Abby's Journey

We'd like to invite you to read Abby's Journey from the beginning. We hope that her story may help a family who is facing the same battle with DIPG. We are praying for a cure and are praying for every child who is diagnosed with cancer.

This is Abby's story.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two steps forward, one step back...

The picture on the left is from December 2010 and the one on the right is from March 24, 2011.  You can see that there is more fluid and a little more dense now.  There is one spot towards the back that is completely gone and that is good news.

The scan on the left is her very first scan in August, 2010.  The one on the right is from March 24, 2011.  The tumor is smaller than what it was in August but a little larger than it was in December.

Abby had her latest scan yesterday, and we learned what we had figured, her tumor has grown back, but just slightly. Over the past few weeks, we noticed that Abby has been having left side weakness and her walk has been a little off. So we met with the doctors yesterday morning before the scan, and Dr. Rueben also noticed the left side weakness.

So her tumor has grown, but slightly. We met with Dr. Rueben this morning at 11 and he had several phase I clinical trials that Abby qualified for. Dr. Rueben went over them in detail with us, and some were designed to block blood flow to the tumor and block the growth of blood into the tumor. This could take up to three months to happen and show effects. The other trials were designed to block the enzymes in the brain tumor that tell the tumor to divide and expand, and then turn off the part that tells the tumor to survive. One trial would be done here at St Louis Children's Hospital, and the other could be done at St Jude's in Memphis TN. We felt really good about the trial at Children's and we are deciding to proceed with this trial. The blood flow blocker trial sounds promising, and I hate to even think it, but we don't think that Abby's tumor would wait for the chemo to take hold, so we dismissed that for now. We are excited to start this next "chapter" in this battle against the tumor, but we feel we are one step closer to the ending, which is a happy ending!

We also got clearance from the doctors for Abby to play t-ball this summer, and she is really excited for that. She is also very excited to be enrolled for kindergarten! We told the doctors that since Abby is wanting to play t-ball and be in school, that we were hoping to either remove her broviak tube completely, or to replace it with a port that would be under her skin, but they could access to as needed. They told us today that the port should be no problem, so early next week, she will have her tube removed and replaced with the port! That means Abby will be able to go into the pool for her physical therapy, and that we can get started on plans for a beach trip this summer!! Abby has wanted to go to the beach since she was two, so we are going to make that happen!

So, even though we received some bad news yesterday about the tumor growing, we are not upset or disappointed. We are excited to start this next leg of the marathon, and are relying on the promise that we received that Abby will beat this tumor and grow up to be an old woman. Thanks for all of the prayers and as we find things out next week on all of the details of her new chemo and treatment plan, I will put them up.

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2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.