Hannah Grace was diagnosed with a brain tumor on May 16, 2008. She is two and a half years old. On June 2, 2008, we found out that the tumor was a very aggressive form of cancer called pineoblastoma. She will have to undergo six rounds of chemo therapy and possibly radiation and stem cell transplant. On June 4, 2008, she had surgery to remove to tumor, and , praise God, they were able to remove the WHOLE thing. At this point, she has no signs of residual tumor or cancer cells in her body. We are praising God for all of the wonderful things He has done for our family in this situation, and we are looking to Him for protection and guidance through the rest of our journey.
Update as of April 2009:
Hannah Grace has completed 5 rounds of high dose chemotherapy followed by an autologous bone marrow transplant. Transplant went well with engraftment 10 days after transplant, then complications began. Hannah Grace was admitted to ICU 2 days after reintroduction of her own stem cells due to shock from high dose chemo. She was put on the ventilator 2 days after being admitted into ICU. In total she was on the ventilator for 5 weeks and in ICU for 40 days. Hannah Grace was diagnosed with VOD which attributed to acute liver, lung, and kidney failure. At her peak she weighed 46.2 lbs in ICU, keep in mind when we came into the hospital for transplant she weighed 25 lbs. The weight gain was due to fluid retention. After being on dialysis and going through 9 days of plasma pheresis she began to get better. Off of the ventilator and her organs recovering we were sent back to the stem cell unit then began a battle with pneumonia. The doctors finally found the cause of her organ dysfunction and lung problems, Hannah Grace was diagnosed with HHV-6. It is a strain of Herpes virus that was reactivated due to her low immune system. Treatments for 5 weeks helped the HHV-6 and we were released from the hospital on April 7, 2009. We are at home with our little miracle in time to celebrate Easter.
Update October 2009:
October 14th 2009 Hannah Grace had an MRI of her brain and showed recurrence of disease. Another MRI on October 16th showed the disease had spread to her spine. We are in the fight again with radiation treatments and low dose chemo. We will not lay down, we will fight with everything we have. Your prayers are appreciated.
Jul 31, 2012 8:53pmTomorrow at 10:00 am our precious Hannah Grace left her earthly battle leaving behind her tired worn body to enter into her eternal reward. Hannah Grace is still one of the strongest people I have ever met here on this earth and am so blessed to have known her. We carry precious memories of her still. Marci posted yesterday on her Facebook that it was an honor to be her mother. I don't have the answers to the "why" questions that come, but I do know that God is still working His purpose through the life of our beautiful daughter.
As you can see by the picture in this post that we have been blessed with another beautiful little girl named Madalynn Rachel Harrison. Madalynn made her entrance into this world on April 10, 2012 at 12:40 am with a healthy body and a head full of hair. The first thing I saw on the paperwork when she was born was the military time that was recorded...00:40. For those of you who followed Hannah Grace's story from the beginning this will need no explanation. By no means will Madalynn ever take the place of her big sister, but even the moment she was born God showed us what a miracle she is. We for years to come will make sure she knows who her big sister was and how much she means to our lives.
Chandler and I took some time the other night to watch some videos of Hannah Grace and Chandler from a few years back. We got to laugh and see some of the great times we had. From time to time Chandler will ask when Hannah Grace is coming home that she has been gone too long. We look at him and tell him that we know, but that Hannah Grace lives with Jesus now. We assure him that even though she can't come see us that we can go see her.
Life is by no means normal, but each day brings new life of its own. With each passing day we are thankful for the time that we have here on this earth, but know that we are one day closer to be reunited with all those that are no longer with us. Madalynn gets showered with kisses each day as does Chandler. Going through diagnosis, treatment, relapse, etc... with Hannah Grace gives us a new perspective of how life should be lived. This has not been an easy road and we still have a rocky path ahead of us, but again we are thankful for each day that we have.
Peter wrote in his second Epistle chapter 2 verse 8 "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." I have thought about that verse many times in my life especially in the last two years. When we are in the presence of God time has no meaning. Hannah Grace has left her earthly body and the Word promises us that now she is with Him. I hope that two years removed in the presence of the Lord does she even know she has arrived in the presence of the Almighty. Will we be in the same position when we are in front of the One who is the Creator of the Universe? I hope one day to find out.
I know that our posts have been few and far between over the last year. I don't know if this will be our last post here, but by no means are we closing our Caringbridge. We still get notifications when the guestbook is signed and are encouraged by words of friends that we may never be able to meet face to face on this earth.
Hannah Grace is still with us in our memories and daily lives. We still have pictures, tell stories, and laugh about the funny things that our amazing daughter would do. The memories do bring more smiles these days, but there are still days filled with tears. Grief is not a process that you go down the checklist and once you check everything off it is finished. Grief is a lifelong process that I believe as the impression that was made on you by that person so is the grief that lingers. Grief is not a bad thing, it is a reminder of the love you have.
I look back over the last 5 years of our lives and think of the amazing people we have met....the Elijah's, the Grayson's, the Taylor's, the Kristen's, the Alexis', the Bayleigh's, the Janna's, the Carly's, the James'...we wouldn't be the people we are today without them. Nor will we ever forget the Charlie's, the Tucker's, the E.B.'s, the Courtney's, the Noah's or the Seth's. We feel the deep pain that families have gone through and continue to fight with. Each and everyone we have met through this journey have made us more than who we ever would have been alone. I can't say that I understand why we had to meet, but I am thankful for who we are today with you all in our lives.
What tomorrow brings will be hard, but tomorrow is another day and for that we are thankful. Squeeze tight those that you have close. I will close out with some lyrics from New Life Worship that mean so much to me, it is from the song the Great I Am.
So Heaven is real and death is a lie
I wanna hear voices of angels above
Singing as one
Thank you so much for the love and prayers you have given and continue to give to our family. They are still needed and appreciated.
Jarrod, Marci, Chandler, and Madalynn Rachel...
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
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