Monday August 8th, is a day that will remembered in the Warkentine family. It is a day that changed all our lives.
We arrived home Sunday from Gen Con. Katie's face was swollen and she had been having some problems breathing during her performance of High School Musical. We were concerned and Marci took Katie to see Dr. Purcell (our pediatrician) on Monday. Getting a call from your pediatrician about the results of your child's x ray before you even get home is never a call you want to get. Our pediatrician consulted, Dr. Raj (a pediatric oncologist) immediately and he wanted her to come to the hospital for observation immediately. A CT scan on Tuesday confirmed our worst fears, a large mass was pressing on her superior vena cava (the large vessel on top of her heart) and they were concerned it was cancer. A needle biopsy on Wednesday provided an initial diagnosis: non-hodgkin's lymphoma. Our final diagnosis would come on Friday: Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma.
Previously, Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma had a five year survival of 50-70%. Dr. Raj, who has been so gracious though the whole process, provided us with a new protocol, EPOCH-R, that has shown 5 year survival rate of 90-93%. She will start chemotherapy on Saturday, August 13th. Two more weeks in the hospital. Six months of treatment. Hair loss, nausea, vomiting, it will be a long road a head for her.
A friend told me that "God is not surprised by anything." God knew that my daughter and my family would need support. Already we have been blessed by the fact that God has moved so many pieces in place that He knew we would need. God knew in the 6th grade when my daughter met Olivia, Shelby, and Dollee that she would need a close group of friends to support her. God knew when their families and our families became friends that we would need people to support & love us. God knew in the 8th grade when my daughter had Ms. Fleming as an Algebra teacher that she would need an advocate in the school system to get her set up for home bound school. God knows. "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Mathew 6:8.
The next 6 months will be difficult. Please pray for us. Send Katie a word of encouragement. Come visit. And together with God we can over come.