Thursday, September 10, 2009

SURVIVOR, ISLA, AUSTRALIA



You cant actually believe that this blonde curly bundle of joy has gone through cancer, stage 4 neuroblastoma. Almost 2 years ago, 17 Sep 2007, Isla's parents, Justin and Angelee were given this life changing news about their baby girl. The cancer was located in the following areas:

Left adrenal gland (primary)
Liver
Skull
orbitals
jaw
soft tissue mass behind the right eye
bone marrow

Isla started chemotherapy in Sep 07, in hopes of destroying ever single nb cell in her tiny body. Various tests were done in Australia and the USA to determine Isla's pathology and the best news came in that the N myc amplication was not amplified, changing Isla from High to intermediate risk.

We first connected with Isla and her family through the onlibe neuroblastoma support group and it is such an amazing place for the latest nb information, for advise, for prayers for support, for families around the world

Isla continued treatment through her first birthday and had mixed results from bone apsirations and scans.

Isla was then changed back to high risk neuroblastoma in March 08, meaning harsher chemo and astem cell transplant after chemo finished.

The high dose chemo was really rough on Isla and she faught through many infections and side effects and fevers to name a few

Tests in May 08 revealed that there was no further change since the last set of scans - so more or less the same. It was decided that the remainder of the main tumor at the adrenal gland be removed.

After many consults with doctors around the world, it was decided that stem cell transplant was over kill for little Isla and it was decided to take a watch and wait approach, doing scans and follow ups every 3 months - results continued to be good showing stable and even improbved results.

Finally in July of this year Isla reached NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE STATUS! Praise Our Lord! Here is Justins entry on this amazing news:
R E M I S S I O N

Yes, you read that right. There is no evidence of disease from the recent scans. 660 days since diagnosis, 12 rounds of chemotherapy, three operations, 12 CT scans, 10 MIGB scans, 10 bone scans estimated 50 or so blood transfusions, atleast 300 days where we've had to be in or at the hospital it's GONE!

No more drugs to be given, no more monthly visits to the hospital. The next installment will be September 09 for followup scans to check that the cancer hasn't come back.

What now for us?

We are about to spend six and a bit weeks travelling to Los Angeles (Disneyland, SeaWorld, shopping) and then Canada (Toronto, Quebec maybe, and other surrounding places) to catch up with Uncle, Aunt and cousin's and other fun stuff...

Beyond that, we will need to monitor Isla closely for the next 5 years to before she can be classified as cured.

Not really sure what else I can say. Obviously thank you for the support either remotely via this journal and here locally with the family and friends that helped us when and where they could through the last 660 days.

We rejoice with you all and continue to keep Isla and you all in our prayers - that she continues to grow from strength to strength and remains ned always and forever

God Bless and lots of love from South Africa!

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