The last 5 days have been long and exhausting. To say we are overwhelmed would be an understatement. But, you never know until you are in a situation like this how strong you can really be. When we have our moments where we hit our end Josh and I pray together and God reels us back in to start fresh.
On Wednesday afternoon Violet came out of anesthesia with no issues and she handled everything she had to go through that day very well. We were very grateful for that. There was a delay in the doctor getting to speak with us after the procedure that made waiting for news that much longer. The nurse brought Violet in to us as we were waiting and I got to feed her. Seeing our baby with an IV in her little hand, the redness of her eyes from the exam and the thought of the radiation she had just been exposed to from the scan was very difficult.
When the doctor came in he explained a lot to us. First, he explained there was no indication on the scans that the cancer had spread to her right eye or beyond her left eye. Thank God! There was also no seeding (fragments from the tumor in the gelatinous part of the eye that chemotherapy cannot treat) either. Thank God! This was very good news. The fact that the cancer is contained in her eye means that her cancer is treatable with great odds of being completely cured. As I have said before, I know God is going to heal our baby.
The next thing the doctor explained to us is that the tumor is very large. For a baby as young as Violet this is even more rare. However, he said that even in being so large it has not damaged major and vital parts of her eye and that it is not causing retinal detachment. Thank God! This means that he is hopeful that they will be able to restore vision in her eye.
Here is where things start to really break our heart. Violet is scheduled for surgery tomorrow, August 9th. This surgery will be to insert a port-a-cath. This is a port and line inserted under the skin that will be used to administer chemotherapy, countless other medicines needed in this process and the blood tests that will need to be run weekly over the next few months. Here is an image of a port-a-cath for those of you that are unfamiliar with what that is ...
On Thursday Violet will begin to receive chemotherapy. For her first treatment it will be given to her for 3.5 hours. We will also have to bring her in for a second chemotherapy infusion on Friday that will last for 1.5 hours. Then, depending on how sick she is afterwards, she may require hydration therapy over the weekend. This is so much for a little baby to go through in one week. We are very sad as, of course, no one wants to see their child go through anything like this and are praying for God to give her amazing strength to get through this as comfortably as possible.
I just received a call from the hospital letting us know that we will need to bring Violet in Wednesday morning also for her hearing test. They will be monitoring her hearing closely throughout this process because chemotherapy in some cases can cause damage to hearing. We are praying that this will not damage Violet's hearing at all.
So, we will be at the hospital at least 4 days this week, possibly 5 or 6. We just moved here to Washington only 4 months ago to an island in the Puget Sound. Living on this island requires a ferry to get anywhere including the hospital. There is no emergency or urgent care on the island either. Knowing what our baby girl will be going through over the next few months we felt an urgency to leave the island and move closer to the hospital. So, we had only 1 day to find an apartment so that we could move over the weekend and be settled in to begin the week. Once Violet begins chemo, her immune system will be extremely compromised so we will need to keep her in the home.
God led us to a good apartment in our very short amount of time to secure one. With our humble income we were worried that we would not even qualify for anything. I located this apartment online, called the leasing manager and explained our situation. After we met and looked at the space he gave us the apartment on the spot. Praise God! We moved all day Saturday and Sunday with the help of our wonderful family and new friends. We were very blessed for this to come together for us so quickly.
Please continue to pray for Violet as we move forward with all of this. She is such an amazing little baby full of smiles and love. She is our precious gift and we just need her to be healed completely.