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One June 29,2005, at the age of 22 months, Cynthia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Pre-B cell ALL. She completed her treatment on August 29,2007, exactly two years and two months later.
Two months after receiving her last dose of chemotherapy, on October 25,2007, her relapse was confirmed. This time, the leukemia was found only in her CNS (central nervous system). Two years and four months later, on March 4, 2010 Cynthia successfully completed her second treatment.
After completing her second treatment, Cynthia was happy and healthy. On October 11, 2011 she even became a BIG sister, something she had always wanted to be...
We had a bit of a scare in the summer of 2012, she ended up having appendicitis and got her appendix removed immediately. But compared to what she had endured for over 4 years, having her appendix removed was cake!
After completing her treatment in 2010, she continued to be monitored by her wonderful doctors at City of Hope. We went from going to bi-weekly to quarterly clinic visits a year. And on March of last year (2013), she made it into the Survivorship Program at City of Hope. Life couldn't have been anymore "normal" and perfect...
But now, sadly, and I cannot even believe that I'm sitting here typing, "editing" her caringbridge site, Cynthia faces yet ANOTHER battle...
On Friday, February 21, 2014, Cynthia suffered a seizure. A partial complex seizure. She was rushed to emergency. In the emergency room, she had another seizure. She had a x-ray and CT scan of her head. The CT scan showed a little swelling on the front left part of the brain and a bleed in the brain, that was affiliated to the fact that she had cranial radiation, 5 years prior. The doctor at the hospital then had Cynthia transferred, by ambulance, to City of Hope, the place that knew her medical background very well. At COH she had a bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap, to rule out a leukemia relapse. She also had an MRI of her head and spine to rule out any tumors. The bone marrow and spinal fluid came back clear and the MRI didn't show any solid tumors, just the small swelling remained. We were sent home and asked to come back in two weeks, hoping, that the swell would go down or if it was something else, that it'd show in the second MRI. The second MRI showed no improvement. So, the plan for a brain biopsy was set in place. On March 25th she underwent a brain biopsy. An hour and a half after Cynthia being in surgery, we were called into a meeting room, where the neurosurgeon came in and told us that he did find a tumor and that it was a "stage 3, possibly a 4, but it might be a 3", the neurosurgeon said to us. He also said that she'd definitely need treatment. We were devastated by the news! Two days later, the full pathology report was out and we were asked to meet again to go over it with Cynthia's doctor, Dr. Surrell, the pediatric brain tumor doctor, Dr Anderson, our nurse practitioner, Debbie, our ICU nurse and social worker. It was there and then that we were told that Cynthia had a very aggressive type of tumor called Anaplastic Astrocytoma, WHO grade 3. And even worse- it was inoperable.
This is Cynthia's story. This is our reality. We will FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT! Our Lord is with us every step of the way. He will carry us through this war we face.Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?