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Monday, March 14, 2011

Stickers for Emma

I clicked over to Melissa's blog today, and read through a few posts to find a story I wasn't expecting. It's about a girl named Emma. Emma is 11 years old, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a growing tumor in her face/neck/head. It is very odd timing that I found this today, as I was thinking just this morning about a high school classmate who passed away about a year ago from cancer. His name was Clif Aldridge, and his mother was my drama teacher my freshman year. I didn't know him very well, but anytime I saw him he was smiling and very friendly to me, and others. I was thinking about him today and how sad it is that he died so very young (at 24 years old). I pray for his family, and for Emma and her family as well. There is so much more I wish I could do.

Luckily enough- Melissa has asked that people send Emma stickers (she loves to collect them) and get well cards. Here is her address if you feel inclined to do so:

Miss Emma Love

PO Box 2849

Burleigh Waters, QLD, 4220


Melissa is also talking about helping Emma's mother make beanies/bandanas for the hospital where Emma is receiving treatment. (more on that below)

Here is Emma's story (as told by her Mother, Leanne):

In July 2010 our 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with a tumour in her face/neck/head. This is not the sort of news any parent needs to hear.

Emma went in for surgery to remove the tumour on the 9th of September and after a mammoth 10 hours we finally got to see her. The surgeons were hopeful that they had managed to remove 99% of it unfortunately it had wrapped itself around the carotid artery so they could not get it all. They did however tell us that it was a possibility that it would not grow anymore and just lay dormant. This was definitely our wish.....

She had her next MRI scheduled for beginning of November which would show us if it had grown. In November we had her back to the hospital as her jaw was not healing where they had broken it so she then went back under to have the maxillofacial surgeons repair it again. Surgery was successful and we were home two days later (minus a few teeth and a little less jaw bone) the teeth and jaw will be fixed further down the track.

On the 21st of December Emma complained of a lump appearing in her temple. Both Stuart and I were hopeful that it was just a haematoma or something similar but deep down I think we both knew what it was. Emma went in for a biopsy the following day.

Results would not be available until after Christmas so at least we could get through Christmas in denial and thinking all is ok.

It is a tumour again....... It has grown back to 70% of its original size within 6 weeks. They are not going to operate this time as they would prefer to see if chemotherapy would work. She was due for her first treatment on January 5th, just one day after her 11th birthday.

The treatment had been going well and Emma did not suffer any major side effects apart from the odd feeling of nausea. She had 8 weeks of chemo when she noticed a lump in her cheek. Yep you guessed it, here we go again! They took another MRI and confirmed that the tumour had now moved down into her cheek, which meant that the current chemo was not working. On the 7th of this month Emma was admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital where she underwent a stronger dose of chemo. This one is given to her once a day for 4 days per month and will last for a total of 5 months. Both of the chemicals that she will be receiving list hair loss as the most common side effect. She has started to lose a tiny bit and has already picked out the wig that she wants.

She is a tough little girl and is hoping that if we all get together we can make heaps of beanies and or bandanas, that we can donate to the Hospital. They do have a few but they are very old fashioned and not very appealing to children. Emma wants to see fun bright colourful funky ones for the children to pick from.

We managed to get a big smile from her this week as she finally got her first Blythe Doll. And so the addiction has begun..............

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