Update on Amanda

September 10, 2009


Pray for Amanda...
Hello Friends,

I know that email is not the most personal way to share news, but once you start making calls the news can travel so quickly and I just wanted to let you hear me.

We received news, in a call yesterday afternoon, that Amanda has developed a new cancerous tumor. The details are in the email that I am including in this correspondence. We don't have all the answers yet but I know that you care about our daughter and our family and I just wanted to send this information on and ask you to join with us as we pray for God's grace, mercy and peace to cover our daughter as well as our entire family during this time. We will continue to try and get any updates out through the blog or emails as decisions are made.

Thank you in advance for your prayers, your support and your care my daughter,



As you now are hearing, we learned some very difficult news during an MRI on Wednesday. I wanted to send a note and share with you a few more of the details that you may be wondering about.

Amanda has been doing great. She loves school and is very excited to be a senior. On Monday evening, while we were together in the kitchen talking, she told me that she was having a little bit of pain in her lower pelvic area when she did certain actions or movements. It was not sharp, she referred to it as an "ache" but said that she was aware of it and it was "annoying". She told me it had been doing this for about a week or so and she thought it would just go away, but it did not.

We had a lab draw scheduled for the next morning and so I told Amanda that we needed to talk with the Dr. about it while we were there. She didn't really want to, but understood that I felt it was very necessary.

On Tuesday, following the lab draw, we talked to the Dr. and they did a small exam. There was no bump or mass that could be felt. There was no place that was tender to the touch. They asked me what I would like to do and I said that I wanted an MRI right away to check it out. They agreed and thought that was the right thing to do and called me later that day to say we were scheduled for an MRI of her pelvic area on Wednesday morning.

The MRI showed a new mass. This new tumor is approximately the size of a peach pit. The MRI shows it in the junction between the top of Amanda's femur bone and where it connects into her hip socket. This was a previously "clean" area and has never showed any signs of cancer before. If you remember, there is a small spot that we have always watched closely that lies very close to the end of her spine. They could not remove it for fear of damaging her spinal column. Thankfully, that spot is still dormant at this time.

The development of this new spot is devastating for a number of reasons. Some of them being...

1) since it developed while on active chemo treatment then we have to consider that her osteo has found a way to mutate around chemo and chemo may no longer be effective. Amanda has received so much chemo in the past three years that we do not have many other chemo options available to us.

2) Osteo usually jumps to the lungs. That is why it was so important that she have the lung surgery to get the active cancer out of her system. If it has now moved beyond being contained in her lungs then it could develop anywhere. That is why a PET scan has been scheduled. We need to see if there are other new tumors developing elsewhere in her body. This scan will take place next Tuesday afternoon. I will share results with you when they are available. We have been told that we probably won't know the findings until sometime Wednesday.

3) Although all options will be considered, the location of this new tumor is especially problematic for Amanda since she depends on her right side for all of her mobility. Any surgical or radiation options have to consider what damage will be caused to that joint.

I know this probably does not answer all of your questions, we don't have all of the answers ourselves. Primarily, at this time, we need to wait for the PET scan and see what it tells us. After that we have been told that we will go to Houston where all of this scan information will be reviewed with Dr. Anderson and our options will be discussed.

Our hearts are broken over this latest development but we continue to hold on, we as we are, to our faith and ask, as before, that you keep this precious child and the days ahead in your prayers.


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