Esther has tried posting several times, but hasn't been able to finish a post in one sitting. Each day can be so different from the next on this emotional roller coaster of a ride, that yesterday can feel so foreign to today, so it's been hard to finish something she started writing even a day ago. She hopes to post something soon.
In the meantime, this is a busy week for Ava:
Mon: bone marrow biopsy (plus intrathecal chemo as usual to make sure there's no cancer in the CNS system/spine/brain)
Tue: full body PET scan - to assess Ava's leukemia cutis for any new growths, state of her current/previous growths and to see how well the chemo worked this round.
Wed: appointment with the head oncologist - after they get the biopsy and PET scan results, the doctors will discuss and determine a plan of action for Ava and discuss that with the Lee family this day
Thu: possible admittance to the hospital, should Ava start another round of chemo
Today is day 24 since Ava started her chemo in Seattle. This round of chemo is 29 days, so we are in the last stretch. Ava's numbers have been rebounding/climbing back up. Meaning: her ANC is starting to recover after the chemo wiped it out, and her immune system is rebuilding. This would suggest that the chemo perhaps has done what it will? Now that Ava's blood counts are recovering, they can do the testing she needs this week to assess how well the chemo worked.
Last Wednesday, the doctor was able to make a preliminary assessment that Ava has had a partial response to chemo. Some of the bumps she's had on her head and face were noticeably decreased in size, though they were still visible. However, in the 4 days since that appointment, Esther reports that the numerous bumps that Ava had on her head seem to have disappeared! At least they are not evident to the naked eye or by touch. This is amazing and nothing short of God's miraculous work! We don't know if it is typical to have effects of chemo this late in the cycle, but it will be interesting to see what the results from this week's tests show.
- for the unexpected disappearance of Ava's head lesions! She still has some on her face, but there are so many that have disappeared. We give all glory and praise to God!
- for the people and local church who have come alongside the Lee family so tangibly and sacrificially, becoming dear friends and an amazing support group. Truly, you have demonstrated the love of God in ways they would never have expected, but so need and appreciate at this time. They give thanks to God for providing this means to strengthen their spirits in the midst of difficulty.
- for Ava's baptism over the weekend! It was a special and memorable event. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for pictures and a slideshow.
- for smooth and accurate tests this week, for continued healing of illnesses for all the kids
- for wisdom in the next steps for Ava's care: start a new round of chemo or do another round of the same one? At this point, because Ava's leukemia cutis is still evident, she likely isn't ready for transplant, but we need the Lord's wisdom to know how to proceed in the meantime. The doctors admit that there really isn't a "standard protocol" for Ava's situation. This is unknown territory in the medical world, but we praise God that He knows all and we can trust Him with the uncertainty of life.
- for God's complete healing of Ava - whether through chemo, transplant or something entirely different
- for full trust in God's heart and His plans, even if they are different than what we prefer or understand at the time
Thank you so much. Your prayers are truly invaluable. May the Lord bless you for your prayers offered up in secret.