Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I was with Elle yesterday when she had to go to the clinic for her Vincristine push. The real downside to this med is that she gets tired. And sure enough, later in the day she was cranky and sleepy. But that passed (somewhat) and she was able to fall asleep rather sweetly and zonked the whole night.

The really good news is that the initial rounds of chemo are doing their job. Her doctor said that the mass on her lung had "noticeably shrunk" from the chemo we have done so far. That doesn't mean it's almost gone. What it means is that the shrinking of the tumor is visible from just looking at it. I couldn't tell you how much or anything like that. But the doctor said he would measure it and let me know next time.

The other really good news is that there has been no spread of her cancer outside of the initial area. As before, this means the chemo drugs are working and the decision to add the Vincristine/Irinotecan combo to the treatment schedule was the right one. In a very real sense, Elle is breaking new ground here. PPB is so rare that there is no set protocol for its treatment. It's really scary...hell, it's terrifying knowing that your little girl has a form of cancer that doctors still don't know a lot about. And yet it's inspiring as well, knowing that Elle's fight and eventual success could lay the groundwork for another child beating PPB.

In so many, many ways, she is a unique and special girl. And I am just so damn proud and humbled at the same time (if that is possible) that I am lucky enough to be her dad. And the way that Davey has treated his sister and has been there for her...we're twice-blessed.


Kathryn said...

This is great news about the tumor shrinking, the medication, everything. I'm so happy. It is so wonderful to read about how everyone's spirits are strong. This - more than anything else - is what I pray for every day. Love always, Kathryn

Anonymous said...

We are so glad to hear the news is so positive with Elle. Keep the strength...Your in our thoughts daily. Love to you all, Paul Cathy and the kids

Anonymous said...

Hello to Elle and family,
I am a friend of Dave's Mom and Dad, through our church in Avon,CT. Dave and Donna have shared with us the story of Elle and we just want to lend our support. Our daughter, Lisa, now 20, was diagnosed about three years ago with Acute Myologenous Leukemia, a cancer not as rare as Elle's, but devastating nonetheless. The GREAT NEWS... She is with us today and making up for the lost time spent healing from her leukemia!
We received so much support and help, from the medical staff, from family and friends (including Donna and Dave)... from so many others... and we just want to "pay it forward", as they say! As parents, we know that talking to others who have "been there" is often the best hope and support of all!
I will check on Elle's website from time to time and keep up with her progress. PLEASE feel free to contact us/me at any time. My email is jvallee01@comcast.net If you are interested in seeing our daughter's website, you can go to caringbridge.org, click on Lisa and her site should come up.
Keeping all of you in our prayers.
Jane, Jim, Lisa and Ben Vallee