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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday's Update....

I received this email from Alica yesterday and wanted to pass it on to you all....

I first want to thank everyone for all the love and support you have shown our family. It really, truly makes us feel like we have someone we can talk to. Thank you all so, so much. We love you all and know that everyone is dealing with this in there own way. Its hard, but we will get through it together.

The latest on April is that there finally decided to run another ct scan this morning. The results were not what we wanted to hear, but were dealing with it. First problem is that the tumor is growing very fast and it is now spreading to other major organs, like her kidneys. They have decided for the time being to stop the chemo, since it isn't doing anything anyways, and its also adding to the intestinal problems.

April really isn't wanting the next step, but if she wants some relief she will have to oblige. She has 10 feet of intestinal gas build up at the moment and we have to get it out. They are hoping to put the tube back down through her nose to help relieve some of the gas. After they have had the tube in for a few days they will proceed with a surgery to insert a tube into her bowel that will be left open to allow gas to pass freely.

Basically the doctors have said that there isn't much chance left and the concern is keeping her as comfortable as possible. They wont give us any more then a day to day update at this time. Basically this is going much faster then any of us had thought.

April has requested that once the tube is in absolutely NO visitors, that includes us as well. She wont be able to talk at all and it makes her uncomfortable to sit there and stare at everyone. Please let her rest and take all the personal space that she needs. Do to the discomfort of the tube it is also hard for her to text. If we could try to keep that to a minimum that would be great.

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April's Story

In May 2006, when April was twenty weeks pregnant, she went in for a routine ultrasound to find out the gender of her baby. The ultrasound would turn out to be life-changing in more ways than one. Happily, April found out she would be the mother of a little girl, but sadly her doctor also discovered a tumor. The doctor dismissed it as a ‘fatty deposit,’ even though April had previously had cancer. April asked her doctor for tests because it was so alarming to her, but again she was dismissed.

After the delivery of baby Emma, April began to experience major pain that continued to get worse and worse, so she finally went to the ER, begging to be tested. Unfortunately, they found that the tumor had grown immensely. April was sent to surgery for what was thought to be a benign tumor and possible ovary removal. During the surgery, doctors found the cancer everywhere in April’s pelvic region. A full hysterectomy was performed. April’s doctors tried their best to remove all the cancer, but it had metastasized. She then went on chemo to fight a long list of cancers, because her doctors were unsure what type of cancer April actually had. The tests showed that it was not ovarian cancer, but, rather, another type of cancer that had spread to her ovaries. At that point they thought it was Stage 4 cancer, which is incurable.

In January 2007, April’s doctor told her they received a pathology report from the hospital that had performed her last surgery in the spring of 2004 to remove a non-cancerous tumor. The pathology report showed that the precursor cells that were found in the last, non-cancerous tumor were the same as the cells that were found in the most recent, cancerous tumor. It was a promising hope that April could possibly have ovarian cancer with a strange cellular makeup. That took it from a stage 4 to stage 3. Although the prognosis was still serious, there was hope that April’s cancer might be wiped out.

Once it was discovered that the precursor cells were the same, the plan was to still continue on with chemo for another six months and to have April receive scans about every three months to see if there was any new growth. During the scan in August of this year, April received great news: the doctors believed that there was no new growth, only an inflammation that measured at .5 cm which they believed to be swelling from the last surgery. April’s family was ecstatic for obvious reasons, one of which was that April had made it a whole year with no return of the disease.

Unfortunately, immediately after that last scan, April began experiencing pain again. She trusted her instincts and went in and asked to be checked out even though she had just had a scan. She had an exam the following week, and they found that that small, .5 cm inflammation was, in fact, the cancer. It had really never gone away and was just being held at bay with the chemo. April got another scan in early September, and this one verified the tumor had already grown to 4-5 cm in three weeks.

At the time of this writing, April has started back on chemo, but it’s a different kind of regimen. One part of the chemo drug is called Topotecan, and there is also a bio agent drug called Avistan. The plan is for these drugs to keep the size of the tumor down, or wipe it away all together. There are also tiny spots all throughout her pelvic region now, along with the tumor.

The plan is to keep April on a chemotherapy regimen for as long as is tolerable. If the chemo treatment is not successful or sustainable, there will then be other options. April’s doctors’ prognosis is for a one-year survival rate, with a one- to two-percent chance of the cancer going into complete remission. Even with that news we are obviously holding out for a miracle and hoping that April will be healed.

Isaiah 40:31
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;they shall mount up with wings as EAGLES they shall run, and not be weary;and they shall walk, and not faint"