Phoebe has been busy. Last week, she had a repeat bone marrow aspiration, lumbar puncture and CT scan. The results came in one by one ... her spinal fluid is clear of leukemia, her lungs are much improved ... her bone marrow is still overwhelmed with disease. There is less leukemia in the bone marrow than on the last test, so we are making progress, but it's still very much there.
This is after four weeks with a very low dose chemo that is not expected to cure - we are not sure if we should feel happy that it has not raged out of control or disappointed that it is still there. I feel both and more - happy and relieved that for whatever reason, this terribly aggressive disease is "controlled" and isolated to Phoebe's bone marrow, but so disappointed that it is still there, and terrified by what all of this means.
We have tried so many things and right now there is no answer, no drug and no treatment that can fix this. Actually, there truly has never been an answer, a drug or a treatment to fix this. We will keep trying, as long as Phoebe is well, and we believe that one day, we will find what we have been looking for, we have to, but we can't help but wish there were more. More answers, more research, more options, more attention paid to cancers that affect children.
Right now, Phoebe wakes up each morning smiling (or yelling at us for breakfast), so we are okay. I just can't think about what all of this disease means, so I focus on the good things.
Phoebe is now eating on her own - she has been without her feeding tube for 2 weeks and although she hasn't gained any weight, she hasn't lost any either.
The fungal infection continues to improve. Phoebe's skin is still marked where the lesions were once black and awful, but compared to 3 months ago, the progress is amazing.
Phoebe continues to blaze her own trail and in less than two weeks she will turn five years old. Five amazing and miraculous years old.
We are all together - or we will be again soon. Jon has been home for the past two weeks and returns to Memphis tomorrow. We have been away from Ottawa and our little house for a year and life outside of cancer and Memphis needed some attention. We can't wait to see him and I am so thankful to be able to travel this road together.
We are not sure of what happens next and right now, we are just thankful that Phoebe is "well" despite the many reasons she has not to be. Our doctor is looking into a few things that we haven't tried yet, and we are hopeful she will find something that will help. It just takes one.
Please keep Phoebe in your thoughts and prayers.
This photo is of Mae and Phoebe walking the famous Memphis Peabody Ducks up to their rooftop home in honor and memory of Matthew Robert Pierce. Matthew's sisters were honorary duck masters and they invited Mae and Phoebe to join them. It was a beautiful afternoon spent with amazing people in honor of a little boy who has changed and touched many lives. We miss you Matthew.
This photo is a save the date postcard for the childhood cancer awareness event on Parliament Hill. There is strength in numbers. Please pass it on ...