Thank you so much for standing by for an update.
We just got Ava's results back from her bone marrow biopsy on Monday. The disease in her blood is stable at the moment at .02%. This is very good news and I want to remember to thank God for everything!
The really hard news is that due to elevated LDH levels, there is demonstration that the tumor burden in her body is now greater. This test is really non-specific but the soft tissue masses in her face and the growing bumps on her head have our doctors in Chicago thinking that this is clear indication of disease progression. The doctor said that it looks like her relapse is behaving like a lymphoma. There is no confirmation but from what she is seeing, the cancer cells seem to be collecting and forming masses rather than going into the bloodstream. I wish I had the answers to the many questions that are running through our heads. We were told that survival statistics are around 10-20%. But, as we know, statistics don't tell the whole story. It will either be 100% or 0% (you make it or you don't) and we really ask the Lord for His favor.
What is clear is that we need to do more imaging of her body to see if there are any new masses. She will hopefully be going in for a PET scan this Monday.
Our plans are to leave for Florida (just me and the girls and Auntie Sofi and Uncle Mark) on Tuesday for one last fun trip before it is back to hospital gowns and lines. Our trip will coincide with Mike's missions trip to Haiti. Once we are all back in Chicago around the 8th, we will head to Seattle. We haven't decided if we will drive or fly. We think driving would be a really great family adventure but if time is of the essence, we will forgo all of the stuff I just said and fly out sooner. Hopefully the PET scan will help with some of those decisions.
Obviously there is a lot of logistical stuff that we need prayer for, but most importantly we pray that we would dwell in God's presence and know that He is near.
We really, really pray that Ava will be well enough to go on this last minute trip to Florida. She really wants to swim in the pools, visit the beach, and go to Epcot (again).
We could really use prayers that:
1) The growths on her head and in her cheeks are not leukemia cutis. We know this is far-fetched but none of these new bumps have been biopsied and we know that anything is possible. The bump in her cheek actually feels smaller...
2) The PET scan reveals no cancerous masses in her body.
3) That we would make it to Seattle safely and that Ava would receive all the support and treatments she needs to get better
4) That we would be able to make it to Florida for a fun filled and safe week without worry of doctors, pokes, or disease.
5) That Mike would have a safe and blessed trip to Haiti and wouldn't be delayed on his way home to us
6) For Ava, Gwen, and Jude to adjust well to the changes. We are packing and planning like crazy and there are only a few normal days left for them. They are playing with each other right now and I am so thankful that they have this time together.
7) All the logistical, financial things would work out for our family as we make this move.
8) For Allistaire, Jude, Madeleiene, Ella Joy, Sophie, Kelly, and any other friends that are fighting cancer at this time.
We are truly thankful to you for your prayers, love and support. We know the love is pouring in from all over the world and we stand in awe of God's provision for us.