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Moving Forward

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.


  1. I can not stop thinking of you all and praying for you! I am so happy to hear that God is answering our prayers! I know He will be with you in the days and weeks ahead...

  2. Shenay and Josh,
    My heart is hurting for you as you are facing the details of treatment for your precious Violet. I know how hard it is trusting and handing over your perfect little child to the medical teams to care for. Please consider how much you love her, and know that Jesus loves her even more. (I know its hard to fathom.) Please call or email ( if we can help in any way. Sam had a port-a-cath during his treatment and although it was hard to accept at first,it was a big help. We will continue to pray for strength and courage and peace for you as you face this trial and for sweet Violet. We love and miss you.
    Jill, Rich and Sam
    This is a word from God that meant a lot to us:
    I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the Living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait I say on the Lord.
    Psalm 27:13-14

  3. We are here for you through spirit and heart, thinking of you every day and praying as well ...thank you for the update I was wondering and hoping and itbrings tears ..i know......
    Isabelle, andArielle Grace

  4. so Hanna Zepade sent me this site. Wow momma you are a great momma bear! Just what a child with cancer needs! You and your hubby will always be her best advocate! fight for her-for all she needs!

    I have meet a few retnoblastoma families. if you want to "meet" them let me know. "know the glow" Is common in the cancer world. not so much everywhere else. Good Educating!

    please email me if you ever want to talk to another cacner mom.

    Phil 4:6 was a fav during treatment for me but my favorite favorite was Romans 8:18-30 with empisis on 26-28
    26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[m] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them

    much love, Hope, and many many prayers coming to you from Texas!
    Jenifer inman cartwright


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Please Join Us In Prayer - CT Scan Tomorrow

I just received the call from the hospital with Violet's appointment time. We will be checking in at 9:30 AM at Seattle Children's Hospital. They let me know the procedure will take approximately 1.5 hours and then recovery from anesthesia will be a few hours. These will be the tests that tell us everything about the stage of cancer.

We would love for the tumor to just be gone! If that is not the case, we want to hear that it has not spread anywhere else at all. We want to hear that Violet's life will be saved, her eye will be saved and her sight will be restored.

There is a beautiful prayer that went out for Violet by email. We do not even know the wonderful man who wrote it but I thank God for him. The prayer was forwarded to me and I want to share it below:

As you have said a personal prayer for the benefit of Violet, lets also come to collective agreement in Prayer for her comfort, healing and above all God's Glory ...
Father God, Maker of all things good, creator o…
Keep up with sweet Violet's many adventures in blessing others through her own foundation, working with Make-A-Wish America, appearing with Ellen DeGeneres and more on her social media pages:

instagram: @violetbriellespataro

twitter: @violetbrielle

Thank you for your continued love and support!


The Spataro Family

Photo: Jeff Hall Photography