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Sicily Evelyn Zeka, our vibrant, precious 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with bi-lateral Wilm's tumor, cancer of both kidneys, on Aug. 22, 2008, at the age of three. This all began when I took Sicily to a new pediatrician for a preschool physical in July 2008, after just moving to Broken Arrow, OK from Wellington, KS. The doctor found a mass on Sicily's right side as she performed a routine abdominal exam. It concerned her enough to send us for an x-ray and blood work, both of which were inconclusive. It was decided to treat Sicily for just being full of "poop." We went back again in two weeks but the doctor thought the mass was shrinking or moving and still assumed it to be a bowel situation. She decided to schedule Sicily for an appointment with a GI doctor, but wanted to do a barium enema first. I asked for an ultrasound, but was told the enema was the next step (the ultrasound would have helped to diagnose the actual situation). The tech who performed the enema flat out said this was nothing to do with Sicily's bowels. After six weeks of our doctor not being very pro-active, we were finally scheduled a CT scan...which delivered the worst and most unbearable news I thought my ears could ever hear. Our daughter has cancer of the kidneys. Not just one kidney, but both. Bi-lateral Wilm's tumor. We decided to seek treatment in Oklahoma City with a doctor who spent fourteen years at St. Jude's in solid tumors. Sicily is also being cared for by a wonderful team of doctors here in the Tulsa area so we can stay close to home whenever possible. *Update March 2009 - Found a new pediatrician. Sicily underwent ten weeks of pre-operative chemo to try and shrink the tumors before surgery. She had surgery on November 19, 2008 to remove both tumors. The surgeons removed 1/2 of the right kidney and 1/3 of the left kidney. Tests performed on the tumors showed her right kidney contained diffuse anaplasia (unfavorable histology) which indicated it should be removed as soon as possible. On November 30th, they removed her entire remaining right kidney as well as removed part of her small bowel due to an interseseption and some of her peritoneum that had covered the pylorus valve in her stomach, which were complications her little body did to itself trying to recover from the first surgery. She spent a total of twenty-two consecutive days in the hospital on the surgery recovery floor and the PICU. The doctors are fairly confident she can function near normal with 2/3 of the left kidney; at least until her teenage years, when her body begins to possibly grow rapidly. Because of the diffuse anaplasia, Sicily underwent 11 radiation treatments and will be on a 6-months protocol of chemotherapy. Every third week of chemo will require a 3-to-5 day hospital stay to receive treatment. She has done remarkably well with her chemo and we hope this will continue! Sicily has completed her chemo treatment on Regimen i on June 6th. First OT (off treatment) scans scheduled for Tuesday, July 7th. Pray for NED (No Evidence of Disease)! First OT scans in July produced a NED!!! Next scans - Friday, October 9, 2009 Recurrance to right kidney bed on 10/12/09. On October 28, 2009, Sicily had her fourth surgery and the new tumor growth was removed. She is not cancer free as a small amount was left on the vena cava as it was not possible to surgically remove it. Pathology came back anaplastic Wilm's, again. We will soon be making plans for her treatment and continue to ask for prayers for her and her family! Feb. 25, 2010 Sicily's cancer has metastisized to liver, lungs and intestines. March 21, 2010 Sicily passed away in her mommy's arms.
Please help us support pediatric cancer research by making a donation to the Pablove Foundation www.pablove.org Under special notes write, "In Honor of Sicily Zeka." Thank you!
Plain and simple...Sicily is still missed with every breath God still allows me to inhale! I can still envision her sweet magnetic smile, her love for life laughter, and her strong hugs created by skinny little arms. When I close my eyes and let my heart and mind tune out the world around me, I can still imagine how it felt to hold her in my arms.
God has blessed my life with an abundance of happiness these past eight months that have sped by since I last updated this site. So many times I've wanted to sit and pour out my soul as I did for so long since that fateful day in August 2008 when we learned of Sicily's cancer! It is still hard to grasp that it was two years ago this very day that our precious little pocketful of sunshine peacefully passed away in my arms! It still has not gotten easier, as I always confessed that I knew it never would, but there truly is so much comfort and peace that comes from understanding the purpose of her brief but spectacular life. The gifts that God bestowed upon me because of Sicily will sustain me for the rest of my life. I am so very thankful.
Today I cry, because I can...because I miss my little girl. It's okay! It feels good! I am still smiling through the tears! Laughing at the memories! Thank you for remembering her!
"HAPPY 2nd ANGEL-VERSARY SICILY!"
We love you all the way to heaven!
Please take a moment to sign our guestbook. We love all the messages and re-read them over and over. Even if you've already signed once, sign again. Your words are strength to us! More photos on facebook at Kerry Parker Zeka