Makenna’s Story

Site created on November 21, 2009

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. The April 1, 2011 scans revealed that Makenna has relapsed with Ewing Sarcoma, and so the next chapter of her journey has begun. Please read her powerful message to each of us in the April 15, 2011 post titled "Round 2". Click on "read my story" for the background information and then follow her progress in the Journal section.

Visit often to read the latest updates, view the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook. Your prayers and sweet words of encouragement mean more to us than you know.

Makenna's journey actually began with a car trip to the panhandle of Texas around the end of August 2009.  On the way home, she complained of her upper right chest & shoulder area hurting.  We thought it was a rib out because she had slept in an odd position during the 7 hour drive. We took her to our chiropractor for an adjustment.

She had a second adjustment in October and there seemd to be a small bump at the rib area - we assumed it was just an irritated muscle.  By the beginning of November 2009, the knot seemed to have grown considerably. The chiropractor took an x-ray which revealed a large mass, about the size of her fist located in her upper chest wall cavity just below/beside the clavicle.  We then went to a specialist who ordered a CT scan. This showed that there was a tumor was pushing into her 2nd rib which had begun to destroy the rib.  We were blessed with doctors who reacted quickly and made referrals as needed. We found ourselves at the Oncology Department of Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth, Tx. 

Monday, Nov 16, 2009, Makenna went in for a surgical biopsy to remove a piece of the tumor and to put a name to what we were dealing with. 

On Thursday, November 19, 2009, we received the diagnosis that Makenna has Ewing Sarcoma.  This is a rare adolescent cancer typically found in people 10-20 years of age.  It is usually found in the bone, but can also be found in the tissue .  It is not a genetic  type of disease, nor is it something that is caused by something she's done.

November 20, 2009 Makenna went in for a bone scan to assess the rest of her.

On Monday 23,  we will be meeting with the oncologist to review the treatment schedule. She will also have several more tests before Thursday. We will be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday at home and then the week after Thanksgiving she will begin her treatments.

Treatments will involve a combination of chemo, surgery and radiation.  The chemo treatment will be done in cycles where she will be in the hospital for several days, then home for two weeks before going back for another round.  This will continue until they are able to shrink the tumor to an operable size.  Then the tumor will be removed surgically.  The final treatment will be radiation.

Makenna's doctor is very positive and has experience in treating this type of cancer.  We feel confident in the care she will receive at Cook Children's Hospital.  Makenna is a strong and otherwise healthy young woman and she is a fighter.  Her attitude has remained good and she is determined to not let this get the best of her. She is also determined to graduate on time.  Her school has been understanding and is willing to work with her to acheive this goal.  Makenna has kept up her sense of humor by naming her tumor Ted.

Makenna's faith in the Lord will help her through this challenging time and your prayers, love and support that we continue to receive is most appreciated.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Kitson Loerwald

This year, February 17th marked the 5 year anniversary of our Sweet Baby Girl going home to be with the Lord. Five days later, on February 22nd, our first grandchild was born. Our hearts are filled with such a deep joy at God’s sovereign timing.

It is still hard to fathom that 5 years have truly come and gone so quickly and so slowly all in the same blink of an eye. It is even harder to realize that it will be 10 years in November since our world was rocked by the words “Ewing Sarcoma”. But God was with us then and every step of the way since. He brought us through every mountaintop and valley along Makenna’s journey. His love shined so brightly through the twinkle in her eyes and the warmth of her smile, while His delight was heard through her joyful laughter.

As we welcome this beautiful new gift from God into our lives, our hearts are thrilled at the timing. To us, this is truly the perfect Circle of Life. From now on, on February 17th, we will celebrate the inspirational life Makenna lived followed a few days later by a celebration of the beautiful life that lay ahead for young Arthur Fox Loerwald.

Welcome to the world Little One! We can’t wait to see all of the wonderful ways God helps you bring joy to this world!!!

Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know this well.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you Hope and a Future.”

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