We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Results of biopsy

Ellie Skees

Following Ellie’s bone scan the doctor has determined a DIAGNOSIS: Neuroblastoma, Stage IV.

Neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a cancer of specialized nerve cells, called neural crest cells. These cells are involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues. Neuroblastoma can occur anywhere in the body, but most often occurs in the adrenal gland in the abdomen (tummy).

Stage IV. Cancers are classified according to 3 characteristics: anatomic site, grading, and staging. Staging is the extent of the spread of the cancer. Stage IV: The cancer has spread (metastasized) beyond the regional lymph nodes to distant parts of the body.

The doctor stated that the PROGNOSIS for a Stage IV Cancer is 50%. He would have preferred 70 – 80%, however, with God 50% is good!

She will begin TREATMENT – Intensive Chemotherapy – on Saturday. The entire treatment plan and schedule has not been discussed with John and Sarah. That will be done tomorrow. More specifics will be clear than. At this time, however, we know that she will receive a bone marrow transplant as part of the treatment. They will harvest some of her own bone marrow stem cells following the first chemo treatment and save them for use at a later scheduled time. This is considered a Rescue Treatment for the Chemo. What a blessing we will be able to use her own bone marrow.

PLANS are:
(1) To begin today to help Ellie understand what is happening in her body and what treatment will take place.
(2) To continue to SEARCH for the PRIMARY site of the cancer (where it started). This is essential to increase her chance of recovery and the survival rate. They will have to continue to search for this putting Ellie through more tests, scans, etc.

(3) Ellie will undergo another radioactive scan on Wednesday in search of the primary site and to help plan drug treatment.

(4) Plan is for Ethan to stay with Pat and Stan at this time.
(5) The plan is for John and Stan to continue to keep John’s business going through this crisis. Men at NTM have volunteered their time and help and will be used as they can be.

(1) Pray that John and Sarah will come to an understanding and be able to tell Ellie what is happening in a way that she can accept. Pray that they will all be encouraged and strengthened throughout this trial.

(2) Pray that the doctors will be able to find the Primary site of the cancer in Ellie SOON. This is such an important need at this point in the process.

(3) Pray for the grandparents Gary and Nancy, Stan and Pat, and other family as they go through this difficult time with John, Sarah, and Ellie. God is blessing and encouraging them in so many ways.

(4) Pray for Ethan and Pat and Stan. Help for little Ethan to have some peace and understanding in the confusion and separation from his family. Strength and peace for Pat and Stan as they become primary caretakers.

(5) Please pray that John will be able to balance between work and the time he needs to be with his family. Pray strength and wellness for Stan and John in this stressful physical time.


At 4:26 PM, Blogger Susan said...

I hope you don't mind a stranger leaving a comment.

I am the mother of a child with stage IV neuroblastoma.

For a support group of other neuroblastoma families and as a way to learn about medical options there is a listserv. Go to www.acor.org and to mailing lists and find neuroblastoma. It is an excellent resource.

Also, there are a few doctors across the country that are "experts" in neuroblastoma. To name tow major centers for NB - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (they see 100's of NB kids a year) and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.


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