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the pessimist borrows trouble and the optimist lends encouragement.

I was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma on April 8, 2005 and immediately admitted to UVA hospital in Charlottesville, VA for removal of 4cm tumor on my right adrenal gland.  After 5 rounds of chemo under Sloan Kettering's protocol at UVA I finally transferred my care to NYC at Sloan in September of 05.  I was NED after 3 rounds of chemo on my first MIBG scan July 8, 2005.  We harvested stem cells in September of 2005. I underwent radiation for 7days twice a day in October 2005. Then came the antibodies in October 10/05-10/07 and never became hama positive, so I endured all 13 rounds.  I've remained in remission for 3 years and 9 months but just found out we relapsed in my hips and knees (bone marrow only) on April 7, 2009.  A medi port access is scheduled at UVA hospital with Dr .Eugene McGahren on thursday, April 16th and then heading to Sloan Kettering to receive our chemo on  April 20, 2009.  I have endure 3 rounds of high dose chemo both at UVA and Sloan Kettering since my relapse.  It's been a struggle to overcome the secondary infections that I got during post chemo while my body was immunosupressed and I was trying to get better.  In addition to multiple gram positive and gram negative blood stream infections, I also got a candida tropicalis infection (which is yeast) in my blood stream that landed me in the hospital over 2 months and almost took my life 3 times.  I seem to always prevail even the worst situations.  I have also endured 12 days of radiation since relapse and multiple procedures (medi port placement, removal, bone marrow biopsies, catherizations, a picc line placement, poking and proding constantly for veins that seemed to have crumbled from chemo, fem line placement and removal, art line placement and removal).  I'm here though and I'm feeling good, just finished my first low dose chemo (number 10 for my life) and have 1 more low dose chemo to go then off to scans the beginning of April.  I have one tiny spot left of cancer on my sacrum (lower spine) that we continue to fight and hope to receive the vaccination for neuroblastoma once I'm clean and stay that way for 6 months.  Hopefully that is the answer for this monster of a disease.  Mom will try to keep everyone posted as much as possible, but we're quite busy these days trying to live life.. :)