Journal Entry

Friday night, July 1, 2005

If you find that hope eludes you and the future Stretches before you dark and bleak, then you can Ask another person to hold your hope for you, and to Believe in you even when you have difficulty believing In yourself. Then their hope can sustain your hope.

~ James E. Miller

Dear Prayer Warriors,

This will be short. Today seemed to have lasted a month and Shayne and I are numb with the news and exhausted beyond belief; therefore, tonight I’m writing with hopes that you’ll please lift up our precious loved one in prayer. This afternoon it was learned that what was classified as an “artifact” three months ago on Christi’s MIBG scan has increased in intensity of uptake on today’s MIBG scan and has Dr. Maris (Christi’s oncologist here in Philly) worried as well as Shayne and I. Dr. Maris said he wouldn’t yet classify it as “progression” he needs to see more tests, specifically an MRI. Nevertheless, things do not look good and we understand what we are up against.

Therefore, instead of making the drive home today, Christi completed a second MIBG scan (This one wrapping around the body – giving side shots) yet that didn’t really give them more information despite enduring the very long testing procedure while watching “Freaky Friday” which she loved. After much waiting, she also had a CT scan conducted since they couldn’t get her in for an MRI (which would show bone disease) until Tuesday evening. The CT came back clean. (Sick humor: The poor thing had finished half of her CT scan and the technician came into the room carrying three large syringes and said, “I have the contrast.” I panicked and said, “She doesn’t have her port accessed.” “That’s news to us,” she responded and stormed off. (I later learned it was shift change time.) So I had to take Christi all the way back up and clear over to the other area of the hospital where they accessed her mediport and then all the way back down to wait at least another hour before they could finish her CT scan. Yikes!)

Surprisingly enough, Christi’s bone marrows were the best ever. PRELIMINARY results: negative biopsies and aspirates showing 1% cancer. (Of course that’s bone marrow sampling so I don’t know what to make of that. Three months ago they showed 5-10% disease.) At this point it appears a new beast has appeared. It is on her shoulder/back/scapula area and relatively small at this point. Perhaps a collection of tumor cells have clumped in this area in her bone marrow and are now attacking the bone. They don’t have a full picture. We do know the seriousness of it and we are grateful that she continues to be pain free and clueless. (She asked why we weren’t leaving today and we explained that they needed to take more pictures to find out what was showing up in her back. She seemed fine with that.)

Instead of heading for home today as planned, we are back in the Ronald House. Unlike last night, tonight we have TWO beds (Yahoo!) but we did lose the private bathroom (darn) yet we are grateful for a room here at all! Shayne and I haven’t even discussed today’s sad news, yet we both thought that we just needed to try to get a good night’s sleep, say some prayers and hopefully by morning we’ll know if we’re heading home or just going to stay here until her MRI scan at 9:30PM on Tuesday night. Regardless, it’s going to be a very long, very scary five days filled with worry and great concern. Hopefully, on Wednesday we’ll know more and have our next plan of attack set in place.

If I were a guessing girl (and I’m not – just a praying one!) I’d guess that we’d be looking at being here for three weeks of radiation, but I’ll update once we do indeed have a plan. All will be contingent upon the MRI scan. Has the ABT run it’s course and is no longer working in Christi? That’s Dr. Maris’s question as well as mine. It has been a most fabulous drug and has given us 14 wonderful months with Christi; we have been richly blessed. However, a cure to this beast can’t come fast enough!

Thank you for all!
With gratitude, Angela

Christi’s Joke: What did “0” say to “8” (nice belt!)

What’s next? Excellent question!! We’ll either be staying in Philly or heading home before returning for Christi to have an MRI scan at 9:30 PM on Tuesday.

PS: We had a most fabulous vacation visiting with dear friends while in NYC and with the wonderful Grant family here in Philly. I shall write more about that in an upcoming journal entry. Truly all was glorious – until this afternoon when once again our world crumbled. We have hope in Him to see us through and thank you for the extra special prayers over the next few days. Thank you