Update on Miranda

Some things in life just suck. Does not matter how you slice a sh*t sandwich, it is still sh*t. Other things don’t suck as much. We have a situation that sucks, but I am not sure if it really sucks or just sort of sucks. And doctors wonder why so many parents go to complementary or alternative medicine.
As many of you know, my daughter Miranda has been fighting cancer since some time last year (diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma on September 1, 2007). In early September, they removed some nodules from her lungs (or at least we thought they removed all of them). Apparently, they did not remove one of them. During the treatment, it did not shrink, which led them to believe that the nodule was not tumorous, as the main tumor reacted fine. On her CT scan yesterday (my birthday), the nodule has grown from 2mm to 4mm. Her oncologist did not call until late, as he and the radiologist pulled out all of the film and examined the history of CT scans she has had. That is how they noticed that the spot had not grown or shrunk over the entire time of treatment.
Dr. Ho, her oncologist, has told me it is not a major cause of concern, but all of the things I read suggest it is more likely bad news than good. I am, once again, learning more about cancer than I ever intended. The questions to ask are:
  1. Is the nodule calcified. Not a firm indicate it is benign, but a good sign
  2. Is the nodule smooth edged or not? Smooth is generally better.
  3. If it was your daughter, would you wait a month to find out if it grew?

We are now in the position of decided whether to operate or wait until the next scan. The fact the other nodule was not cancerous is good news. The fact this one is growing is not. If it is benign, you don’t want to make your daughter go through an operation. If it is not, you want to know as quickly as possible, to avoid further metastasis. At 4mm, it is very small (a bee bee, if you will), so it is not that dangerous, but cancer is a tricky fellow and we really know so little about it.

Doctors generally give you odds, when they are being honest. They know that x out of 100 patients make it five years without incident. But, for each child it is not a percentage. It is either 0% (the child dies) or 100% (the child lives). The question I have to ask is whether the odds are better with surgery (some risk) or with waiting (some risk).

It is my sincere hope we are just a bit too paranoid and everything is going according to schedule.

BTW, there is some hope on the horizon. President Bush signed the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, which pumps $150 million into childhood cancer research. And, there is a targeted drug for Ewings … unfortunately, it will not be used in humans for years to come.

Peace and Grace,


3 Responses to Update on Miranda

  1. Kelly says:

    OMG Greg that is so intense. You and your family have my prayers.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I am so sorry that your daughter and family are going through this.  You are in my prayers.

  3. Rick says:

    You all are in my thoughts, Greg

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