Thursday, October 30, 2008


Do you remember me talking about the little girl named Amanda who goes to our church? Amanda just turned 3 recently and she has a nasty form of Leukemia called Acute Myelogenous Leukemia or of the hardest forms to treat.

She has been responding remarkably well to treatment (at times even the doctors have been amazed) and with few complications, she has come through like a real trooper!

Amanda went through her last round of Chemo and again, she did great, all things considered. The last major hurdle was the bone marrow biopsy. Amanda's parents have a website up to help family, friends and everyone in the community keep updated on how she's doing and this is part of what their entry said on Tuesday:

Well, today has been extremely long and exhausting, but ended with fantastic news that we couldn't be happier about. This morning Amanda had her end-of-treatment bone marrow biopsy, and the preliminary results came back clean!!

The biopsy went well, although it is never a pleasent experience. For those of you who are unfamiliar with bone marrow biopsy, they basically burrow a large needle right into her hip bone to aspirate her marrow. She is awake for the procedure, but they give her medicine for pain and anxiety, and when the medicine wears off she seems to have little recollection of the actual event. Today she had some nausea and vomiting after the biopsy, and threw up a few times in the clinic, in the car, and in the parking lot, but seems to be doing OK now.

After our appointment we decided to do a little shopping and go out for lunch. The shopping served as a nice distraction, and for a moment I almost forgot about our pending test result, until we sat down to eat and my phone rang.

"This is Dr. Woods (insert pause that seemed to last an eternity), it's clean!"

They will send a sample off to Mayo for further testing, and we hopefully get the results back later this week. Mayo will culture her marrow and see if any cancer cells grow, and also see if the cytogenetic variations that were present originally are still there. The basically want to use every method possible to confirm that the cancer is truly gone.

Although we know that we are still not out of the woods, this was a very major hurdle for us. They will watch her intensley over the next year, when relapse is more likely to occur, and we'll have to wait 5 more years until she is considered cured.

HALLELUIA!!! How awesome is that news?!?!?! It's so interesting to see Amanda in person. She is so lively, happy and outgoing, that if it wasn't for the fact that she has no hair, you would never guess her to be sick in any way. We pray that God continues to watch over her and keeps her well and safe and that the next 5 years pass quickly.

The following picture was taken a couple of weeks ago after church. Amanda and her family usually sit in the row right ahead of us and from time to time she'll migrate to our row to be with one of our girls (who are magnets for children! Seriously, kids flock to them.). This particular Sunday, Chelsea was there and she and Amanda colored and played with finger puppets. She is so sweet and we are as thrilled as can be at the good news.


Gwendolyn said...

That is wonderful! She is such a beautiful child...I will be praying for her continued improvement. :o)

DEb said...

AWWWWW..... God's beautiful little girl... I LOVE THIS!!!!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

What good news...I cannot even imagine the road those parents are having to endure with their little one. It sure puts things in perspective, doesn't it?