Angel underwent surgery 3/10/10 and 3/26/12 for a large brain tumor in the cerebellum and brainstem. Chemo completed 10/13 after 18 month regimen. Tumor remains at this point. Doctors removed 95% of the tumor. Diagnosis is "juvenile pylocytic astrocytoma."
"It is a big tumor...it will require surgery...it is likely cancer...it is not a good prognosis." These are the things that strike fear in the heart of any parent. This is what we heard about our wonderful five year old daughter Angel on Monday after a visit to the ER and ensuing transfer. Last week she began having headaches and problems with her eyes going crossed. We had a few MD visits and were leaning toward vision problems. Thanks be to God for the wonderful staff at CMC-Northeast ER who caught the tumor and immediately arranged transfer to CMC-Main Levine Childrens Hospital. We have met with pediatric neurosurgeons and pediatric oncologists. The tumor is in the cerebellum exerting pressure on the brainstem with increased intracranial pressure. It is a large tumor with anticipated difficulty removing it. There is significant potential of complication associated with removal and most likely will result in cerebral shunt placement. Surgery is scheduled for 3-10-10 at 6 am. We know that miracles happen and that God still performs miracles. We know this is possible through prayer and the mighty hand of God who already has his hands at work in Angel's healing. Words cannot express our fear and anxiety. Knowing tomorrow will be different in some way brings pain...we try to remain strong in our faith because we know that God is near. Thanks go out to all who have prayed, sent gifts, visits, and supported.
Jump forward to August 2011. The tumor has new activity with some growth but more seriously, pressure being exerted in the brain. Headaches and neurological symptoms have increased. Angel has continued frequent physical and occupational therapy since her surgery. Additional surgery and chemotherapy are now being discussed. We praise God for the blessing of these days and for the awesome support network we have in our family, friends, church, co-workers, and prayer warriors.
March 2012 the tumor has grown back into the cerebellum in the old areas as well as a new area hidden by scar tissue from the previous surgery, Surgery performed again on 3/26/12 with all tumor removed from the cerebellum, however, the brain stem portion of the tumor remains. Chemotherapy regimen of 60 months to begin 2-3 weeks post surgery.