Our little Hazelnut has relapsed again.
To say we are devastated that she relapsed so quickly out of treatment, would be a gross understatement. But this is the reality of childhood cancer.
Childhood cancer does not discriminate.
Childhood cancer is relentless.
Childhood cancer takes childhoods.
Childhood cancer is murderous.
We knew that this would be a possibility, because once a child relapses with Neuroblastoma, the likelihood of it recurring becomes very high, upwards of 80%. So it isn't that surprising, but it is still a punch to the gut.
You always hope that it will be your child that will be the odds. Your child that will not be one of the statistics. Your child that will beat this thing.
But the reality is, cancer doesn't care who your child is, how strong they are, or how many people they have surrounding them in prayer and support.
As of right now, we are still waiting for test results to determine the extent of her relapse, and we are going to perform some more tests next week to get a bigger picture of what is going on, so I will keep you updated.
The good news, is that this recurrence, as it is right now, is not urgent. We were not asked to drop everything and begin treating it immediately. We have time to study it, and make the best plan we can. And we have one of the best Neuroblastoma doctors on our side. Hazel's oncologist, Dr. Marachelian, is not only an incredible physician, but she is also a leading researcher in the Neuroblastoma world, being crucial in some of the most recent advancements.
We will continue to do everything we can to save our daughter, and before anyone comes to me with messages of "miracle cures", please know that we have not left any stone unturned. She is already using Cannabis Oil and essential oils, we follow an anti-cancer diet, and she takes all kinds of supplements and probiotics. We still believe these can help her, but if they were going to save her, they would have done so already.
We just humbly ask that you stand by our family, holding us in your thoughts, hearts and prayers, as we try to make the best and some of the most difficult decisions we can for our little girl.
We still have Hope for Hazel, as she has beat this thing twice, and we can believe that she can do it again. But please pray for our spirits, as it is so easy to lose hope, and to be overcome with fear and bitterness. I have held onto some of that bitterness, and have even directed it toward God, so I beg you to please hold us up in prayer so that we may see His goodness, His peace, His love.
Until we have more answers next week, we get this week to spend time together as a family, building as many happy memories as we can. We have not told the children yet, (please, if you see them, do not say anything) as we would like them to have a carefree Halloween. Although, Hazel, who is too smart for her own good, does already know.
In true Hazel fashion, she took the news unbelivably well. She stood up determined, wiped her hands and said, "Okay." Then on the way home she started jokingly yelling in anger, "Cancer, you get out! I'm going to punch you and kick you out of there. No! I'm going to push so hard, that I'm going to poop you out. No chemo, just poop you out!"
She laughed and then said, "Okay, I'm making this too funny now".
I said, "No honey, absolutely not. You make it as funny as you can. The best thing we can do right now is stay positive and have hope. So you make all the jokes you want to, my love."
Last night, I was reminded of something she said on Sunday while we were at the park celebrating my youngest son's 5th birthday. She breathed in the crisp fall air, looked up to the sky and said, "The world is beautiful today". And despite this news, my daughter is right, the world is beautiful today and we will hold onto that.