping I can help with being or finding a bone marrow match for Clara. What is the process? God bless you and your family with His love and peace! -Love, the corbaley family