Because I know this little girl is someone that is near and dear to some of my friends' hearts, I am going to dedicate this post to Faith, the Warrior Princess. What is written below is a summary of the difficult war she has been battling against cancer. I was going to say it's a brief summary, but there's no such thing as a "brief summary" when talking about one's battle with cancer. Some of it may be difficult to read, but imagine how difficult it is for this little girl and her family to have to live through it.
Faith was 7 years old on April 19th when she was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma in her left deltoid and shoulder. She started Chemo at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, but the chemo didn't work. The tumor grew and we were told her arm would need to be amputated. Two days before that was to occur, Dr. "Chappie" Conrad of Seattle Children's Hospital did a limb salvage surgery and saved her left arm from just above the elbow down through her hand. She has 'medical play-doh' for a left shoulder and a ceramic encased steel rod in her upper arm. She continued her chemo at Doernbecher until the protocol ended January 2011.
On April 15th, 2011, she was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, and had lung surgery on both May 3rd and May 23rd, 2011. At the beginning of July, 2011, her cancer again metastacised to her left lung - the upper lobe has a 4cm+ tumor in it that grew in 4 weeks and cannot be removed at this time, as it is wrapped around the pulmonary vessel.
We were flown to Doernbecher on Monday, July 18th, after a weekend in our local hospital, where it was discovered that she had a pleural effusion (liquid between the left lung and chest wall.) At Doernbecher, they began by draining 1/2 liter of fluid from her chest. She also had a mass on her jaw that it took several weeks to figure out - the final answer was Osteogenic Sarcoma in the soft tissue wrapped around her left mandible. She started a new chemo protocol for metastasis that has a published 30% response rate. She was also given 5 high doses of radiation, for palliative care, hoping to reduce her pain and possibly shrink the tumor. They again needed to drain her chest cavity that had built back up, this time taking 1.75 liters of fluid and leaving in a chest tube. After one round of chemo, and both the mass in her jaw and chest growing, we stopped the chemo as it obviously wasn't working. It's still undetermined whether or not the radiation worked. Her jaw and cheek are still extremely swollen at this point - the last radiation was Friday, August 5th.
We were told that at this point, because her cancer has been resistant to everything, the doctors they believe she has anywhere from 4-6 weeks left with us. They did discover a 'mutated gene' in the biopsy from her chest that has not been seen before (or not discovered) in Osteogenic Sarcoma patients. She would be eligible for a clinical trial 2-weeks after discontinuing radiation, if she is ambulatory and not oxygen dependent. This gene is one that is seen in adult lung cancer patients, but has not been tried on pediatric Osteo patients. Time and the good Lord will let us know if this is meant to be. We were told that this would not be a "cure" but if it worked at all, might just prolong the inevitable.
We were flown home today and Faith will be on hospice care until/unless we are led down a different path. We ask that you encourage, support and pray for our sweet Warrior Princess as she continues to battle for her life ♥
Here are some ways you can help:
- On Faith's Facebook page, Faith's Friends, there is a FundRazr tab. You can donate by PayPal directly through this page.
- My friend, owner/founder of Cathy's Creations has created some beautiful pieces of jewellery (a bracelet, a charm and a ring) for Faith's Friends. Proceeds of the jewellery goes to Faith's family to help with medical costs. She also has a lot of wonderful jewellery, some of it attached to a specific cause, and puts a lot of love into the pieces she makes.
- On Cathy's Creation's Facebook page, there will be an auction for a brand new HP Touchpad on August 27th, 2011. The auction will start at 9am EST and end at 3pm EST; starting bid is $150. She will post the same photo that day when the auction starts and all you have to do is place your bid under the photo. ALL proceeds from this auction will go directly to Faith's family. You get a shiny new toy, and you can know that the money you spent on it went to a good cause.
- The Dinner Roll is accepting contributions for Faith's family. When they are in need of a meal, they can call the Dinner Roll, order what they would like from 15 different local restaurants and have it delivered at no additional cost! You can contact The Dinner Roll at: 541-772-7655. The account name is Jolayne Fulmer. I think this is something people forget about all the time. The families are hit hard when they are faced with a battle against cancer, and something as simple as making a meal can sometimes be way too overwhelming.
- There is a Sensational Scentsy fundraiser, that you can be linked to through Facebook. The woman organizing it is donating 50% of her commission from August 15th, 2011 - September 2nd, 2011 to Faith's family to help with medical costs.
I know times are tough right now for a lot of people - believe me, I know! - so it may be really hard, if not impossible, to help out financially. Spreading the word however, is free. Forward this post to everyone you know who can help financially or who knows someone who can help.
Faith is a mover of mountains,
And there's nothing that God cannot do,
So start out today with Faith in your heart
And climb till your dream comes true!