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Angel’s Story

Angel underwent surgery 3/10/10 and 3/26/12 for a large brain tumor in the cerebellum and brainstem.  Chemo completed 10/13 after 18 month regimen. Tumor remains at this point. Doctors removed 95% of the tumor.  Diagnosis is "juvenile pylocytic astrocytoma." (FYI - "Tribute donations" on this page support the amazing work of Caring Bridge. Many have asked about donations specifically to Angel's account...this can be done at http://www.colespages.org/angelthompson/donations/view or at Fifth Third bank in Concord, NC - Angel Thompson Benefit Fund)

"It is a big tumor...it will require surgery...it is likely cancer...it is not  a good prognosis."  These are the things that strike fear in the heart of any parent.  This is what we heard about our wonderful five year old daughter Angel on Monday after a visit to the ER and ensuing transfer.  Last week she began having headaches and problems with her eyes going crossed.  We had a few MD visits and were leaning toward vision problems.  Thanks be to God for the wonderful staff at CMC-Northeast ER who caught the tumor and immediately arranged transfer to CMC-Main Levine Childrens Hospital.  We have met with pediatric neurosurgeons and pediatric oncologists.  The tumor is in the cerebellum exerting pressure on the brainstem with increased intracranial pressure.  It is a large tumor with anticipated difficulty removing it.  There is significant potential of complication associated with removal and most likely will result in cerebral shunt placement.  Surgery is scheduled for 3-10-10 at 6 am.  We know that miracles happen and that God still performs miracles.  We know this is possible through prayer and the mighty hand of God who already has his hands at work in Angel's healing.  Words cannot express our fear and anxiety.  Knowing tomorrow will be different in some way brings pain...we try to remain strong in our faith because we know that God is near.  Thanks go out to all who have prayed, sent gifts, visits, and supported.

Jump forward to August 2011. The tumor has new activity with some growth but more seriously, pressure being exerted in the brain. Headaches and neurological symptoms have increased. Angel has continued frequent physical and occupational therapy since her surgery. Additional surgery and chemotherapy are now being discussed. We praise God for the blessing of these days and for the awesome support network we have in our family, friends, church, co-workers, and prayer warriors.

March 2012 the tumor has grown back into the cerebellum in the old areas as well as a new area hidden by scar tissue from the previous surgery, Surgery performed again on 3/26/12 with all tumor removed from the cerebellum, however, the brain stem portion of the tumor remains. Chemotherapy regimen of 60 months to begin 2-3 weeks post surgery.

Latest Journal Update

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It is hard to believe we are getting near the 5 year mark on Angel's journey with cancer. We heard the heart stopping diagnosis on March 8, 2010 that "your daughter has a brain tumor."  We never thought we would be at the point of a 5 year celebration. The little hope we received at the time of diagnosis stands in a stark contrast to what we now know. Two surgeries, 18 months of chemotherapy, hundreds of visits to specialists, and countless tests reaffirm what we now know...our faith, family, and friends are what brought us to this point. We would not be able to continue the fight or see the hope in tomorrow without any of these. Our faith has given us a calm assurance while our family and friends have let us know we are not alone. We cannot say thank you enough to those who have volunteered to be part of this with Angel. Your love and caring have made a difference.

Angel has had just a few minor bumps in the road since the last update. We are currently awaiting a routine MRI that has now been rescheduled twice. The next scan is scheduled for March 17. Our hope and prayer is for no new growth...the reality with this type of tumor is that it will grow again at some point.  We stay focused on making the most of each day and creating memories that can never be erased. Too often we go through life at warp speed without taking in the things of importance around us. Angel's diagnosis with brain tumors has definitely caused us to take in those things around us and to truly see what is of importance.  We continue to thank each of you who have offered your love for Angel and our family and we continue to lift up those in prayer who face their own battles.

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Comments

5 Comments

alison dees
By alison dees
Praise God for the time. We understand all too well. It is so important to make those memories. Joseph just had his 3 rd surgery for recurrence. We are in Cincinnati for a while so the docs can monitor. Trying to make the most of it. God bless you all and your sweet Angel!
Jeanne Fontenot
By Jeanne Fontenot, Mandeville, LA
March 17 will be 3 years that Moma got her angel wings. I ask that she be there with Angel and bring good news. Stay strong sweet girl! :)
Suzanne Beck
By Suzanne
What an awesome report Alan!! God is so good, it is in His control and all we have to do is believe in Him and know He will carry us through. Angel had an awesome summer and yes, those and her many other journeys are memories that will never be forgotten. Angel is such a special little girl. She has so much love to give and although she may have been down a time or two, her rebounds are awesome. She always looks at the bright side of life.....What a blessing she has been to so many. Thank you so much for continuing her journey. We pray for Angel, you and Myra on a daily basis and we know God is working with you.....God continue to Bless Angel, you and Myra......Love you all!!!
Jennifer Green
By Jennifer Green
Praying Angel's tumor has no new growth and that the MRI is not rescheduled again.
Jennifer Green
c.o.l.e's prayer team
www.colesfoundation.org/