Friday, March 19, 2010

Celebrate! Celebrate!

Well, Emily completed chemo #12, and hopefully her last chemo! Yeah!!!! In some ways it seems like yesterday we received her diagnosis, and in other ways it seems like a really long time ago. It has been an emotional journey, and one we are not quite done with yet. Her appointment went well, and her chemo was uneventful. The plan is to have tests(pulmonary, CT scan, PET scan) done in the next 2 weeks, and then meet back with the oncologist on April 2nd. She will review the results of the tests, and decide if radiation is needed. There are specific criteria they use to determine if radiation is needed, and Emily was just on the borderline. We have decided we are trusting in the decision as what is best, and will go with the flow.

At the spur of the moment, we decided to celebrate her last chemo, and called a few family and friends Many of them had not been in the same room since Emily was in ICU, and we all agreed it was a much better day! We had cake with a purple ribbon on it, which is the symbol for Hodgkins awareness (like pink ribbon is for breast cancer support). Emily has been an incredible inspiration to us all, and once again, we were commenting on the tremendous support we have received as a family. So we thank each one of you who have said a prayer, sent an encouraging word, or let us know you have thought about us! We praise our heavenly Father for his faithfulness and love!

Friday, March 5, 2010

#11 down and 1 to go!

Well, Jim went with Emily for chemo # 11. Everything went well. Her blood count numbers were all good. Dr. L discussed with them that there is only one chemo to go.... BUT...! The But... is never good. Dr. L said she knew she told us radiation would not be needed, But she reviews each patients results carefully at the end of a chemo round to make sure they are on the right path, especially towards the last. Apparently there is a standard that determines if radiation is needed, and for Emily's Hodgkins, it is the size of the original tumors. Emily's tumors were not quite large enough to need radiation, but they were very close. SO, Dr. L said after the last chemo, we would wait 2 weeks, and then do all new testing: PET scan, CT scan, pulmonology test, cardio test, and then relook to see if radiation is needed. She would staff Emily's case with other oncologists, and if there was any indecision at all, Emily would be sent to an oncology/radiation expert and he would make the final decision. She did say there was a good chance she would not need it, but wanted to make us aware that it is still a possibility.

Emily was disappointed. She was really hoping she would be done after the next chemo. But the reason radiation is done is to keep the chances of recurrence, (the cancer coming back) low. The radiation would be five days a week for 6 weeks. That would be tough to do in Tulsa, and finish the semester in school. It might be able to be done in Stillwater, but that is not for sure. We will deal with that when we know for sure. I told Emily, from the very beginning I prayed for the right Dr.s and then have prayed daily for them to have wisdom and for God to guide them in the way they treat her. He has been SO faithful in that. Time and time again, the doctors made decisions that turned out to be exactly the right thing. And that if having radiation means it does not come back, and she won't have to deal with this again later, it will be worth it to take care of it now, all at once. I know this is easy for me to say, but she seems to be OK with it all for the moment. I know I am redundant, but we are so PROUD of her. She really has been an inspiration to me! Thank you for all of your prayers! When we get overwhelmed, someone always sends us an encouraging word, or something pops into our minds, and I know that is all of your prayers lifting us up!

PS: Emily is the "cancer survivor" on a relay for life team. Jim and I are also on her team along with 8 of her friends. We will be participating in the Stillwater Relay for Life on 4-16-10. If anyone is interested in donating a few bucks, please feel free to give me a call. Or you are welcome to go the the following website:
push "donate", and then search for Emily Sellers. You can pay with a credit card and get a tax receipt. It really is pretty easy.