Jul 28, 2022 Latest post:
Dec 31, 2022
BEAStrong! BEABrave! BEAtCancer! This has been our battle cry since our 3 year old daughter Beatrice was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma!
And here’s our story… On February 28, 2022 We took Beatrice to the Virtua Voorhees ED because she was complaining of a stomach ache. We were so lucky so have an amazing doctor there (Dr. Robert Belfer we love you!) who ran tests that other doctors were amazed he would run based on her symptoms at that time. Thank our lucky stars he did because he ended up finding some enlarged lymph nodes and a mass they assumed to be cancerous. We left that ED in an ambulance that night and were transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Oncology unit. I remember that night not being able to grasp why we were on an oncology unit. I just thought there was a bed shortage in the unit we should’ve been assigned to. You just never think childhood cancer could ever affect your family. I joke sometimes and say that I always thought my biggest worry would be stitches or a broken bone because never in a million years would I think I’d be spending weeks at a time at a hospital. But we were exactly where we were supposed to be! We have an amazing oncology team at one of the best Children’s hospitals in the world! And because of that, within 4 days we had a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Bea was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma, a rare and very aggressive childhood cancer. She has a cancerous mass in her abdomen, cancer in her blood, her bones and in her lymph nodes. And because of this we have very aggressive treatment plan to kick this cancers a**! So far she has had 4 cycles of chemotherapy, one surgery to insert a gastrostomy tube (g-tube) and an ovarian preservation, and a targeted radiation called MiBG. July 22nd will be her fifth and hopefully final round of chemo. Then she will have a surgery to remove the mass, 2 stem cell transplants, radiation and immunotherapy. And, hopefully that should take us to the end of summer 2023 and our daughter will be cancer free!!! It has been difficult for Bea. She has experienced all the tough side effects that come along with chemo: hair loss, nausea, loss of appetite, neutropenia, etc. But, through it all she has been so brave and has tried her best to find as much joy in life as possible! She loves to helps the nurses and doctors. She teaches them ballet and cheer moves, plays pretend, and paints their nails, just to name a few of her favorite hospital activities. Her strength and resilience have really given those close to her a lot of perspective. She’s amazing… and she has had an amazing support system! Bea has a 6 year old sister, Winnie. And Winnie is the self proclaimed captain of Team Bea! Winnie has been part of something that no 6 year-old should have to witness. She watches her sister throw up, she’s there when Bea has nose bleeds that we can’t stop, they are apart from one another for long periods, and so much more. But Winnie’s gentle soul is always trying to offer love and encouragement for her sister. She tries her best to make everything special for her sister and she does a great job with it. Winnie and Beatrice have a really special bond that we love to watch. Frank, Winnie, Bea and I have been so humbled by all of the support and love from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for all the donations, meals, groceries, toys, phone calls, text messages, prayers, well wishes… everything! You all have been so amazing and have truly been our back bone through the most difficult time in our lives and we love you! I created this page so hopefully I can update people as we are going through this journey. And, I also want to be honest about as much as possible to create awareness and an understanding about childhood cancer and neuroblastoma. Frank and I have said that moving forward childhood cancer is something that will be our fight and passion for the rest of our lives! No child deserves to go through this! Love, Jessica Geiger