Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jesus the triops?

One thing we have have learned to expect lately is to expect nothing.

Wednesday night, as Natalie and Daniel were excitedly getting ready to see Disney on Ice, one of Eve's oncologists called. The doctors had been communicating with their counterparts across the country, discussing the images from Eve's CT scan. Eve's left kidney showed remarkable improvement- the tumors on that side have shrunk down so much, that the surgeon is confident he could go in and remove the lesions while leaving most of the kidney untouched. The right kidney also shows great improvement, but there are still many areas that would need to be removed. It has been decided to give Eve another 6 weeks of chemo in an effort to shrink these tumors down further, since she has been responding so well to treatment. The hope is to give the surgeon a better chance to be able to save some of the right kidney. So...westward ho! Eve Does Chemo: take two.

It was nice for Nat and Dan to do something with both Mommy and Daddy. The ice show was very cool (temperature pun, get it?). I enjoyed myself, too. The last ice skating event I had seen was an Ice Capades show featuring the Smurfs. Magic on ice was a long time coming for this momma! Nat is counting down the days until we can go next year, but with Eve.

Christmas crafts are in full swing at the Griffith house. Grandmas have been gluing pom poms to popsicle sticks, cutting out Christmas trees, and coloring cards. Everything is proudly displayed, no matter how Jackson Pollock it may be. Daniel brought home a manger he made in preschool of baby Jesus. "Baby Jesus is a triops. I gave him three eyes." (Indeed, baby Jesus is a triops, although he looks more like a bespeckled circus peanut to this art critic.) If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, things must be triply beautiful for Jesus the triops.

We left Christmas Cove this morning for Duke once again. Eve had her port accessed before we were sent downstairs for an echocardiogram. Her heart looked good and we were sent back upstairs. Chemo, game on!

The doctor showed us before and after images from the CT scans. Wowza! Massive difference. We can actually see some kidney now. We also watched as the oncologist tried to decipher the results of the genetic tests. First up, Christy Griffith. defect! Now the pressure is on Matt. And...he's defect-free! Looks like it's just bad luck that Eve has Wilms in both kidneys. Out of the 400-500 cases of Wilms diagnosed annually in the U.S., only 5% of those are bilateral.

Eve's ANC was 1065. She was all cleared for the full dose of Vincristine, in addition to Doxorubicin and Dactinomycin. The clinic was slammin' today, so we were sent down to the Jim Valvano Day Hospital. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, we're off to the Day-Ho! It's basically a big room with oversized chairs, televisions, and IV poles. Eve got her Zofran drip to keep the nausea at bay before receiving the rest of the drugs.

One of the nurses signed Eve up for the Beads of Courage program. You get a string with your child's name on it, and the patient gets glass beads for various things. For instance, Eve gets a light green glass bead everytime she undergoes some sort of scan. So, she gets 9 beads for having a MRI, two CT scans, an X-ray, two echocardiograms, two ultrasounds, and an EKG. As you can guess, her string is pretty full of beads. She has beads for each chemo treatment, each time she's gotten poked with something...she even has one for losing her hair. Little Cindy-Lou Who's string is getting full, and we've only just begun!

7 down, 5 to go! (I'd hate to start over and say 1 down, 5 to go, because it seems kind of depressing to start from ground zero again. I'm not a glass is half-empty type of person. I'm not even a glass is half-full kind of person. I am more of a "You've got twice as much glass as you need" type person.)


  1. I'm glad to hear things are coming along well, if not as quickly as desired. I love the string of beads idea they're doing with her, that will be a really neat keepsake for her down the road.

  2. "...just put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking out the door..."
    -fred astaire in "santa claus is coming to town"

  3. That is great news to hear. The string of beads is a nice idea and when Eve gets a bit older and understands, I'm sure she will be treasuring them thrug the years.