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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Micah's 6th surgery--age 11

Micah was diagnosed with cancer at 11 months old: Nueroblastoma, stage IV and was treated with chemotherapy and had several surgeries--the final one removing 98% of her tumor and leaving the rest embedded in her spinal column, too dangerous to operate on. The cure rate of this particular cancer in children has a 57% cure rate (thanks to research hospitals like St.Jude) and Micah was among that 57% who kicked her cancer's booty and survived! *You can read more of her cancer story at her caringbridge site here or sign her guest book on her new current caringbridge site here *
However, Micah's particular cancer also has a 53% relapse rate, which means that over the last 10 years, and for the rest of Micah's life, there is a chance that her cancer could come back. For has NOT.
WOO HOO! Jeremiah 33:3 says "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." What an awesome piece of encouragement from our Lord, the ultimate Healer and Comforter!
So the good news is that Micah's cancer is not back. And I was reminded of just how thankful we should be of this today by my wise brother (a doctor, in case you didn't know...) who said that the important thing here is that Micah's cancer is NOT back, its NOT relapsed and that the upcoming surgery and all that goes along with it is just residual. Yes! We are so thankful! I pray that I will never take God's mercy for granted where my daughter's life and health are concerned!
Now here is the latest: 
We went to the neurosurgeon today (one of the surgeons who performed Micah's 4th and 5th surgeries when she was 18 months old) and Micah will have to have surgery this summer. She will be getting rods put in for her severe kyphosis (a curvature of the spine, and in Micah's case a curvature originally caused by her tumor) in July or August of this year but she will ALSO be getting cadaver bones (ew!) implanted in the base of her spine in order to brace and support her spine so that the rods are more effective. She will have one surgery to do the bone fusion, etc. and then 4-5 days later after her body adjusts to that they will do the rod surgery. She will be an inpatient for approx 2+ weeks if all goes ideally. 
Then she will not be able to be mobile for approximately a year: no running, no stooping over, no basketball, no tennis, no lifting, no gym activities, nothing. Just walking and rolling her backpack if necessary. Small price to pay? Sure. And like my brother reminded me today, Micah's 11--this would be WAY harder if we had to limit her at, say, Haven's age of 4! Can you imagine???
So we go back to Micah's orthopedic surgeon on Monday (the one who originally ordered all the CT and MRI scans, and who will also be working with the neurosurgeons this summer on Micah) where we will hopefully set a date for the first surgery. OH and they are also hoping to go in Micah's previous incision sites so this could mean no new scars (or as we call them "miracles") for Micah Grace. This is a small, but huge thing for us!
I don't think I'm leaving anything out, but feel free to leave comments here and on Micah's caringbridge site so that she can read them! Micah is acting so fine with all of this, that it makes me wonder if she fully understands what's to be expected. However, those of you who know her know this: Micah is a walking miracle and one of the strongest kids (and people!) that I know and she will handle this beautifully like she has so many other obstacles in her 11 years. I am so thankful and proud to be her mom!


Leigh Harris ) said...

Praise God for no relapse! She is a big time trooper and she will be great. One year will go by fast and then we can get her some more tennis lessons from Coach Rob :)

Jen rich said...

Thanks for the update! God is good. You'll do great Micah!

Mary Helen said...

thanks for the update! I'd love to get the girls together once school is out-Micah is such a good kid and I know Liv so enjoys being around her-especially w/middle school drama starting up!

Nathan Rucker said...

Great post! Praise God from whom all mercies flow! Glad to have gotten a good report! I'm so impressed at how maturely Micah handles all this stuff; she's growing up so fast!