Things have changed a lot in the last few weeks.
Following the last scans, they learned that the cancer had grown. Her pain level had also increased and the clinical trial that she had been participating in was no longer an option.
From the beginning, the preferred treatment was immunotherapy, but due to multiple factors, it was unavailable until it was suddenly approved on April 14th. She had her first infusion the next day. This was what we had been hoping for, but immunotherapy takes time to begin to work (if it is going to work for that particular patient) and due to the aggressive nature of her cancer, the concern was that it would take too long at this point to begin working. She did not have any noticeable side effects from the infusion and they scheduled the next round for Friday, April 29th.
On Wednesday, April 27th, she began having severe pain in her abdomen and was taken to the ER. During that visit, they did and x-ray and ct scan to determine what was causing the pain. The xray did not show anything that might be causing the pain, so she was admitted late Wednesday night and we waited to hear about the CT scan.
Thursday afternoon, Davy and Valerie met with Dr. Cardin while in the hospital at Vanderbilt. She had had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Spradlin (Valerie's regular oncologist) and they agreed that the news we had been hoping not to hear was the updated diagnosis. The treatments have not worked and the cancer is continuing to progress. She went on to explain that the next days or weeks may be very difficult.
Valerie went back to Dr. Spradlin yesterday and they went ahead with the pre-scheduled immunotherapy infusion, but they reiterated the news that the doctor at the hospital had delivered. No one is giving up. Our prayer is that since the immunotherapy has had no negative side effects for her, she can continue to get it and it will begin to work very soon. We are continuing to pray for a miracle, and that the infusions will kick in and help her body kill this cancer.
Valerie is very fatigued by the pain and also by the medications to help alleviate that pain. We are all trying to make sure she is comfortable and getting the support she needs as she (and we) come to terms with the predicted outcome of her condition.
Please pray for us all. God's peace and grace are so very important now and I ask that you all continue to pray for us to draw closer to Him and to each other as we spend this time with Valerie.
Please also pray for Davy and Valerie as they struggle to determine the timing for explaining all of this to Elaina. At 4 years old, she will most certainly not understand much of what is happening. Pray that she feels loved and they get the support they need to help her.