Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MRI finally happened!!

We have pretty much been on a roller coaster since December but today felt like the wildest emotional ride yet!! Our day began at 6:30am. We got the MRI done by about 10:00, met with the oncologist, the neurosurgeon and had a CT scan by 2:30!!. The oncologist said that it looked like there was new growth in Rachel's abdomen. She quickly ordered a CT scan of the abdomen for today. (Her kind of cancer typically doesn't spread from the nervous system but the shunt drains her spinal fluid into her abdominal cavity so it's a possibility in Rachel's case.) We met with the neurosurgeon as well and she thought we might have new tumors on the abdominal wall. Needless to say, we were moving from office to office and finally got the results of the scan at about 2:00. What looked like something on the MRI was NOTHING on the CT scan. We are incredibly relieved because spreading would have changed our game plan completely. Don't get me wrong, we didn't get great news today but we walked out of there with better news than we thought we'd have. The new drugs pretty much did what the last drugs did. The cancer has grown a little in the places that it already existed. This means we have to try new drugs again. The one we are looking at trying will be outpatient and shouldn't be too hard on her system. There's a good chance her hair will fall out again but if this drug works we're willing to sacrifice it! Every chemo drug works differently and sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right one. The chemo is keeping the cancer growth to a minimum but our goal is to at least stop it where it is. Rachel is doing far better today with chemo than she would be doing without it. Overall her cancer has grown less than 10% since treatment has started and the goal is still that she has to have radiation to be cured. Statistically, the only people that have survived with her kind of cancer were radiated on. The chemo is our tool to get Rach as close to 3 as possible so that she has a chance to get radiation. This is just another day in what we hope to be a long process to finding a cure for her.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Father's Day

For father's day we thought it would be fun to do the African safari at Natural Bridge Caverns & Wildlife Ranch. Rachel liked it because she got to throw food at the animals. She did get in trouble for sampling the food a couple times but she had fun other than that. Toward the end she was definitely ready to go home and nap! This was a better option than the zoo because we got to sit in our air conditioned car instead of walk around in the 97 degrees heat! :)

This is at the end and Rachel fell asleep right after I took this picture.

Father's Day for Grandpa Rog

We ate at Mom & Dad's last night for father's day. Rachel was in a very good mood so we got lots of pictures of her and Michael.
Rachel's favorite question to ask is "what?" and she puts her hands up in the air every time she says it. This picture is so Rachel!!
Having a good laugh with Dad.

Michael's Fishing Trip

Michael went on a fishing trip this past week. He went with his dad, uncle, cousins, and the Cunningham men, Dick & Eric. They went to Venice, LA and fished for 2 days. I think we'll be eating lots of fish for a while!

This alligator kept trying to steal their bait so they had to switch spots.

Rainforest Cafe

Last Tuesday we had planned for both sides of the family to eat at Rainforest Cafe if we got good news. Of course, we got no news but we decided to go anyway. The kids had a blast because there are animals everywhere you look and they even come to life. You can walk around the restaurant while you're waiting for your food so that's why we have so many pics.

Friday, June 13, 2008

MRI Still Not Complete!!

Thursday morning we attempted the MRI once again. We tried it with a different drug for sedation. Rachel fell asleep fast and we thought it went great. She woke up halfway through the scan so they couldn't complete it. I know that this sounds pretty incompetent but they didn't use the anesthesiologist to do either sedation. Most people don't have problems with these drugs. When she woke up we didn't have enough time to knock her out again and they couldn't give her anymore barium to finish the scan. It was very frustrating!!!! On Tuesday we have another scan scheduled and she will be put under by an anesthesiologist so all should work well. Her brain scan was complete when she woke up but nothing on her spine. Her spine is where they can measure growth best because they can use the tumor. All we know is that there is no new growth in the brain but the cancer cells already in existence may have grown a little. We won't have any definite answers until Tuesday so we are still hoping that the cancer has stayed the same.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MRI postponed

We went to the hospital at 8am this morning to do the MRI on Rach. She would not fall asleep with the drugs they gave her so we couldn't do it. Needless to say, it was very frustrating to us!!! We have it rescheduled for Thursday morning and we're hoping this time it will happen. So we get to wait a little longer to find out if we're continuing this treatment or doing another one- ugh!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Playing at the Cunninghams

We went to a barbecue yesterday and Rachel got to play with her buddy Craig. They get along really well. She also played outside in the grass. She liked playing outside, she never usually will leave our laps! She got down in the grass and even wanted "papa" to walk her around. This was a really big deal to us because she showed a lot of strength and a desire to play which is something she is doing more and more now. We find out tomorrow how the chemo is working and we're praying hard that this one has helped!