Wednesday, May 21, 2008

M D Anderson Day 1

Short version:
Maura was seen at the Sarcoma Center of M D Anderson today. They firmly disagree with the previous diagnosis of GIST and Maura will no longer take the Gleevec as of today. She has an "unclassified sarcoma" that has metastisized to her liver, at least. It is very aggressive. She begins chemotherapy probably over the weekend, or very soon thereafter.

Longer version:
Thanks to Maura's surgeon, Dr. Etter, who knows someone, who knows someone else, Maura was able to see the chair of the Sarcoma Center today, and he has accepted her as his patient. Dr. Benjamin has a great bedside manner and gives the best hugs in the world. He was compassionate, very honest, and yet, did not strip us of all hope while letting us know the steep uphill battle that we face--the battle that Maura faces. They have asked Maura to plan on dedicating the next year of her life to healing, i.e. this is our first priority. Nothing else--not school, not social life, not jobs, nothing, takes precedence over doing what needs to be done as we seek to erradicate Toby. Healing will be a full-time job, as will care-taking.
Today has been very scary, to say the least. But we were kept very busy, and will be for the next few days. Everything will be on an outpatient basis. Today--registration and clinic visit, blood work, x-rays, patient education. Tomorrow and forward will include having a central line put in, more patient education for the central line, chemo training, a dental appointment to have teeth cleaned before starting chemo, more CT Scans, some strange pre-chemo treatment, and lots of prescriptions and chemo/central line supplies to fill and purchase. Scads and scads of information.

Yes, a couple of weeks into chemo, Maura will lose her hair. Bummer.

Both sorrow and strength seem to hit us in waves, never all of us down at one time. Maura constantly amazes me with her ability to cope.

And God's grace is sufficient for today.


kaylah said...

God's grace is definitely sufficient!

i am continuing to pray for Maura.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that maura will lose her hair but i'm glad all the news is now finally known. Loosing your hair is no fun, my mom and aunt both lost theirs, but we know it will grow back and it will eventually look the same. I will continue to pray for her and hopefully when i come down that direction will be able to visit... if it's a good day. Please let her know i'm thinking about her.

Lauren Turner

Anonymous said...

maura can have all of my hair, if she doesnt mind the patch of blond i had when i dyed a piece pink.....or or, i have a persian cat and he has long hair, or or, i can get her a really nice astros hat.....J'adore maura parce que elle est tres belle et jolie et fabo!

im still prayin and thanks to maura, gettin back to my gagsta rap roots.

dhbryan said...

Our offer still stands; we'll be there when you need us.

Hannah has cut hair twice for "Locks of Love". Might Maura might make a "pro-active" move and cut some hair to donate instead of letting Spawn of Toby steal it a strand at a time?

Lauren said...

The Donovan Family sends our thoughts and prayers to both Maura and the rest of your family. You are all such beautiful people with beautiful hearts; may God grace you all with the strength to persevere and overcome all of this!

Love and Prayers,

LeeEJamison said...

We heard this last night from Nicole Franklin. It is tough news, but good, at least, that you're closer to a good diagnosis. We're all pulling and praying for you up here in Huntsville.

God bless.

Diane said...

My heart goes out to Maura and your family. She can beat this, you just have to remain strong in faith.
Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
You are in my prayers,
Diane Donovan

Julie Schwab said...

Dr. Dawn Padula has been so kind keeping us updated on Maura. The School of Music office staff has been in constant prayers for Maura and her family. Maura is a fine young lady and we know that she will strive through this and be able to keep that beautiful smile on her face as she did everyday in the halls of SHSU - School of Music. If there is anything the office can do to help with anything please do not hesitate to contact us.

In constant prayers and love,
James Bankhead
Nicole Sullivan
Shannon Murdock
Julie Schwab

sweetmama said...

Maura, Erin, Joel, Danielle, Lydia:

My right thumbnail is still teal! It will remain that way until Maura gets the all clear! I think about y'all every day, and send my prayers and love your way. Call me whenever you want!


Jeff Mohamed, said...

Dee and I are glad to hear you finally got Maura to M D Anderson. It's going to be a long road but you're a great family and will all help each other to get through it. All your many friends are pulling for you, too.