We wanted to begin this blog so that we could update everyone about our daughter, Eva and share her journey. To be honest, this is a tool that we wish we didn't have to use. Please do not treat this as just another form of social media. I know not all of you will read this regularly and that's fine. This is for the people who DO ask me what's going on every day, so instead of sending 20 text messages, I can just post one entry here.
For those of you who do not know, here's Eva's story.
About a month ago, Eva started limping and Sarah just chalked it up as her maybe having sprained her ankle playing volleyball or something like that. Her limp gradually worsened and we took her to the pediatrician to get it looked at. The pediatrician suggested we go see an orthopedic specialist. Both the pediatrician and the orthopedic specialist suggested that Eva may have 'Sever's Disease' (which is a common, yet painful bone disorder that results from inflammation of the growth plate in the heel.) We were told the pain could go away in 2-3 days and maybe no longer than a few weeks. Well, as you can guess, a few weeks went by and her feet just kept getting worse. She was to the point where she could no longer stand up, nor could she walk. That's when we took her back to the pediatrician for a follow-up of sorts. Dr. Marshall tested Eva's vitals and she seemed to notice that Eva's reflexes might be hyperactive. That's when she suggested we take her to the ER at Akron Children's Hospital and possibly the neurological unit.
(Friday, September 9th) When we arrived at Akron Children's, it was suggested that Eva have an MRI on her spinal cord.
(Saturday, September 10th) Eva had an MRI on her spinal cord and a CT scan. The MRI showed abnormalities in her spinal cord and a small mass near, but not impeding with her spine. While the CT scan showed lucencies or breakdown in the bones, which could be caused by malignancies such as lymphoma or leukemia, but could also be caused by many other things as well. On the flip-side of things, Eva's blood-work came back completely normal, which at the time was puzzling to everyone. There was also no lymph node swelling, which was a good sign.
(Monday, September 12th) Eva had a bone marrow extraction to see if she might have cancer or not. Test results came back positive that she did indeed have some form of cancer. At this point it was unknown what type of cancer she had, but the doctors told us it was definitely not a form of Leukemia. They suggested that she had some rare bone cancer, to which caused a fair bit of devastation and uncertainty to our family.
(Tuesday, September 13th) Eva had an MRI on her brain and a complete bone scan early Tuesday morning to see if they could locate the cancerous tumor. Our family and friends said many prayers Monday night and we believe that to an extent our prayers were answered. They found no tumors on Eva's brain! After further testing on the bone marrow on Tuesday, the doctors confirmed that Eva's cancer was indeed Leukemia. She has been diagnosed with 'Standard Risk B-Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL) or localized B-Lineage Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (B-LLy). This came as somewhat of a relief to Sarah & I and the rest of the family. The doctors and child life specialists just seemed to be in better spirits based on this diagnosis, and believe me, it showed on their faces. Without saying it, we were basically told that if you're going to get Cancer, this is the Cancer you want to have (because the doctors are better equipped to manage this type of cancer, treatment is very successful and the outlook is positive.) We were also told that Eva's foot/walking issues were indeed a direct result of Leukemia.
(Wednesday, September 14th) Not much happened today, Eva went to the dentist in the hospital. They basically just wanted to make sure she didn't have any loose teeth that might fall out during anesthesia. Eva has 7 cavities. Not good. We also met with the medical team for an hour or so to go over everything to expect and what exactly will be happening for Eva's surgery. We were briefed about what types of medication she will need during her treatment and how often she will need them. Eva's treatment will last anywhere from TWO to TWO & A HALF YEARS!!!!! OY VEH! On a side note, Enzo (our dear son) is NOT handling this well. Sarah has been spending every night at the hospital with Eva, while Enzo has been forced to stay at home with me every night. He is NOT a fan of this accommodation. To be honest, I don't like it either, Enzo is quite the wiggle worm in bed.
(Thursday, September 15th) Eva had surgery today. The medical team here is ridiculously amazing. We are overwhelmed by the love and care our daughter has received since being here. As much as we do NOT want to be here, if we have to be here, I'm thankful we are here at Akron Children's Hospital, right in our backyard. Eva had her IV Port placed in her chest & her Lumbar Puncture (spinal tap) placed today. We were also informed that there are no Cancer cells in her spinal fluid, which is VERY good, because they apparently like to hide there. She's also received her first round of Chemo today, so far so good. Eva demanded I find her SUSHI at 3pm in the afternoon. Luckily, I was able to track down a few California Rolls for her. That's where we are at right now.
We are by no means out of the woods yet, but things do look hopeful. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers!
Cory, Sarah, Eva, Enzo, Ralphie and the rest of our family!
(p.s. Our dog Ralphie has worse anxiety than Eva and myself.... he too is not handling this well.)