Test Results...and Future Plans
I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few days. Ellie did fine after the bone marrows...she has had a little soreness, but not enough to slow her down much :-)
The results came back that there is still a little neuroblastoma present in Ellie's bone marrow, but the Doctor's sense was that there has been improvement. We will not be heading up to Jacksonville for the stem cell harvest this cycle, and Ellie's doctor will be conferring with the doctor in Jacksonville to determine whether it's even possible to try after the next cycle of chemo. Apparently the longer we wait, the more difficult it is to be able to harvest any stem cells at all. While this may sound like discouraging news, we actually are somewhat relieved. We have heard a lot of pros and cons regarding bone marrow transplantation, so we are really at the point of praying that God will bring everything about in His perfect timing...and that might mean no transplant (and no harvest). Since we truly do not know what is best for Ellie on this one, we will just wait and trust that God does.
Along with the news of Ellie's bone marrow results, we were told that some of her counts are down, particularly her white blood count. This means that Ellie will not be going in for chemo until next week, at least. We are happy that this will give her more time at home to EAT! Everyday Ellie has good energy and she manages to keep eating more and more. We are praying that she will go back into the hospital weighing more than she did before the start of the last round. Her current weight is hovering close to 46 pounds (which is 2 pounds higher than when we came home from the hospital). I would be thrilled if she could make it to 48. Her stomach rarely ever bothers her these days, so everything settles well! The main reason that weight gain is such an issue right now, is that after cycle 5 of chemo Ellie will undergo surgery to remove her left adrenal gland (the location of the origional tumor). Given how easily Ellie loses weight, and how difficult it is to regain, surgery has the potential to throw her body for a loop. Many children loose weight when they have cancer and go through chemo, but they mostly start out as normal sturdy little kids. Ellie started out looking like a cancer kid, not at all sturdy and certainly not plump - her starting weight was only around 48 pounds. Going down from that point is simply not an option we want to consider. (The picture at the top of this blog was taken in the hospital after she had been on steriods for about a week - she hasn't looked that full-cheeked since she was two years old!)
Tonight we picked up my Grandma Lois from the airport. It was great to see her again, but the kids won't be able to see her until tomorrow. Ellie is SOOOO excited. We haven't seen her for at least 2 years. I will try to keep you up on any major goings on, but my updates might be a bit patchy over the next several days. I'll try to get some good pictures to post.
Thanks so much for your love and prayers, and I'm sorry I didn't get you the results of her test sooner...I'll try to do better next time. :-)