Sunday, March 30, 2008

MRI Results

We finally got to do an MRI on Rach this past week. We did not get the news that we were hoping and praying for. Rachel's cancer is still slowly growing which means that the chemo has not stopped it. Our main goal for chemo in the first place was to at least stop the cancer from growing until she is old enough to receive radiation treatment at 3. We have more chemo options that we are considering. All of them are harsher drugs than before but they will hit the cancer from a different angle. Rachel's cancer, PNET, is not curable with chemo alone but the chemo can effectively control the cancer and will help when radiation is received. The problem with chemo in dealing with brain cancer is that the brain has a blood barrier that protects it from foreign substances- that does not work in her favor! We knew that this is going to be a fight but we had hoped that we were at least on the right track. As long as Rachel can tolerate chemo we will keep trying. So far, she has handled it well for a kid her size. She is definitely a fighter and is very stubborn and we hope that she continues to be. Those character traits are what she needs to get through this! She has not shown regression in development so we are hoping that means the growth is small. She is getting a feeding tube on Tuesday. We chose to do this because Rachel has been weakened by her lack of appetite and she is extremely thin. We want her to be strong and the only way for her to gain weight is for us to intervene. She will be in the hospital this week, and depending on which treatment we do from here, should get more chemo within the next week as well. She will also have a kidney test on Monday. This week will be a hard one for her so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Easter Morning

Rach loved playing with her new toys in the morning. She was very excited to see her Easter basket!

Rachel really enjoyed playing with her Easter eggs and new toys. Nap time didn't happen and she really was not in the mood for smiling as the day went on! She was pretty upset when we were trying to take family pictures.

More Easter pics

Visiting Mimi

Rachel was well enough to travel 2 hrs. to College Station to visit her great grandmother, Mimi. it took a while for her to warm up to her but she finally did at the end of the visit.

Assembly at Canyon High School

The student council at our old high school has been very generous and helpful to us. They have a fund raising week called SPUD week (Students Performing Unselfish deeds) where they fund raise all week for a cause that they choose. They chose Rachel this year and the entire student body worked hard to bring in money to give to us for her care. They raised thousands in one week and it was very humbling for us to be on the receiving end of such generosity. They had an assembly at the end of the fund raising week and Rachel got to be the special guest. She waved, clapped, and danced as the assembly went on. I think she knew that it was all for her. She's such a drama queen!! The students hollered and stood up when Rachel was introduced and she just smiled and waved like she knew what was going on. Many of the students came up to meet her after the assembly and we could tell that she had touched many of them. I wish that she knew how much people are doing for her. We can never say thanks enough to the students and staff at the school.

Hanging out at the New House

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Rachel News

The 3 doses of chemo last week have really gotten to Rach. She has been so sick from it that she lost a pound and a half. She definitely didn't have it to lose!! She's down to 19 lbs. and she's very tall so that's not a good weight for her. I had to bring her back to the hospital yesterday because I was worried about dehydration and she stayed last night to get fluids. Today she's doing much better and she has only vomitted once so hopefully she'll get to go home. Tomorrow is her clinic visit so we'll be back tomorrow morning to check her blood counts and make sure she doesn't need anything. I feel like we should just leave an overnight bag at the hospital!! Overall, her spirits are great and you wouldn't know she was sick the way she was jumping on the bed this morning.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Rachel Update

On top of moving this week, Rachel has also been in the hospital. On Monday, she had a kidney test and her kidneys checked out fine. So then she got a big dose of Cysplatin. This chemo has been very hard on her system so she has to stay in the hospital a little bit longer to keep from getting dehydrated. She will be getting two more doses of chemo this week and we will hopefully be home by the end of the week. She will be getting an MRI towards the end of the month to find out if the chemo is working. I know it has been awhile since I have updated the blog but moving from Florida and balancing Rachel's schedule at the clinic keeps us pretty busy. Please keep Rachel in your prayers as she goes through this difficult week.

Our New Home!

We are currently moving into our new home. We finally get to be together as a family! It is in the Stone Oak area in San Antonio, closer to the clinic and in between Michael's work and New Braunfels. The new address is
422 Mesa Hill
San Antonio, TX 78258
It was dark when this pic was taken but I will take more sometime in the next week and show ya'll the house.

Happy Birthday Drew!

Rachel got to go to a Birthday party on Saturday out at the Berkman Ranch. Her favorite part was watching the animals.

Bye, Bye Panama City

Rachel got released from the doctors to travel to Panama City for one last time to pack up our stuff. Michael's parents drove with Rachel and I to meet Michael there. Travis and Robyn also came to visit. I got to go by the school and say bye to some of my students and teachers I taught with. It meant a lot to get to see those familiar faces. I miss them all and I was glad I got to see them. We spent a week there packing and doing a few fun things.

Pier Park

Michael's Farewell Party At Work