Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Ray of Hope

     In case you missed the video posted on our Facebook page, here is an update on Hazel's scan results:


     Hazel's doctors could not detect a single bit of cancer inside her little body, neither in her scans or her bone marrow biopsies, and boy are we thankful! 9 months ago, when our little Hazelnut relapsed, things looked very bleak and grim.  Statistics for relapsed Neuroblastoma are so bad, that we didn't even discuss them with her doctors.  And to be honest, there were many a night where Aaron and I collapsed in heaps of tears, thinking about the strong possibility that we may have to let our daughter go.
     When treatment began to work, I scarcely allowed myself to hope, knowing full well that Neuroblastoma is smart and tricky, and can mutate in a way to resist treatment that was once effective.  My deep depression and anxiety has made it very difficult for me to take a deep breath, to see any light, or feel any hope.  And when you feel hopeless, you feel helpless.  These last 9 months have truly been a hell that I would never wish upon anyone.

     But today is different.

     Today, there is light.

     Today, there is joy.

     Today, there is hope.

     Today, my daughter's body is rid of this disease, and we can take that deep breath, and keep on fighting.  While I still struggle with bitterness, exhaustion, fear, and anger; today it is a little bit easier to see through those feelings, and grab onto that hope that I have so longed for.

     After going over these results with her team, and knowing how Neuroblastoma cells like to hide out, dormant, ready to grown at any minute, we have all decided that it would be best to continue chemotherapy for another three cycles (5 day courses every 4 weeks), and scan again.  If these next scans are again clear, she can be finished with this harsh regimen and begin a maintenance therapy for an indefinite amount of time.

     We sit here now, in the infusion center, beginning what will hopefully be the first of the LAST three rounds of chemo, and I can't even begin to describe to you what it feels like to see a possible end to this part of our journey.  The fact that it is even remotely possible that Hazel could be in school in the fall, and that we would not be spending our days within these hospital walls, is an absolute miracle!  However, it is still difficult for me to grapple with the fact that this cancer life will be with us forever, whether it is with Hazel beating this beast once and for all and I live with the fear of it coming back, or that it indeed comes back for her to battle once again.  I long for the mundane, for the boring, for the normal.  I'm terrified to keep living this life, for fear what it might do to my daughter, my family, and myself.  But alas, this is our life, and I have to teach myself to choose to find the positives, to find the joy and to find the hope.  Please pray that we can keep learning how to do that, and that God may fill us with His peace that surpasses all understanding, as I know that we cannot fight this battle alone.