Grace was diagnosed with a brain tumor April 4th. She was in her last semester at Azusa Pacific University in California. She started to develop dizziness, weakness on her right side and slight slurred speech only a month prior. Initially, the dizziness was diagnosed as vertigo but the other symptoms were progressing so she pursued answers. Her school clinic referred her to an neurologist, Dr. Weimer, and he had her do an MRI April 1st. The next Monday, April 4th, he gave her the news that a large mass was found in her right cerebellum and it should be removed within the week. He gave her the choice of staying in the LA area or going home to Seattle for treatment. She chose Seattle so I flew her home that night. The next day we were in the ER at UW and after their top neurosurgeon reviewed her MRI he determined she would be better served at Seattle Children’s Hospital. A 5 minute drive away, Grace was admitted at Children’s that night and scheduled for brain surgery the next day. Elsa was able to catch the last flight out of San Diego and join us at the hospital before midnight and Russell drove up from Tacoma the next morning. Grace’s tumor was successfully removed by neurosurgeons, Drs. Ogemann and Browd April 6th. Her recovery was so rapid that she was released Saturday the 9th. We, the whole family, returned to hear the pathology report on Wednesday the 13th. Grace’s tumor was confirmed to be Medulloblastoma, a malignant tumor, mostly found in children, even though she is 20. Her cancer treatment will be 6 weeks of proton radiation and 48 weeks of chemotherapy. April 22nd, Grace underwent outpatient surgery to have a permanent port placed and a lumbar punch. Her radiation began April 28th, to go Monday through Friday until she completes 30 treatments. Chemotherapy with Vincristine will start May 4th. After that round of treatment Grace will get a short rest period, and then she will undergo 48 weeks (8 cycles x 6 weeks per cycle) of Chemotherapy with Vincristine, CCNU, and Cisplantin.
Grace is being taken care of by the Brain Tumor Team at Children’s, a comprehensive group of doctors and professionals with extensive experience with her type of cancer. The cure rate for Medulloblastoma, with her tumor removed and this kind of treatment, is 86%. APU and Grace’s tumor team are very supportive of her graduation and she will get to walk May 7th in California. Grace will have time over the summer to complete her classes, as each professor will direct.
Many of you have asked what you can do for us. The very best thing is, of course, your prayers. If we have any other needs, I will try to reach out. And because people have asked, I am working on a way to donate for Grace’s expenses, and a sign up site for meals. We are very grateful for God’s tender mercies throughout this ordeal and trust in Him for each day of the coming journey. Thank you all for your love and support. It is wonderful to be surrounded by so many people that truly care about us.