Willa Tomchuk Willa Strong

First post: Jun 18, 2017 Latest post: Oct 7, 2019
On April 26th 2017 Willa was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour.  Our world was shattered.  Willa started complaining of a neck pain the last week of February and we took her to the doctor, chiropractor, naturopathic and made 3 trips to the ER at the Stollery's Children Hospital, in Edmonton.  It was on the 3rd visit, that she was admitted and a MRI confirmed what was causing the pain.  Never, did we ever think Brain Tumour.  Within 2 days Willa underwent Brain Surgery and less then 10% of the tumour was removed as it is wrapped around her Brain stem and major a vessel that helps her breath and swallow.   They took enough for Pathology and week later, our world was crushed again. Willa had an High grade Anaplastic Ependymoma.  We were presented with a clinical trial , but after much consideration and switching Willa's care to another neurosurgeon, we decided to treat Willa's Brain Cancer with Radiation - this is the protocol treatment for Willa's type of Tumour.  Willa started 33 rounds of Radiation at the Cross Cancer institute in Edmonton on May 29th. She goes every week day for almost 6 weeks and is put under anesthetic each time.   On June 12th, after almost 7 weeks - Willa was discharged from The Stollery.  We are now at home, going in for Treatment, clinics and physiotherapy.  Willa has come a long way in those weeks... she didn't sit up for almost 4 weeks and only in the last 2 weeks started standing and walking with some assistance.  She is currently quite swollen from the steroids she takes and  they also cause her to want to eat all the time, so Willa has gained around 9 pounds, which is a lot for a toddler in a few weeks.  
She  is a fighter and so brave and I get my strength from her.  She amazes me.  We still have a journey ahead of us but will be on it together.  I started this site as I was using Facebook as a way to send updates. I never liked using it so I am glad this was suggested to me by one of the amazing nurses on the unit.  I did post all the updates here from Facebook, along with pictures, to date.  It is hard to put into words how I feel and some days are much harder then others, but at the end of day I need to be strong for Willa, just like she is strong for me.  Day by day, hour by hour #willastrong.

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