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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

From Elaine's CaringBridge Site

Journal entry by Laura Roberts — 9/14/2015

Today starts week 15 and we are headed back to The Chilton tomorrow for a 3-day stay. Elaine seems to be doing very well. At our doctor visit last week he said her counts were stellar which is good to hear. Elaine seems to be tolerating the chemo well and her body is responding to the medicine prescribed to help her counts bounce back. Plus the doctor could not feel the tumor in her foot when he was examining her foot. All very encouraging stuff. We will know definitively how well we are doing in 5 weeks when we rescan. Our last PET Scan showed that the chemo was doing its job and killing the cancer. The cancer did still show on the PET Scan but was lighter in color from the first PET Scan which meant that there was less disease in the two areas; her foot and shoulder. We will do more tests during this rescanning period; a PET Scan, a CT Scan, MRIs of the foot and shoulder and possibly another bone marrow aspiration. We will meet with the Radiation Oncologist while at The Chilton this week to start the plan for Radiation. Elaine's plan calls for Radiation to start during week 20 for about 6 weeks. The next big decision we will have to make is about surgery on her foot. The MRI will help us to make this decision. The decision is to have surgery to remove the tumor or just radiate the tumor and kill the cancer but leave the tumor in her foot. Based on the MRI we will have to see how much damage the surgery would do to her foot which could include possibly losing part of her foot. If there would be too much damage then we could opt to leave the tumor there but the radiation would kill it so she could just live with a dead tumor in her foot for the rest of her life. Please be praying for us as we make this decision for Elaine. I'll add that Elaine is pretty adamant about not wanting surgery on her foot. She is scared that her foot will be disfigured.

Elaine got to talk to her favorite tennis player Victoria Azarenka a couple of weeks ago while Victoria was in New York at the US Open. That was very exciting for Elaine and she was all smiles after that phone call. The phone call was part of an interview that Dave Kozlowski "Koz" did with Victoria about her fans. Koz is a friend of Steve Faulkner, one of Elaine's tennis coaches. We are very grateful to Steve and Koz for working that out for Elaine. Elaine had been watching tennis on ESPN that day while she was getting her chemo so she was able to watch Victoria's match that day (parts of it as ESPN was showing parts of all the matches) and Elaine knew that Victoria had won so Elaine got to congratulate her on her win. That wasn't part of the clip that you see on YouTube but it was an exciting part for Elaine. Elaine had the US Open app on her phone so she knew everything that was going on during the Open this year. She even felt good enough this weekend to get out on the court with her dad and hit some.

The call from Victoria Azarenka came at a perfect time for Elaine (God's timing) because we were hurting by the unexpected passing of our close friend Amy Trosper. Amy is Chloe's mom and Chloe is one of Elaine's closest friends. Because our daughters were such good friends Amy and I had become good friends. We were shocked and totally heartbroken over Amy's passing. We are still heartbroken. Not a night goes by that Elaine doesn't mention Amy or Chloe or one of Chloe's sisters. Elaine and Chloe had spent the night at one house or the other many times but much more at the Trosper house than my house because the Trosper house was more fun than my house. I know, ouch, right? But that is what Elaine told me many times when I would try to get them to spend the night at my house.

I continue to be amazed by our Alabaster community. This community has had its share of bad news this year and they keep responding with love and support for those of us who have had devastating things happen. We live in a wonderful community with caring, giving people.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Who knew such a thing existed? I had no idea and may not have known had Elaine not been diagnosed with cancer. We happened to be at The Chilton on September 1st which is how I came to learn that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Since learning about it I have posted about it on FaceBook once and have seen a few other posts about it. The difference between Childhood Cancer Awareness in September and Breast Cancer Awareness in October is drastic. In October you see pink everywhere for Breast Cancer. Hopefully that will change in the future. I am definitely thinking about what my part can be in this but after getting Elaine in remission. I did give up my Auburn car tag (I started getting Auburn car tags when I was in college at Auburn) for a Curing Childhood Cancer car tag. It's silly but I still don't recognize my own car yet.

Everything seems to be going well on the school front. Elaine is doing school work daily. She seems to be learning the material and doing well on her tests. Her teachers comment on how well she is doing. I'm keeping up my part by being the hag that makes her do schoolwork each day.

I am SO glad football is back. Elaine could really care less. I'm not sure how MY child is not more interested in football (she went to her first Auburn game at age 2) but she can take it or leave it. She definitely is not the fan that I am. Thompson is having a great year so far. They are 3-1 and only lost that one game by 1 point. Our new coach is as advertised and is producing an amazing turnaround from years past.

That is about all for now. Please keep praying for us during this difficult time and for complete healing for Elaine.

Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all of your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Jesus said to him, "You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. John 13:7

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