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Maggie’s Story

Our dear Maggie, 2 yrs old, lost her battle with cancer 10/14/2009--our 15th anniversary-she won eternal peace.  She was diagnosed (6/09) with brain cancer (ATRT). She endured 2 rounds of chemo therapy and 6 weeks of radiation- 3 1/2 months inpatient. We love her dearly and cherished every moment we had with her. She fought bravely to the end.





In late April or early May, Maggie started falling a lot.  That isn't unusual for a toddler but i noticed after she fell she was cautious.
She stopped "toddling" and was walking--cautiously.  An alarm bell went off but knew that the doctor would look at her and say she is fine (that is exactly what happened when i finally went in with 2-3 concerns).  So, i kept an eye on her closely.  One day i noticed she was turning her head slowly--cautiously.  Alarm bell again but it was only once and then she seemed normal.  Then, one morning she was walking down the hall after waking up and one foot turned inward.  I went straight to the doctor with 3 symptoms.  Nothing.  5 office visits (ear infection, throat infection, constipation) and she was even worse.  2 ER visits and she was worse--not eating or drinking, not walking or sitting upright and her chin was thrust into the air to get comfortable----i was very concerned about something neurological but kept hearing it was symptoms of other things.  We finally went to the ER June 10th (3rd time) determined to get a CAT scan --had been declined to receive one the first 2 times--said it was unnecesary---"too invasive"--huh? that is why we went to the hospital..to be invaded...we already had 5 office visits that are non-invasive and that didn't help her....so.--FINALLY--the ER doctor recognized the neuorlogical signs and ordered a cat scan which showed her tumor(s) in her brain stem. 

she endured 2 rounds of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation (over 3 months inpatient) which was very hard on her 2 year old body but her cancer gave us no good options.  Her tumors  responded well to the treatment---they were shrinking and some were just plain gone--but there was some concern about relapse btwn chemo and radiation. She was home resting awaiting an MRI for a few weeks.

one morning she started breathing up high..with her chest only --that was odd...we kept and eye on it and showed the doctor the next day...they said there was nothing to worry about really....just maybe the steroids or something....by thurs we were very concerned...they took some blood work and found her electrolights and others things out of whack...okay..fine...fix that.. but while fixing that they found that her cancer had spread to her abdomen and was still present in her spinal fluid..we knew hospice was next....we lost our fight with cancer..

maggie was always a very healthy child and had quite a high tolerance for pain (didn't cry when she got shots).  she had only one fever that i can recall and no ear infections----just colds that she caught from others.  oh, and chick pox that she got from me. 

she loves to paint, play with side walk chalk, go to the playground, go for walks outside, throw rocks into the pond nearby, climb on the dirt/rock piles in the neighborhood, help me in the garden moving rocks and such, put lotion on her hands, mess with anything anyone else has, operate any electronic equipment we don't want her touching,  play with her brothers, pretty much anything that involves her brothers---music, chasing them, dancing with them, jumping on the beds with them--just being with them as much as she can.

Maggie loves to count and look for numbers and letters on houses and mailboxes.  We play with letters a lot.  She loves trying to play ben's drums and jake's trumpet.  she loves shoes--loves them.  and hats too.  she can sort the laundry better than the boys and closes the door behind herself (again, better than the grown boys). 

she loves baths---she would take 3 a day if i let her and i often did. 

since a very small child she tried to do whatever the boys were doing (at 6 months old wanted to run around with swords like they were).

We love her dearly and appreciate any prayers for her eternal peace.

maggie was fighting to stay with us.
in the morning of oct 14th, our 15th anniversary, she was breathing slowly but not with difficulty.  jake came in that morning and said bye to her on his way to school...i told her i needed to go get my robe and i'd be right back to take her downstairs.....she peeked at me, i teased her---told her i saw her looking at me and knew she was awake.... and walked away a moment--to my closet and back---just several steps.  when i returned, she was gone.  she didn't want me to see her last breath...she knew i would want her to stay...she knew the house would be full of people keeping her here...she went quickly and peacefully.  i thank her for that but i didn't want her to go.  she was right. 

she is a wonderful child--selfless in the end.
we miss her more than we could have imagined.
thank you for visiting and praying for her, us and now praying to her...

Latest Journal Update

Happy 19th birthday jake

I had help from one of jakes classmates at Duquesne ...and sent jake a Star Wars cake for his birthday ...to our surprise (me and Meghan who delivered it) he and his dorm room pals where watching Star Wars all day...this is not a family tradition to watch Star Wars on his bday and I don't think I've ever done a Star Wars theme bday party ...I was moved to do it and knew he'd get a kick out of the kiddie theme although he would have loved his fraternity letters too (I did tell him they got the letters wrong and thought I said r2d2 instead of ATO ...he bought it!)

It was fun ordering the cake bc the lady taking my order giggled the whole time ...I knew I was on the right track

The Holy Spirit was definitely involved here

Jake is having a great day which is all I wanted ...

Love you jake!

I'll post about the Maggie tournament soon ...it was another great day thanks to so many wonderful people

Dotty

Comments

1 Comment

Karen Brounstein
By Karen B.
I remember Jake as a baby! Where does the time go?