Thursday, February 25, 2010

What are the odds?

There's nothing like coming home from
radiation and crawling into bed...

Or a box. Times are tough!

4 down, 2 to go.

I told you a while back that an old coworker of mine was part of Club Wilms a few months before Eve was initiated. Her daughter, Gwyn, was diagnosed in June 2009 after her first birthday. I'm happy to say that Gwyn is N.E.D. (no evidence of disease). But I'm also sad to say that she just can't get a break- her family recently found out that lil' Gwyn is allergic to peanuts. And it's hard, once you have cancer, to make anything seem as sucky as cancer. But think of all those peanut butter sandwiches!!! If Daniel were allergic to peanut butter, he'd lose ten pounds the first week. My heart goes out to you, Momma G. The most ironic thing is that if Gwyn were being treated at Duke, she'd have to go to the allergy clinic...which is in the same place as the hem-onc clinic. But I guess this time it wouldn't be so bad since she would be the one in the waiting room with hair.

And do you know how many kids are diagnosed with Wilms in the US each year? 400-500. That's not a lot. Strange enough when you think about my ties to Gwyn. Stranger yet when you realize that 16-20 of those kids will have it bilaterally. And stranger still that a child who goes to our preschool was just diagnosed with it. And, (can it get any stranger?) that child is my friend's next door neighbor. It's weird to say, I know what you're going through and actually mean it. I guess I'd always hoped it would be something more along the lines of dealing with the problems of being too fabulous.

(I solemnly swear to all the parents at Sunrise UMC Preschool that Wilms tumor is not contagious.)

Ok, yet another absolutely cool kid is shaving his head in Eve's honor for St. Baldrick's. I don't know too many high school kids who are up to the challenge, so make sure you visit Vinicius T.'s page and show him some love.


  1. Hey Christy - I hope you know you've been in my thoughts for a long time now, and I read every post. (I had no idea you were such a fantastic writer!) On a more serious note, I'm wondering if you've asked your doctors "what are the odds?" that so many kids would have Wilms in the same town/area at once? Many cancers have environmental causes. Do they think there's any chance Wilms is linked to environmental factors? It certainly wouldn't change Eve's health, but it might be a question worth asking. Just a thought...

  2. I have not asked, but I do know that when a certain number of cases crop up in the same area, they start to snoop around. I do not know what the threshold is, though. The only link between me and Gwyn's mom that I can think of is the Durham water from when we worked together 6 years ago, which often was beautifully rust colored. And as for the new Wilms member, well besides preschool, I can only fathom that maybe he and Eve both ate the same snack foods at a birthday party, but I'd hate to blame our children's cancer on my good friend's cooking.

    From what I have been told, WT is a result from some kidney cells that developed abnormally in utero. So I have to wonder, was it that bottle of two-buck Chuck I drank before I realized I was pregnant?

    Anyway, I am sure the lines between Duke and UNC are abuzz with two bilateral cases who live five minutes from each other.

  3. Of course, there's nobody to blame for cancer. Not even your two (?! it's three here!) buck Chuck. But, there's always hope that we can learn by tracking diseases. Sorry to nerd-out, but this post struck an environmental-health-nerd cord in me. I hope it's all good buzz between the Duke and UNC folks. Also, I hope Even enjoys her box :) They're the best toys, ever.

  4. Hey Christy,

    My son Trentin is a classmate of the boy you just mentioned so they both have the same teacher as your son. Ms. B. is a little freaked by the odds. I was thinking yesterday that your next post would be called "What is the odds?" since I knew the odds would be pretty good for that. :o) So strange and scary.

    We prayed for Eve and F. last night at dinner. I hope that R. and D. will find some peace in getting to know you. If you have any ideas of what we can do for them (based on what was most helpful for you) then please let me know. We contributed to the school fund for you but if you have any other ideas, please pass them on!

    Thanks much,
    Lea Evans

  5. I was so glad to see you with the kids at the circus yesterday! Looking around it seemed like all the parents and kids had a great time...thanks for the updates as usual. We love you guys...go Team Griffith:)

    Love...Miss Weezie

  6. So to add to the "What are the odds?" the high schooler you mention in the last paragraph is also supporting another child. That other child just happens to be the grandson of someone we goto church with.