A Message from Donna:
They couldn’t be sure the type but just by the x-ray and ultrasound, a cancer diagnosis was made. We were sent to another hospital (about 40 minutes away), to meet with an oncologist, that same evening. My beautiful, full of life, 21-month-old was admitted and our journey began. The next week was filled with surgeries, biopsies, and scans, along with a central line that was placed in her chest. After 7 days, we were sent home to await the results of the biopsies.
On June 7, 2013, she started the first of 6 rounds of chemo for high risk neuroblastoma Stage IV. Her treatment would consist of the standard COG protocol: 3 rounds of chemo, stem cell harvest, 2 more rounds of chemo, surgery to remove the tumor in her tummy, high dose chemo with bone marrow transplant, 20 rounds of sedated radiation, and 6 months of antibody therapy. The process would take 18 months and require hospitalization every 21 days for chemo and hospitalization, when chemo worked and her body was too weak to fight in between rounds of treatment. Multiple surgeries and over 40 days of sedation for procedures, radiation, scans, and surgeries. She was in hospital for 28 days for the transplant.