Miracles 4 My'isha

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metastasized neuroblastoma to the lymph system: Our experience — October 7, 2017

metastasized neuroblastoma to the lymph system: Our experience

We discovered neuroblastoma in My’isha’s lymphatic system after she “broke” her arm in Dec of 2015.

The ACTUAL situation, was that neuroblastoma had come back for My’isha for the 2nd time and it had attacked her radius in her arm. The weakened bone fractured when she fell off a chair  bought her for Christmas. Neuroblastoma was not a thought until her corresponding axial lymph nodes began to swell.
Biopsy confirmed the neuroblastoma had returned so we went along with tradtitional treatments including the “NEW” and “Promising” MIBG therapy as well as 6 more cycles of chemotherapy in addition to the 6 she has received during initial treatment.

Fast forward past another relapse, more chemo, and more radiation….

After 2 cycles of chemotherapy, My’isha’s bone marrow was slow to recover leading us to try another path of therapy.

After 11 days of targeted radiation, the disease was progressing in the the radiation areas as well are surrounding areas, so per radiation oncologist it was determined that her disease is radiation resistant.

NOTE: At this time, we still have the option to pursue further chemotherapy and antibody therapy combined which has a 50% response rate (either controlled or minimized)

Our family has watched My’isha turn from a happy, loving, independent, and ambitious princess warrior to a babygirl fighting pain every day and with disease trying to explode from her lymph nodes over the past month.

It has taken me a long time to share these photos because I feel they are a sign of failure on so may levels as well as because I am friends with so may empaths that I know you will feel the pain as well.

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Note the swelling near the neck and under her arm.

 

As a mother… what WOULDN’T you do? Our list of lymph cleansers and detox and supplements is probably not as long as it could be…. or too long depending on who you ask. However a week after the photos above were taken… I took these:

Her disease is not slowing… even with everything I am throwing at it. Her bad days are out numbering the good. I am re-evaluating some of the items we are running out of and deciding what to keep on the regimen and what can go. In terms of diet… we met with the dietician today and they have nothing new to offer. We met with the oncologists and they also have nothing new to offer. We are constantly seeking more therapies and more knowledge. I am tired of having end of life discussions… especially as I watch new lumps appear on her body as well as new and increasing pain. I am tired… we are all tired… keeping he in good spirits is becoming harder and harder with each day, but this cannot be the way things end. This is not the end.. we are fighting and grateful for every smile and every walk and every game and EVERYDAY.

When you are a mother with a child newly diagnosed, you trust everything the doctors say.

Then the disease comes back, you begin to question not only the doctors, but your own decisions.

When the disease comes back AGAIN… for the 3rd time… you not only lose trust in the doctors all together, but you begin to question everything you do and have done for the extent of your child’s life.

If nothing else comes from this battle… I want cancer mommies to feel empowered to seek knowledge, questions the physicians and push for the least evasive treatments available to help their child not only survive a battle… or 2… or 3… with cancer… but to also cause the least amount of damage to a child’s body.

I know that my daughter’s disease is smarter than most of the treatments these medical physicians have come up with in their labs. I understand how cancer works. I am mad that physicians are forced to turn the head to dietary remedies and natural remedies…. especially when we are talking about CHILDREN.

I am a frustrated mother… not only with physicians and the medical industry, but also with our law makers. No child should have to suffer due to silly little laws and NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE! Expect that when a child is involved there will be a village at your door expecting answers and action.

 

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4 1/2 year Timeline of Neuroblastoma — September 23, 2017

4 1/2 year Timeline of Neuroblastoma

March 15 2013– Final staging and Dx of stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma with unfavorable biology MYCN amplified…. basically… she has a very difficult strain of neuroblastoma. At the time of diagnosis, the disease was in from her shoulders to her thighs and into her bone marrow.

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July 2014– after a year and a half of treatment starting with 6 cycles of alternating chemotherapies including a bone marrow transplant. Her own stem cells were harvested from her bone marrow and then given back to her on her 2nd birthday. She underwent a number of surgeries for central lines and a tumor removal that involved her adrenal gland. We did 20 days of radiation and IL-2 immunotherapy and Chimeric antibody therapy and maintenance therapy with Accutane (it targets neuroblastoma cells while clearing acne).11702869_857391011009007_2184997767334437347_nDecember 2016– My’isha fell on a new chair I got her for Christmas and broke her arm. I found a lump under her arm and it was neuroblastoma. Turns out her ulna had been weakened by the disease.

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My’isha’s arm after cast removal. Her radius is being destroyed from the inside out by neuroblastoma.
February 2016– We began MIBG therapy. Sounded very promising and it was a BIG process involving a nuclear radiated room and special procedures and precautions. The disease remained in her wrist after the radiation we did 6 more cycles of chemotherapy.

September 14, 2016– Port was removed because previous scans showed treatment had worked and she was released from therapy again.

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December 2016– Routine scans revealed neuroblastoma had returned to the same locations: her wrist and axial lymph nodes. The disease was localized to the same locations. We decided to try THC:CBD in a 1:1 ratio at about a gram a day rectally and less than 500mg orally. The disease seemed to be stable for a little while.

March 2017– Axial lymph node swelling prompted a call to oncology and a treatment plan put in place.

April 6th 2017– Port was placed for treatment for the 3rd time. We did a cycle of chemotherapy and stayed 2 weeks in the hospital waiting for My’isha’s counts to recover and had to postpone the 2nd round of treatment to give her bone marrow time to recover from a large dose of chemotherapy. After another cycle of chemotherapy, scans revealed more growth.

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August 2017– CHANGE OF PLAN: I was told by My’isha’s oncologist that radiation is a systemic treatment and is not a cure. Therefore I had been hesitant to put her through something that we know is not going to heal her but we know will cause damage. However… after chemotherapy failed… I was convinced by the same oncologist that if I did not do (radiation or the chimeric antibody again along with chemo) that I wouldn’t be worried about holes in her bones from radiation, but from neuroblastoma instead. So… we gave it a shot…. 11 days to be exact. I noticed lumps in her elbow area and her neck appear which prompted a scan that revealed that areas around the radiation site as well as places being directly radiated were showing growth.18698040_1345935598821210_5804317318042516465_n

The disease is now radiation resistant and her bone marrow can only take so much more damage…

September 19, 2017– We met with the palliative care team aka REACH to discuss how they are going to support us. It is very scary and stressful to have end of life conversations. A fire has been ignited. It is up to US… our village… to figure out something the medical field is unable to or unwilling to accept. Our current regimen is evolving. We are doing a lot of detoxes, trying to remove sugars, maintain an alkaline body, utilizing natural herbs to support natural body functions and fight the disease.

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The battle is far from over… our princess has shown signs of energy again after a rough week or so. When the good days out number the bad… our family is blessed and I feel like I am doing something right. When we have bad days… I am wanting to go back to the drawing board. We had our first set of labs and are making adjustments as needed to her diet and will continue to do so about twice a month. If you do not follow her story on FB, please do: http://www.facebook.com/miracles4myisha If you are interested in contributing to the healthy eating and natural remedies donate HERE to the #GoBaldWithMyMy campaign. We have a friend on standby ready to go bald with MyMy when we reach our new goal!

Feb Scans: No Change… What Does A Mommy Do Now? — February 20, 2017

Feb Scans: No Change… What Does A Mommy Do Now?

Yet again… I am faced with the decision to disrupt our life and subject our princess to daily sedation for 5 days for 1-4 weeks in Denver. Her wrist still lights up hot, so the decision remains until the cancer is GONE… 100%. She is so happy.. she seems to be doing so well… I really am not in a rush to change our lives at this point to be quite honest. She loves going to school. She made it through a full week of school last week! Everyone is so happy to see her. To make it through this school year would do wonders for her mind and soul, as well as everyone in the classroom.

Quality of life for her brothers is important to me as well. I will have to make arrangements for 2 of my boys whether we stay or commute daily. We are talking about changing everyone’s lives even if just for a week. If we take anything less than 4 weeks, the intensity of radiation My’isha receives increases, in order to still be effective… another tough decision that will need to be made when the day comes.

I have to do a little more research on the effects of frequent sedations as well. I am concerned about sedating her daily for any extended period of time… especially after what happened during MIBG Therapy Feb 2016. It is scary to watch your baby’s vitals drop and not respond to her daddy’s yell. Especially when she is in a radioactive room with a THICK wall between us and a strict scrub-in/out routine. At some point someone has to say, “To hell with protocol I am saving this child!”… usually a parent first by the way. It is an intense and terrifying situation, and something a parent will never forget.

The issue with keeping My’isha on the routine, is the expense and struggle to get quality meds. A 3-day dose for My’isha runs around $50 at the local dispensary. Our city and state is “cracking-down” on patient home-grows and gifting laws this year which will SEVERLY impact poor patients and parents of patients such as myself. We depend on the ability to find growers and caregivers willing to GIVE AWAY meds and they rely on the community to be able to pitch in as they can and when needed. Unfortunately, that is a battle that will need to be won at the state level and then again at the city level. This is why I do what I do every day. Patients who cannot afford healthcare, and insurance, need a better way to heal and treat.

Radiation itself is the lowest risk treatment offered that will kill the cancer cells by mainstream treatments. I have to weight the pros and cons of each and compare…. anyone want to trade places yet? For a week? Its alright… I will get my break eventually…. hopefully it is a vacay while the kids are on vacay somewhere else… happy.. and healthy….

To chemo or not to chemo… that is the question. — January 2, 2017

To chemo or not to chemo… that is the question.

I have to be honest…. I am still on the fence about the chemotherapy. I am feeling good about our natural approach. I have been making changes and increasing her cannabis does. I am wanting to get more consistent with the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. There are so many ways to attack this… I am just not sure I am ready to expose her body to more chemotherapy. She is still so young. 

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My’isha with her legs up on her daddy after making a mess of the house on Christmas 2016. Just kidding about the mess of course.

So just to update those who do not know, My’isha has had a relapse of neuroblastoma in the same bone, same location it came back in 2015. This is just 6 months after ending 6 cycles of chemotherapy and MIBG therapy. We have a few options… more than we discussed in detail, but it basically boils down to 1 of 3 options. We can do radiation alone. Which is NOT a curative treatment according to our oncologist. Use chemotherapy along with the radiation. Which has a higher response rate, but may or may not cure the disease. Or we can go all out and use the same antibody therapy we used 3 years ago along with chemotherapy. The antibody therapy has the highest response rate. However, my daughter has serious side effects to the antibody drugs. They have had to stop the medication early in the past. I am not ready for that. So the debate is between radiation plus chemo or neither for now. If I choose to go with nothing for right now, we will come back for follow up scans.

I want chemo to be a 2nd choice…. AFTER the natural regimens, diet changes, etc. I have just started making the changes I should have been making months ago, so I want to give myself and her body a chance to learn how to do this naturally. I know the first relapse was because of failed conventional treatment. Is this relapse because conventional treatment failed as well? Or because I have not been utilizing the natural remedies correctly? Or because the natural treatments will not work for her? Or does none of it really matter because her body is going to create neuroblastoma cells no matter what we do?

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Waking up from anesthesia after bone marrow biopsies and MRI of wrist- Dec 16, 2016

To me… it begins with the food she eats that nourishes her body. I feel like that is the beginning. Taking a dietary/nutrition class will be next on my agenda for sure. I also know that we are surrounded by under-utilized natural cures and resources. So why would I force my child into a damaging treatment when there may be a less evasive way to handle this for now.

My’isha is genetically special. I feel she will need a cancer fighting regimen for the rest of her life to be honest. We need to figure out her personal healthy lifestyle and make it her lifestyle. This is a huge undertaking as a mother. Especially when cannabis is included in the mix. I am determined to have this all figured out for my baby girl sooner than later. This way we can work hard on helping other babies in a similar struggle.

I want to keep My’isha alive and healthy. How do I do that? Unfortunately, no one has the answer for that. We are thrown many treatment and therapy options. If the doctors don’t know, how am I expected to know?  Ultimately…  the decision for everything from what she eats to the treatment is left to me.

We have more scan coming up and possibly radiation and chemo depending on what we decide. To contribute to travel, food, and natural treatment costs not covered by insurance, donate HERE > Paypal.me/Miracles4Myisha

 

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