Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Update on Alex

"One would give generous alms if one had the eyes to see the beauty of a cupped receiving hand." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Two weeks ago in Cancer - Again I told you about my 9-year-old nephew's latest battle with the devastating disease VHL.

At that time Alex was gearing up for surgery to remove 3 VHL tumors from his eyes. I said then:

A successful outcome means one surgery only. Unsuccessful can mean another. And possibly another. The tumors are located in his peripheral vision, so successful also means his sight won't be compromised. Unsuccessful -- let's not even go there.
The update unfortunately is not as good as we'd hoped.

A total of 12 tumors were located under the surgical microscopes. And removed. We think. But we don't know for sure. And there will have to be more surgery next month to see where things stand.

Alex came through the operation like the champ he is. A few hours afterward he was home eating, laughing, playing video games -- living his normal 9-year-old life. His sight doesn't seem to be compromised. For now.

But as his mother admits, this is a major blow. When he was first diagnosed with VHL at age four, mind-numbing events culminated in 14 hours of successful surgery to remove a huge brain tumor. At the time, the doctors believed it was an anomaly. A once-in-a-lifetime mutation that would not likely recur. And as the years passed, though the guard never completely went down, the horror began to abate. And hope took its place.

Then, BAM. Just months shy of the magic five-year mark, more tumors appeared. Which means it's not an anomaly ... VHL is a brutally unfair fact of his life.

His parents, bless them, are resolutely hopeful still, and determined he live as normal a life as possible. They haven't told him yet about the next surgery. He's so bright and tuned into his disease, they understandably don't want him to spend the next four weeks worrying. As we will worry.

When you're gathered with your family and friends tomorrow, give thanks for their good health. And if--like us--you can't quite do that, say a prayer of thanks for the fighters among us and for all those who are trying to help.

Then give some help too. Cancer Research Fund - VHL Family Alliance

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home