Thursday, January 16, 2014

Diagnosis & Prognosis

Paige was so very ill when the onslaught of tests began that doctors decided against lengthy procedures that would require general anesthesia--her body would not have been able to handle it.   A biopsy after the original CT scan determined the mass taking over her chest was cancer.  Due to the fact it was so closely tied to the lymph nodes--Diagnosis: Lymphoma.

Discussions with the oncology doctors revealed that Paige would need to immediately begin a regimen to fight the cancerous cells that were taking over parts of her body.  This would include steroids to shrink the mass in her chest as well as chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells.  It was explained this would be a long, tough battle--but it was one she would win.  Prognosis: The cancer is treatable.

Paige's first round of chemotherapy came less than 24 hours after we walked in the doors for pneumonia treatment.  It still just blows my mind--but we were clearly there for a reason, and that was to get our daughter on a path to recovery as soon as possible.  Paige took the chemo well and had no major side effects.  Her strength is just mind-boggling---gotta be that PEACE thing again.

Bone marrow and spinal fluid tests were necessary to determine whether cancer cells were hiding elsewhere in Paige's body.  These tests typically would have been conducted along with the biopsy, but doctors waited until the procedures were safe for Paige's fragile respiratory condition.  Sooo…three days later, the percentage of cancer cells in the bone marrow hit a sort of "magic number" that no longer classified her cancer as Lymphoma--it was now Diagnosis: Leukemia.

Thankfully, we were not surprised, as the doctors had prepared us for possible outcomes.  The course of treatment was similar to Lymphoma but included more lumbar punctures, bone marrow aspirations, and radiation down the road.  Prognosis: This cancer is just as treatable.

 In four days' time, Paige went from pneumonia to lymphoma to leukemia.  How we managed to stay standing is no mystery.  God was, is, and will always be there. Stay tuned, folks…the story is just unfolding.  He has put all of these puzzle pieces into position, and we are only beginning to see how everything fits together.

Be strong and courageous…He will not leave you or forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

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