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.
Ed and Megan