Friday, July 14, 2006

Update as of Friday July 14, 2006

Hello everyone,

We have gotten a few questions since we last posted the MRI images so we wanted to take a few moments to help answer them.

Everyone has been very excited about the news that the tumor has shrunk. Here is some more information we have learned. Most children respond to radiation treatment where the tumor does shrink. This is actually normal. The amount of shrinkage does vary by each case. Maria’s tumor has shrunk more than most typical cases. We will not know until further time and tests if the tumor will shrink entirely or if it has stopped shrinking.

This does not change Maria’s diagnosis. This tumor is a horrible and evil tumor. Most of the time it grows back within 6-9 months of treatment with no forgiveness.

So, what do we have going for us? First, because this shrinkage has happened so early after her treatment, the tumor could continue to shrink and could shrink away. Secondly, we have the best doctors in the industry; scratch that, in the world, working on Maria. Thirdly, we have a new Chemotherapy called Tarceva working biologically on the tumor’s receptors. Fourthly, we have people like you helping us every day. And lastly, we have something better than all of that combined. We have the power of prayer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that God works through science as well and does it often. I know that so many people pray to God and sometimes his plans are different. Hell, I have been praying to God all the time and he pretty much ignores me. But Maria is different. So many people from so many places are praying every day. People that don’t know Maria, people that don’t normally pray…I am telling you, I have never seen so many people in this world come together as one and pray so hard.

We has received so many letters and emails and comments from people all over the world talking about how our little Maria is on the church prayer list, the intentions list, the daily thought list, the morning prayer group list, the school prayer list, the evening family list, the list of list.

You almost can’t imagine that there are so many people out there praying so often for our Maria. Have you ever heard of a church filling up just to say the rosary? You want to talk about a powerful prayer, try saying the rosary.

When we first heard the news that Maria’s tumor shrunk as much as it had, we kept saying that it was “unbelievable”. A friend of mine reminded me that we are people of faith and that all things are believable. He is right; because we have faith in God we never have stopped believing in that miracle. We have always had HOPE. Megan has always said that a miracle is possible, we just don’t know if it is possible for Maria.

We now know that it is possible for Maria. But we also know that it is only possible if we continue to pray. We can not let the statistics win. We can not let the tumor grow back. We must fight everyday that evil that lives.

Let me say this. I have always struggled with my faith. I have questioned the validity of prayer, communion, God, Heaven, the 10 commandments, purgatory, hell, sin and more. I have talked with many people about many different religions and about their beliefs. I have wondered who is right. Is anyone right? What if I am wrong? Is there really a God?

I have also had conversations with myself on what kind of life have I lead? What example do I have for others? Does it even matter? Some have said that religion was created so that we could live in a more civil society. But what has always been in my mind was how did we get here? How can things be scientifically proven, yet still not happen? Why do most people believe in miracles yet others say that miracles are what scientists call “an anomaly”?

Maria was asked if she knew what a miracle was and she said, “that’s where God can do things that we can’t”. What a perfect definition. Of course, a miracle can not be explained by science. That is why we call it a miracle. Miracles can only happen because of God. There is no other explanation. So, that answerers all the questions about God.

What about everything else? Time will tell. I know that I have become stronger in my faith because of this. And this is coming from someone who got really mad at God when we first found out about Maria.

So, now that my rant is over, we need a favor. Whether you believe in God or believe in prayer or whatever you believe in, please do this.

Go to church, ask God for forgiveness, then ask God to heal Maria. I can assure you of this, if everyone that reads this were to go to church and do this, I know God will answer our prayers and cure Maria. Would you want to be the only one that doesn’t at least try it?

OK, well enough about that, on to the most important thing in the world, Maria.
She loves the summer. She is swimming, and running and jumping. She is playing with all her friends. She is having a normal summer for any kid. She is losing a lot of the weight in the face. She is still pretty bald, but the doctor says it should start to grow back in 6 more weeks. Every day is normal and fun. Play, play, play…….awesome!

She is still taking her Tarceva every day. (50MG for those that really want to know) She is not talking any other drug or supplement. She eats fruit with almost every meal, she has cut back on almost all sugars and drinks mostly water. This has been her choice. Mom tries to help her out about not eating sugar and other bad stuff. She asks every now and then if something is good for her or not. But other than that, it is like she has a sixth sense about her diet. I wish I had her sixth sense about my diet. (Heck, I would take her fourth sense if I could).

Maria has lost her second front tooth!! She now has no front teeth. And yes the tooth fairy came and she was very happy!!! She is getting so much older and more mature. :(

Maria is very excited to go to Peak N Peak with our neighbors. They are so great, we really love them. Dad might even get in a round of golf…. Still planning on going to Hilton Head in August and Disney in September.

One last thing, please keep September 7, 2006 on your minds and in your calendars. That is the day that we will need more prayer. That is the day that Maria gets her next MRI. We really want that tumor to shrink more and go away for good. No growth. We will not accept any growth…none. The power of positive thinking is in full gear!

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers, gifts, friendship and love. We can not tell you how much you have carried this family. It reminds me of the parable about having two sets of footprints in the sand and when times got tough there was only one……..thanks.

God Bless,
Ed and Megan


Anonymous said...

This is actually the 2nd time I've posted a comment, I read the website fairly regularly. I'm sure there are many other strangers like me who are captivated by the story. I don't know how you find time to post so regularly when you're lives are so busy.

My oldest daughter lost her 2nd front tooth just a few days ago, and it just makes me really think about how in so many ways we are going through the same things, only you have this terrible burden to bear that I am so lucky not to have.

I admire you for admitting that you sometimes doubt your faith, I do too (I suspect most people do!) and certainly you have more reason than most right now.

From our point of view, it is completely unacceptable for a child to have to go through what Maria is going through. I often like to remember that God is our Father and we are children, and children just can't grasp all of the things that their parents can. Sometimes we as parents have to do things which seems hurtful in the eyes of our child, and we know they don't understand yet we know what we are doing. God is the same way. He knows what he is doing and all you can do it trust in that fact.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ed, & Megan:

My wife and I became knowledgable of Maria and her obvious life threatning condition via the evening news on t.v. At that moment, we both were moved by The Spirit of God, to reach out to her in any way we could to help.

Of course the very first thing we did was "Pray", and after that we agreed to seek ways we could do more.

As Pastor of a small (physically), but large (Spiritually)church, I knew that if I asked the members of True Vine Baptist Churst to join in with Betty and I to help little Maria, I knew that they would.

We are going to make a financiall contribution to the Maria McNamara Fund, and I am also hoping to get as many as I can to join me for the 5k/run, and the 1 mile walk.

The Lord has provided the information that I needed to get this process going at our church, via of our dear friends, Vern and
Diane Hartenbur. So please keep us informed concerning little Maria.


God bless all of you for allowing The Jesus in you to be seen by all of us.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing

Ed McGhee

liz clark said...

We have been praying for Maria everyday. Grace loved playing with her at Mary Clair's birthday pary and I was happy to see her having fun! I was wondering if you have thought about a visit with Dr Nemeh. He has helped so many people through prayer, it is very interesting. His daughter has the most beautiful singing voice too. We have a contact if you are interested at all. If not, I understand. We will continue to pray for the miracle Maria deserves! Have a wonderful summer!
The Clark Family

Anonymous said...

You all are BEAUTIFUL! We're praying harder now more than ever!!

Much love,
The Birchlers

Anonymous said...

We have followed your situation since day 1. We are so happy to see that the tumor has shrunk. I would never be able to even come close or comprehend what you must go through every day knowing your little Maria has this. I want to share with you a verse:

Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus. PHILLIPIANS 4:6&7

Please know you are in our hearts and thoughts every day. With much love, The Scalise Family

Anonymous said...

I have to commend you on the admmission of doubting your FAITH, there have been times in our lives that we all have doubts, but as we get older I think that is why GOD deals us certain items in life to handle, to make our FAITH stronger and learn more. That evil will not live with the power of prayer. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Dear Neighbors,

I would love everyone to know what a truly amazing child Maria is, but the blog's will tell it all. She first, and foremost has THE most amazing parents and brothers. Joy is the only description of this family, and I know, cause we see it firsthand daily. Maria has it all, beauty, brains and personality. What a gift is to know her and her family. We love Maria, Eddy, Aiden and Blake (parents too).

Love, T,G, and girls (trampolene family!!)

Bill VanderWesten said...

Hello to all, including Mr. Ed,
We continue to pray for Maria! The miracles that have occurred serve to honor and glorify his name. We are genuinely filled with Gods love and rejoice for her improvement. Few can empathize with your current situation except a family living a parallel course! I implore you to keep the faith, stay your course, for after a raging tumult the captain will lead you to safe harbor. Maria is an amazing girl, much like our Cariann. I believe our paths have crossed for a reason as of yet, I do not know, but I will say Matoka and I enjoy the sincerity of your friendship. Oh, I might add, your witty banter also Ed. I look forward to the next time we meet. Maybe we could share a meal together, and the girls can play. Feel free to e-mail when you have time. Sincerely Bill & Family

Anonymous said...

I have this book called "Journey to the Heart" with a daily meditation. Today's reminded me of you:

Lessons of love, that's what they are.

We ususally don't know what the lesson is while we are learning it. Maybe we're not supposed to. Besides, if we knew it, really knew it, we wouldn't need to learn it. We'd already be practicing it in our daily lives. But even when we don't know what the lesson is, we can know one thing: it's a lesson of love.

Courage. Faith. Patience. Forgiveness. Compassion. Gentleness. Joy. Each one is a lesson of love.

For many of us, the problem isn't that we haven't had love in our lives before. The issue is that we haven't understood love. Know this: not only are the lessons about love, the lessons themselves are love.

Feel your feelings. Struggle through your situations and experiences and emotions. The struggle to learn isn't incidental to your purpose. It's an integral part of your purpose, your destiny, your reason for being. Go through your moments of darkness and confusion, and trust that the light will come. Through it all, rest in one thought: you're on track. You're on your path.

You're conncetd to love. You're connected to God. And the lessons you're learning are lessons of love.

Anonymous said...

as i read your post, something my pastor said in sunday service popped into my head. his sermon was about doubting our faith, and the conclusion he came to was this...

Everyone doubts God at some time in our lives, we would be liars to say we have NEVER doubted God. Even he, the pastor had doubted God, and his faith. but once we move past those doubts and work it all out in our mind, we find him, our one and true God, and we will have grown stronger in our faith.

I will continue to pray for maria, your family, her treatment, and most of all the MRI on september 7th. its marked on our family calendar, and i will include the date in my thank you letters to my friends and family for sponsoring me for the walk for your daughter. there are hundreds, scratch that, hundreds of thousands, of people praying daily for your family and your daughter. GOD will give her her miracle. and by doing that, he will sooth the doubts of many of those hundreds of thousands of people, using your daughter as an instrument in his great plan.

I love the comparasion someone used about how children dont always understand why their parents must do the things they do. but its all in an effort of love and teaching.

please know that each day i think about your family and your daughter, and pray often.

our prayers will move mountains.

God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

I hope I never have to face the issues that you and Maria face. I can't imagine one of my children suffering from cancer. I know it must be hard to understand why your beautiful daughter is having to face such pain, but do not turn against God. He may not always answer our prayers the way we want them but will comfort you as you struggle through. I will pray for you and Maria each day. I also believe in the drug Tarceva. May God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

zgsMy name is Amy Hagen. My heart goes out to you and your precious family. I urge you to please read a book "The Germ That Causes Cancer" by Doug Kaufman. You can by it through a I will continue to keep Maria and your family in our family's prayers. The power of prayer is unmeasurable! God's blessings on Maria and your family.