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.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Good News...at Long Last

I love having something good to report! The results of Ellie's CT scan showed NO adrenal tumor! It was a small tumor to begin with, but as it was the primary it needed to be removed. Now that it no longer exists... there will be no surgery! We are so happy and relieved. She will eventually need radiation at that site, as the primary tumor is made up of both fast and slow growing cells. The chemo often kills all of the fast growing cells, but the slow growing kind can lurk quietly in the background, just waiting for the opportunity to multiply and send out new baby tumors to various and sundry locations.

The results of the MIBG scan revealed that there is improvement in the other tumor sites - many do not show up anymore, but they are not all completely gone. Still - there is improvement and for that we are so thankful. The scan only showed some remaining activity in the tumor in her head and the ones in her legs. None of the others were seen - spine, ribs, or pelvis.

We do not yet know whether Ellie's bone marrow has cleared. She will be receiving bone marrow biopsies on Friday. (This was supposed to be done during surgery, so that was the only test not yet performed.)

The stem cell harvest that was scheduled for tomorrow actually happened today! Everything happens fast here. Her white count was high enough yesterday, so we came in this morning and during a very easy, painless procedure, a little over 5 million stem cells were harvested. They would like to have a little more than that, so we will go back in tomorrow for more. In the afternoon, Ellie has an appointment with an opthalmologist. The a busy day on Friday with bone marrows...

Saturday and Sunday promise to be restful and uneventful, medically speaking. Melanie and Richard are planning to come and visit us and have offered to keep Ellie occupied so that John and I can get out and explore the city. We are so excited! Our thirteenth wedding anniversary is on the 19th., so I think that we will go out and celebrate early. (These days it's better to celebrate things when the opportunity presents, rather than waiting for the actual day.)

On Monday (blood counts permitting) Ellie will go in for chemo round #6! This is all happening so quickly... we were all geared up for surgery... planning and dreading it... and now chemo? The doctor explained to us that it is still important to do at least one other round of chemo because it is best to get as much of the cancer as they possibly can before starting the 3F8 Monoclonal Antibody. This treatment is the most effective when there is very little cancer left in the body - larger masses are much more difficult to get. This makes a lot of sense, even though we don't like seeing her go through another chemo. We would like to see her gain a litte more weight before going into chemo, but at least now we don't have the surgery hanging over our heads. I don't even know if it has all sunk in for me yet. I can't switch gears that fast, but I'm trying.

So that's the scoop. You are probably just as stunned as I was (and still am) so I will leave you to soak it all in and revel a while in the good news. You have all been so very faithful to share in our sorrows and burdens, that it feels wonderful to share our joy with you this time! Thank you for your prayers for Ellie and for our whole family. (And please keep remembering our little buddy boy... he's so far away and we miss him so much.)


At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are SO thankful for the good news and will continue to pray for the upcoming chemo treatment.

Have a wonderful weekend!
the Bramsens

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tear of happiness at these good reports! We continue to pray for you all. Ellie is on our mind every day.

Sheri ...in Montana

At 11:46 PM, Blogger BreezieGirl said...

Woo hoo!!!! Best of luck in all your tests Ellie! And many prayers for the whole family!

At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so glad for the good news and that the harvest was painless!
Glad too that you can have some time to yourselves to explore.

Love & Prayers,

At 2:41 AM, Blogger Robyn said...

How wonderful to have some good news! I'll be praying especially on Friday - doesn't sound like fun.

At 4:54 AM, Blogger tricia said...

Wahooo! I'm junping up and down and clapping my hands with joy! Love you!

At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad to hear of the good report. Ellie and the rest of the family were held up in prayer again last night at Boulevard Bible Chapel in Hollywood, FL.

Mike Renth

At 5:30 AM, Blogger Mrs said...

Praising and praying! Enjoy your time together!


At 5:31 AM, Anonymous Debbie said...

Praise God for good news!! We are rejoicing wtih you and still praying for everything you've asked.

(Roger & Kaeli too!)

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Penny-Sue said...

Continue to rest and trust in the gracious love of our Heavenly Father!!

We are praising and continuing to pray along with you!!

Jesus I am resting, resting
In the joy of what thou art.
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
as thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as thou art,
And Thy love , so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
satisfies it's deepest longings Meets, supplies it's every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.
-J.S. Pigott

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's time to dance and sing and jump up and down!!!! Isn't God good!!!
Jeanie Barbier

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so excited. God can do more that we can ask or even imagine---and He cares about Ellie so much. Waiting with anticipation to see how He keeps working in your lives!

Sharon B

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yippeeeee!!! Love ya, Vickie

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Matt, Laura, Haley and Baby said...

So glad to read such good news - we have been praying for Ellie in our prayer group here at NTBI Waukesha - she is such a beautiful little girl - I have two girls and it is so hard to read about what you guys are going through. But I can tell God is giving you tremendous strength - what a testimony you all have! Wow.
- Laura Tyler (Wingo)

At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful news!! So happy that you are there and things happen quickly and efficiently!! Enjoy your day out! We are praying for you, Ellie, and for that sweet, brave little brother of yours! Les

At 8:49 PM, Blogger ~T said...

Praise God for great news!!

Have a wonderful time in NY!

Tricia's friend Terri

At 5:23 AM, Blogger Phyllis said...

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Jill Heins said...

Oh,God Is SO Good!!
Thank you for sharing this joyful news!
Prayers are with all of you!

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PTL! God is so awesome. A lady that I work with shared this story with me. I hope it encourages you the way the Lord used it to encourage me.

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one
needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it
was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Please give Ellie hugs and kisses from Ryan and I.
Love, Tonya

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! We are so glad to hear the good news! Hope you and Johnny enjoy your anniversary together! love, heather and nick

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Kristina said...

I am happy for you that you have great news to share. Can't wait to see what God has in store! Praising our God with you!!!
Thank you for sharing about the "Sivler Refiner", Tanya. You have no idea how much I needed that! How awesome is that... Oh, our Father loves us so much. :)

At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

We at CFC in Jackson, Michigan are rejoicing with you and continue to keep you in prayer.


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