Akeia Evans All About Akeia

First post: May 8, 2008 Latest post: Dec 30, 2009
Dear Family and Friends,

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep friends and family updated about Akeia Evans as she progresses through her 22 week therapy plan.

Be sure to read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.

Love you! Melody, Akeia and Christopher

On May 12, 2008 Akeia Evans was diagnosis with a cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. In case you are not familiar with this diagnosis I have provided information below to help you to understand this type of cancer.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a fast-growing, highly malignant tumor which accounts for over half of the soft tissue sarcomas in children. Rhabdomyosarcoma often causes a noticeable lump on a child's body. If the tumor is located internally, the symptoms depend on its location. For example, tumors in the nasal passage may put pressure on the eustachian tubes; a bladder tumor can cause trouble urinating; an orbital tumor may cause the eye to protrude.

The end of March 2008, Akeia's right eyelid became swollen. Akeia has environmental allergies so we didn't think much about it. I gave her the usual allergy medication and gave her hot and cold compresses regularly. However, as time progressed it got bigger and a lump started to form inside of her eyelid. Towards the beginning of April, I made an appointment for Akeia to see her PCP (primary care physician).

She originally diagnosed Akeia with having right peri-orbital cellulits and then ordered an CT (cat scan) and prescribed antibiotics for Akeia. After four days or so, the antibiotics didn't seem to be helping and the CT came up clear. So we were referred to an Opthamologist who performed a full eye exam and ordered an MRI. The MRI came back and confirmed that it was a lesion or mass in her eyelid but other than that we didn't really know what was causing this and specifically what it was so we were referred to an Occuloplastics physician.

On May 5th we went to her appointment to see the Occuloplastics doctor. After examining Akeia they decided to perform a biopsy the next day. Tuesday, May 6th Akeia went into surgery to have the tissue samples removed from her eyelid to be tested. However, during this biopsy the surgeons noticed right away that they were not just dealing with a swollen infected eye but possibly a tumor. After surgery, the surgeon revealed this information to me but I hoped the pathology report would prove otherwise.

On that Thursday morning the Occuloplastic's doctor called us on her off day to deliver the news. Unfortunately, the preliminary pathology report confirmed it was a cancerous tumor and the doctor informed me that we were being referred to Nationwide Children's Hospital Hematology department.

For almost 5 years now, I have been an employee of Children's Hospital here in Columbus and I have seen sick children come and go. It is hard to watch this on a daily basis and you feel very fortunate for the health of your own children, however, I never would have imagined that I would be on the other side of the fence and my child would now be one of the sick children roaming down the halls going from appointment to appointment, department to department and having inpatient and outpatient visits.

So...here it is, our journey

The rest of the story I will journalize so please check out the journal entries on the site.