this is Gracie's mom, Lisa, writing. I will specify when it is me, otherwise, it will be my sister, Keri writing.
A lot of people have wanted to know how we found the cancer in the first place so I thought I'd give a quick story.
It all started about 6 months ago with her complaining that her tummy hurt. well, with a 3 year old, it is hard to know if it is stomach ache, or pain. She also didnt eat much. I thought maybe she might even just be hungry and would encourage her to eat. She would complain a bit every day for about a week then be back to normal. I thought maybe it was something she ate.
the next month she started complaining again and I took her up to the ER where my husband works and had them do a urinalysis which was fine. again, she improved and the symptoms went away. after a couple more months, she started complaining again and I thought maybe it was a urinary tract infection so I took her up to the ER again for another urinalysis which again showed nothing. I went back and forth wondering how much she really hurt, or if it was all a matter of being a dramatic 3 year old. the last month or more she has complained daily. I scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician and they did a water deprivation test and a series of blood work. They were thinking maybe diabetes or diabetes insipidus since she has also been drinking and peeing a TON! she would go through 4 pullups a night and drink all day and all night. if she wasnt up in the night for a drink, she was up because of pain. The tests the pediatrician did, all came back normal. I still knew something was wrong. we started thinking maybe she was lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant. I went shopping for all the special food I would need and talked with friends that had the allergies in their familes. I hoped this was the answer. I was at the end of my rope.
On Wednesday March 3rd she was in a lot more pain than usual and would not eat. I gave her tylenol and it seemed to only help a little and she layed in bed all day. when my husband Brandon got home that night she was fine. she was running around being silly. I thought maybe it had been gas. that night she woke up screaming in pain a few times. It seemed to be a lot worse. I gave her more tylenol and some benadryl to help her sleep. the next day March 4th started out ok but quickly progressed to screaming. The tylenol did absoutely nothing to help her and I knew in my heart she had something really wrong with her. I called my husband at work and let him listen to her screams. He told me they were slammed in the ER but to bring her up.This was around 2 in the afternoon. They got her in for an ultrasound around 4:00. The technician had a strange look on her face but didnt say anything. Brandon was in the room and thought the left kidney looked strange. He went back to work and said to call when the radiologist came. The radiologist came while he was still gone and did the ultrasound over again, i heard him whispering to the technician and felling Gracies tummy. He told me there was some sort of mass that would need further testing. then he asked "are you ok?" I said "yes, i am just tired" I was clueless at that point why he was really asking me that question. I never though cancer. I guess i was in denial. I thought a mass could maybe mean a cyst or an ulcer. I was pretty clueless. He told me he would go talk to my husnband and for me to wait in the waiting room. I waited for about 15 minutes when Brandon came out crying. I looked at him and said "WHAT?!!!" He said "she has a tumor, Lisa" We both cried. I was still in quite a bit of denial and shock. They said to take her to St. Francis Childrens hospital here in Tulsa to be admitted for further testing. The next morning they got her in for a CT and found the tumor. later that day they did surgery for a biopsy of the tumor and to put in a chemotherapy port. The biopsy showed it was a neuroblastoma. It got so real after that. I bawled for the next 2 days. Since then , we have felt so much love and comfort and support. We appreciate all of you for your love for us and for Gracie. We know our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. Please continue to pray for all of us to have strength through this time. She starts her first round of chemotherapy tomorrow. Im not sure how often I will post but I am thankful to Keri for helping me with this. Thanks for everything and for the donations. We cant begin to tell you how much it means to us.