I know I published a post about Nadine somewhere earlier in this blogging business.
Nadine just turned seven and is in the first grade. She was diagnosed and treated for a Wilms tumor on her kidney (kidney removed, radiation, chemo) last year. (Was it only last year? Yes, when she was in kindy-grade.) She was given an "all clear" on her last few appointments..... until last week.
A small jellybean of a tumor was detected.
She had surgery yesterday. My sister & I went to visit her today to give her some princess posters and to give her little brother some Color Wonder. She looks good and she is in good spirits. She gets to go home tonight.
The tumor was bigger than a golf ball.
Most likely it is not a return of the Wilms tumor (98% chance of full recover from those little guys....) but a very aggressive, freakishly fast growing cancer that was, possibly, existing in small patches in conjunction with the Wilms tumor. Ana-something-or-other.
So she will be on chemo-radiation treatment 4 times stronger than last time.... basically the toughest stuff they've got. It goes in over the course of 4-5 days and she gets treated approximately once a month. She will most likely end up hospitalized, getting blood transfusions and isolated to prevent exposure to infection. She has a 50-50 chance.
If this doesn't work the only remaining alternative is stem cells. I, of course, offered our umbilical stem cells if they match. What's a few stem cells between friends? And I can donate blood for her. And if it comes to it... well, I'm already on the marrow donor registery if that makes any difference.
My office gathered together some cash and we will do what we can to support any fundraising efforts on her behalf. I'll be on the lookout for princess cards to mail to her and ways to give her mama & dad a break.
I try and try to think of things I can DO and I feel so helpless and vaguely selfish. I want to DO SOMETHING to make myself feel better. And, of course, there is more than a tiny bit of guilt (and, I won't lie, relief) this is happening to THEM and not US. I can only pretend to imagine what they are going through and they all appear so STRONG. I spent a few hours with them and all I want to do is curl up in a ball twined together with my sweet, sweet son and watch him sleep. They are living this day to day and moment to moment.
So, if you get a chance..... think about them.