Today was a day we were simultaneously dreading and itching to get to. By God’s grace it turned out to be a pretty good day.
Eliza still has cancer. We still have a long and scary road ahead. But all the news today has been good. We haven’t had an MRI or CT scan yet; those will be Wednesday. But two good test results:
1. Her blood tests from Friday confirm the diagnosis that this is a hepatoblastoma, which is a fairly common tumor in kids under 3. So we can be done with all the “if it’s what they think it is…” and know our enemy. A nasty enemy, but a fairly common and treatable enemy.
2. A chest X-ray confirmed that there are no signs of metastasis. This was our biggest prayer, and means that the prognosis is good with treatment.
The most likely course from here is chemotherapy followed by surgery, then more chemotherapy. But it’s still possible that they’ll go in to remove the tumor first. It depends on specifics of where it’s located and their chances of getting it all out. Sometimes the chemo comes first to shrink the tumor.
We are very fortunate to have a good friend in Charlotte who does these surgeries. We’ve had several phone calls with him going through our notes from doctors here, and he’s even been able to consult with a pediatric oncologist on our behalf. Everything we’ve heard has lined up on both sides of the ocean. We are getting excellent care here at an excellent facility. Praise God.
Several other things we are thankful for, just from today.
- Our doctor knew who we were as soon as we stepped onto the hall, though we hadn’t met. He spoke good English, took his time with us, and made sure we were able to ask all our questions. Because our nurse didn’t speak English, he even came along on our tour of the wing and translated for her.
- The oncology wing itself is very nice, with a couple of play areas and a common kitchen. The staff and other patients are friendly, and Eliza and Melissa have a private room with a bathroom.
- Our team loves us so well. Bob, Betsy and Jess had great adventures with the boys today. They asked zero questions about us leaving because Bob was with them, and they didn’t acknowledge me for about 20 minutes when I came to the Kenneys’ to pick them up. Jess has also opened up the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to them, for which I’m sure we’ll be forever grateful. We miss our families in the US every day, and now more than ever. But we are so grateful for the community God’s given us here.
- Eliza has a hot pink crib that is fabulous. You can see it in the picture above. It makes her mama happy.
We can’t remember who we have and haven’t responded to, and we just don’t always have the time or energy. But we have read every single one of your emails, texts, Facebook comments, Scriptures, and prayers. We’ve heard stories of people finding out they each new us through different contexts. Over 5,000 people saw our website this weekend. We are overwhelmed by how many people are praying for us and checking up on us. Thank you so much. Please don’t stop. We need it.
More specifics to pray for, in addition to the ones we’ve already listed.
- Pray for our communication with the nurses. This is mostly just a matter of our stepping out. We mostly have the Czech we need, we just aren’t always bold enough to try. They are eager to help.
- Start praying for God to sustain Eliza through chemo. We’ve hardly had time to think about that, but it’s real and it’s intense.
- Pray that the tumor will be entirely resectable (removable)– that it will be far enough from blood vessels, isolated in the left side (as it appears to be), and even that E will be a good candidate for surgery before chemo.
- Pray for the boys. Their world is going to look very different for a while too.
Tomorrow Eliza will have a few more exams, all of which are to make sure she’s ready to start chemo and that there aren’t any other issues we haven’t seen. Then the MRI Wednesday, and then we start the long road toward, we trust, a healthy girl.
Thank you for praying and for loving us. God is good.