Thursday, January 29, 2015

Plea for Prayers

Emmett had a routine follow up MRI yesterday at Boston Children's Hospital.  The doctors noted a spot that is both bigger and brighter than on previous scans.  This is the same spot that Emmett's doctors have been describing as a "tethered spinal cord" since Emmett's last spinal surgery in 2012 and it has always been discussed as a location of post surgical change and not a spot of potential tumor activity.  But in April they noted a slight change from previous scans, but the repeated scan in June showed no change.  Everything was also clear in October 2014.  But yesterday's scan shows an increase in size in one dimension.

It's impossible to tell exactly what it may be at this point.  Could be recurrent tumor, could be post surgical change/scar tissue...but why no significant change in size until now?  Given how fast Emmett's initial tumor grew, it would be surprising to see something as slow growing as this.

The spot is located on the front of his spinal cord which makes it very difficult to get at surgically for biopsy.  Emmett's neurosurgeon is out of the country currently and was not available for consultation yesterday.  Hopefully we'll hear from her next week.

In the meantime, the oncology team has requested some additional imaging studies as they try to learn more about this spot.  A PET scan is scheduled for tomorrow, and another MRI is scheduled for Tuesday.  The PET shows how actively cells pick up glucose and gives an indication of whether an area is growing or not.  Because Emmett's only previous PET was taken at a time when there was no tumor activity, we do not know if Emmett's tumor shows up hot on a PET scan when the cells are active (the previous scan showed everything was cold).

We're doing our best to move forward with faith in the face of uncertainty.  We take comfort in the many prayers and blessings that have been offered for Emmett and are strengthened by the many miracles we have seen thus far in his treatment. 

We would appreciate your faith and prayers as we progress through the coming days and weeks.  We will be praying that Emmett's doctors will be sensitive to God's Spirit in determining what this spot represents and if it needs further treatment....and what the next steps should be.  And that the God's Spirit will sustain our family as we walk the path He has placed before us.

We welcome all to join us in this prayer.

Emmett waking up to snow in Boston!

The Lion shoveling and playing in snow!

Warming up afterwards.