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Juliana’s Story

Juliana was diagnosed with stage 3, group 3 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma on 3/7/07. She had 6 weeks of radiation therapy and 14 rounds of chemotherapy. Julie relapsed on 3/17/11 and received another 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 more weeks of radiation therapy. Julie relapsed a second time on 6/5/12 and received 12 more rounds of chemotherapy and 10 more weeks of radiation therapy. She relapsed a third time 3/17/14 and after surgery that removed 90% of the new tumor had five more weeks of radiation therapy and two more rounds of chemotherapy. She is now on oral chemotherapy and will remain on it for the foreseeable future. Please keep Julie in your prayers!




Until Sunday, February 18, 2007 we had no idea there was anything wrong with our beautiful, happy, confident five-year-old daughter. She came into our room that morning complaining about a "bump" under her right arm. The bump turned out to be a swollen lymph node and we discovered the next day at the pediatrician's office that she also had a tumor on her right forearm. After x-rays and an MRI, we received that awful call from the doctor--it appeared the tumor was cancerous and that it had matastisized to the lymph node. The next two weeks went by in a blur as we drove back and forth each day to the hospital for exams, blood work, numerous scans, a biopsy and surgery. Julie's treatment will include weekly chemotherapy for 42 weeks, daily radiation for six weeks and possibly more surgery to remove the tumor after is shrinks.

We adopted Julie from Minsk, Belarus on August 26, 2003 when she was 20 months old. We believe that God placed her in our family for a reason. Had she remained in the orphanage in Belarus, she would not have received treatment for her cancer. Instead, God allowed her to be adopted into an American family where some of the best medical care in the world is within driving distance and surrounded her with many, many loving, caring family members and friends.

Latest Journal Update

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Juliana had an exam and blood counts at the hospital last Wednesday. Her counts were good (but hemoglobin is slowly falling) and she is feeling good. She will continue taking oral chemotherapy and getting mistletoe injections for the next three weeks. She got a new watch for Christmas and I noticed that she cannot hear the alarm going off so she will be getting an audiology exam on January 27th. Her oncologist thinks she has hearing loss from the carboplatin (chemo) she received in 2012-2013 since platinum agents often cause hearing loss. We will add this to a growing list of side effects she'lll be dealing with for the rest of her life (right forearm weak with limited motion from radiation damage, droopy right eyelid from radiation damage, chronic cough from lung radiation damage, electrolyte wasting from chemo, infertility from chemo).

Julie also saw her radiation oncologist last Friday for a follow-up and she was supposed to see her ophthalmologist today for a surgery follow-up, but I had to cancel the appointment. We had freezing rain all night and into the morning so our driveway and road were completely covered in ice (her oldest brother wrecked his car trying to get to work this morning--he is fine but the car is totaled).

Juliana is now scheduled to see her eye surgeon January 19th, audiologist on January 27th and oncologist on January 28th. She will be getting more IV chemotherapy soon--either in February or March--we'll decide when at her next appointment.
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Comments

4 Comments

Shirley Bennett
By shirley
Sounds like a lot going on, I also am glad your son is ok cars can be replaced but our loved ones cannot. I am glad that Juliana is feeling good I tell you for all she is going through she is still the happiest positive young girl. I admire her so and I admire you and your family so much. God Bless you all!
Amanda Gilliams
By Amanda Gilliams
So glad your son is okay! The ice was terrible today. Prayers continuing for your cherished Juliana--for all of you in this battle. May His bright blessings be showered upon your family~
Margaret Scherer
By Margaret
Continuing my prayers. She is a strong young lady, as are you and the rest of the family and friends.