Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Golf Ball?

Golf ball. An oblong shaped golf ball. This is the current size of Christian’s tumor. Going from a tumor that was so large it protruded from his stomach and was bordered by his hip flexor muscle below and his diaphragm above – a golf ball sounds good. The original size of the tumor was almost the diameter of a mini football so we are ecstatic about its current size and response to his treatments thus far. After the first scan in April the tumor had shrunk almost 70%(in diameter) and now it has halved itself again. So I think it is safe to say that the tumor is shrinking and dying at an excellent rate.
Getting chemo in the HOT clinic with Nurse Jenny
The unfortunate part of the results was that the tumor is still within the confounds of his Inferior Vena Cava. This means that surgery is not going to happen at this juncture. It would be risky and not necessary as dictated by his treatment protocol. For his stage and level of Rhabdomyosarccoma resection surgery has not shown a significant increase in life expectancy; so if it is not an easy process for the surgeons they will not do it. We may explore surgery again at the end of his treatment in December if the tumor has finally decided to release its clutches on his vessel.  It does make me a little sad to not be doing the surgery since this is the only true and sure way to determine whether the remaining mass is dead or still has active cancer cells.   Our only other way of knowing if the tumor has developed a resistance to the chemotherapy and radiation is to wait until his treatment is complete in December. They will rescan him and then we will have to watch to see if they tumor continues to shrink as his body breaks down the remaining mass and residual scar tissue or if by some cruel turn the mass grows. If on the follow up scans (which he will have every 3 months for the next three years) the mass gets bigger then we will know that his tumor developed a resistance to his treatments.  This scenario is miles away and not in our thoughts right now. We are enjoying our time and rejoicing in our gifts.
Pizza picnic in Canmore - does life get any better? 
Soccer in the park
As I type this, Evelyn and Christian are sitting together on his hospital bed singing along to the Backyardigans and dancing away. They are so cute sitting there together enjoying each others company. As a mother, one of my most rewarding and heart filling moments is to watch them giggle and have fun together. I treasure these moments and hope they continue to enjoy each other’s company. I am sure she will continue to antagonize him and he will continue to ignore her but this is what siblings are about right?!
Spray Lakes Fun

Chris and I decided today that Christian not being able to have surgery is a way of helping us to let go and stop trying to ‘control’ Christian’s cancer and his outcome. By not being able to have a surgery, we have no idea where his tumor is in terms of cellular viability. For all we know he might be ‘cancer free’ or he might be, at this very moment, developing a resistance to the chemotherapy. But the take home message for us is that it doesn’t matter. What matters right now is RIGHT NOW, that we enjoy each other and experience as much of this life as we can. That we take as many opportunities as we can to enjoy life.  I think I have already typed this quote out before in the blog but it is always in the back of my mind,


Today Christian tells me he is thankful for:

1.     Toys
2.     Drinks – sprite, water, lemonade and Yop
3.     Sticker books (Evan and Ryan came in a short 4th!)

Throwing rocks in the river...our favorite pasttime


  1. These results sound very positive and from a medical perspective why do something risky if the present tx. is working so well. There's no reason to believe the chemo will not continue to be effective based on what it has been able to do thus far. How's Christian doing today - is he still in hospital. Love you guys - hope to see you soon. Janice

  2. SUCH GOOD NEWS! Wonderful, so happy!! :-) Take all the good news you can, don't dwell on anything else.

  3. Hi there, It's Yamileth.

    I'm glad to hear that Christian's tumor is shrinking, he sure has grown. I did a charity garage sale & the Angry Bird fundraising kids school for Christian's Fight. I have money that I would like to get to you and your family. Please email me at yamileth@shaw.ca so that I can bring it over for you. thanks.