Added 5/24/19: Many have asked how they can help support Ava through this process, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/acwzn8-cancer-sucks
if you would like to make a donation as donations through CaringBridge do not go to the family.
Greetings friends and family, we want to start by expressing our gratitude for the outpouring of love and support we have received in the wake of Ava's diagnosis. Your well wishes, prayers, words of encouragement, good vibes, etc. have been greatly appreciated.
We have decided to use CaringBridge as our platform to keep everyone updated in one place. Please feel free to share this page with others that are wanting to be kept informed of Ava's progress.
Here is a summary of what has transpired thus far and as we learn more and move forward we will post updates.
In early March Ava began expressing that her left leg hurt. The pain started in her lower leg so we would rub it and she would fall asleep. Initially it appeared to be a typical ache that could be experienced during a growth spurt (aka "growing pains"). However, by early March the pain moved to Ava's knee, the pain started to wake her up at night and she began to limp. We made an appointment to get it checked out and on 4.19.19 she received an x-ray which showed inflammation. Due to finding so much inflammation it was recommended for blood work to be done and from those results it was decided to do an MRI. On 4.23.19 we had an MRI done and that is when they found a bone tumor above her left knee and referred us to the U of M for a biopsy and to Children's Hospital to work with a team of specialists.
On 4.24.19 we headed to the cities, Ava was a total trooper as we drove her around to various clinics for multiple appointments. We headed back again on 4.25.19 for the biopsy which was nerve racking as they had to give her anesthesia and then literally drill into her leg. After the biopsy she needed to lay low for several days and she is supposed to be minimally weight-bearing, using crutches, for 6-8 weeks in order to let her leg heal from the procedure.
On 5.2.19 we were informed that Ava has osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. They have not staged the cancer yet and we do not know if it has metastasized. Next week we go in for more tests and to begin treatment. Here is the treatment plan as of now:
-There will be an outpatient surgery to place a port in her chest in order to administer chemotherapy
-She will likely have 4-6 chemotherapy treatments in order to reduce the size of the tumor
-They will then do a surgery to remove the tumor and will use bone graft and/or prosthesis to rebuild any bone/tendons/etc. that had to be removed as well
-She will then have additional chemotherapy treatments
At this point we are trying to maintain as much normalcy as possible so that Ava is not fearful of the future. Ava knows that she has cancer but does not understand what all is to come and therefore we are going to take it one day, and one side effect, at a time. Right now we are working on managing pain while still playing, laughing and enjoying our time together!
Once again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support of our family and your interest in following this journey we have embarked on.
The Pattschull Family