This is from a dear friend of mine, Jessica. We met when our daughter Jordyn was alive fighting cancer. Jessica's twin girls both had AML leukemia, like Jordyn. Jillians went into remission quickly. Jade on the other hand did not go into remission and the day after Jordyn's bone marrow transplant (Jordyn's was Nov 19) Jade had her BMT. Jade relapsed in Jan. and died Feb 4, 2000, exactly 4 weeks from the day they found out she'd relapsed. I called Jessica on Feb 5 to tell her about Jordyn's relapse (not knowing Jade had died) and she broke the news to me, and THEN comforted ME! To say that Jessica is a blessing is putting it mildly.
Aprox one year after Jade died, Jillian relapsed. She had an unrelated bmt. Remained in remission until her 1 yr and relapsed once again...again she had a BMT. She then had a partial relapse and she had a stem cell transfusion from her donor. She's been cancer free for the last 2 yrs plus. She started complaining not long ago that her knee has been hurting her so they took her into the dr. They did an XRay which led to an MRI, and said the only way to know for sure was a bone biopsy which they did on Monday. They said it was either scarred cartlidge or osteosarcoma (cancer).
Please read on in Jessica's own words.......
So it’s confirmed – it’s osteosarcoma. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
We have three options –
Surgery alone with an 80 percent chance of return in same place or somewhere else…
Chemo – surgery – chemo – best odds with most side effects and risks – she will be out of school now until next year –
Do nothing and keep her comfortable
I don’t know what to do.
There are only four cases of this ever and its in some german journal. These cases were single transplants only.
Jillian is one of few cases internationally to have back to back unrelated transplants. She is, to our doctor’s knowledge, the only case of her kind to develop this form of cancer post two transplants. The underlying or obvious is that no one has survived or did not develop this form of cancer.
She is again in unchartered territory.
When do you know when to lay down the sword?
When do you say keep the fight?
How do we maintain her quality of life? That is what is most important.
Doctor said if we have enjoyed her, despite the treatments she has undergone in past 8 years, then prob worth going forward.
PLEASE, PLEASE PRAY FOR US TO HAVE CLARITY IN OUR DECISION. PLEASE ASK GOD TO GRANT HER AND <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />US MERCY.
Dr. Frangoul can not make this decision for us – he supports whatever we decide.
I will ask, and PLEASE UNDERSTAND, that you don’t try to call or email. I can not handle the task of repeating myself or even going through the mail. I know that it would only be supportive and wishing us well – but right now I can barely walk.
I think I will send out another email in days with a caring bridge site for people to check. I am sure I will have daily postings.
Although I should not be concerned about anything but my family – again I am grappling with how to deal with working, supporting myles and caring for my child. It’s always the same obstacles. Vanderbilt is the very best place I have ever worked and has been so gracious with me and our situation. I am very much a control freak and am sure this is part of why I have trouble turning over some of my workload to others. But I do feel very compelled to do my job because of the flexibility and understanding they have granted me over the past 8 years. I am very unsure if I will be able to do that – this will be our FOURTH battle and I am worn out. I hate saying that considering Jillian is the one whose body is battered.
I will stay strong. I will remain faithful. I will get through today.
But I can not say for sure what state I will be in to deal with other matters – which concerns me.
I am crying out for help and so desperate for a miracle. I am not ready to let her go. I am not ready for any of this.
Pray for us please and I am so sorry.