Monday, October 29, 2018

Test Results / Inpatient Admission for Immunotherapy

Today we received the test results from Caroline's recent bone marrow biopsy and scans.  The results showed essentially no change in the Neuroblastoma, which was last tested in May.  We are disappointed, as we were hoping for a "no evidence of disease" report today.

Since that test in May, Caroline has endured 2 month-long stays for high-dose chemo, 2 stem cell transplants, and 20 Proton Radiation treatments.  It appears that all the treatment hasn't helped reduce the cancer in her little body.  The positive that we're trying to hang onto: her cancer didn't get worse, and there aren't any new areas of concern.

Caroline's oncology team is confident that we should remain "on the course," so she was admitted for Round 1 (of 6 total) of Immunotherapy late this afternoon.  We're expecting this round to keep us inpatient through Saturday.  The next 6 months will be the final phase of the standard Neuroblastoma treatment protocol, and we are hopeful that these rounds will kill off the remaining cancer cells in her body.

Immunotherapy is a type of medicine that helps a patient's immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells.   There are many different types of Immunotherapy...Caroline will be receiving infusions that are tailored to High-Risk Neuroblastoma.  We've been told (and have witnessed from the sidelines) that this phase of treatment is often the hardest part of the entire treatment protocol, for both the patient and family.  We will (again) be in and out of the hospital over the next 6 months - separated as a family and witnessing Caroline's body battle this monster.  The potential side effects are immediate and severe; they include: high fever, rash, excruciating nerve pain, potential organ complications, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, swelling, breathing complications, allergic reactions, diarrhea, infection and vomiting.  It's going to be a really tough experience, but her medical team at Vanderbilt are preparing to do their best to stay in front of the pain and other side effects.  Caroline already started taking nerve pain medication a few days ago, in preparation of the Immunotherapy infusion, and will also be on a PCA Dilaudid pump while she is inpatient (among other things).

Many have asked about meals (thank you!), but we will not be doing a meal train delivery for this round...we plan to spend as much time as possible together as a family at the hospital.  For those that wish to help with meals, please click here for the Grub Hub gift card link (they can be emailed to margaretlantz@gmail.com).

We can't express enough how thankful we are to have such a supportive group of people around us.  Thank you for following along on our journey; many times your prayers are what's holding us up and pushing us through.

Holding onto hope,
The Lantz Family
#carolinestrong
#ftgf
Nurse Kate's last day...so sad to see her go, but we're excited for her new adventure!

So excited to have Aunt Joanna and Aunt Lauren here for 24 hours!

13 comments:

  1. Keep your chin up, little one! I, along with many others, am praying for your strength and resilience with each treatment. I ask God to bless you, your family, and give the doctors the knowledge to heal each night! You got this Little Miss Caroline and Lantz Family. Sending your prayers from VA!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for continuing to update everyone. Today sounds disappointing and must be heavy. It’s hard to know what to say. For now, I lift you, and your baby ((I know.. big girl ;), but still your baby))all up in my prayers this evening. She has been incredible through the last year and she will continue her valiant battle of the monsters.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lifting you all up in prayer - today and in the coming days.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I stand along side of you and believe in our GOD of miracles Caroline! My prayers are with each of you! Not sure how I can assist but for what it is worth, I am O negative and will donate blood at anytime it may be needed and I am willing to have my bone marrow tested to see if it is a match for you Caroline. #Carolinestrong .Rodney McIllwain

    ReplyDelete
  5. Margaret, I continue to pray for Caroline's healing and strength for all of you. God is good.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Prayers continue without ceasing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Continued prayers for all. God Bless your sweet Caroline.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Continued prayers for healing. I am so sorry for the struggles Caroline is going through, as well as the entire family. So admire your strength and grace. Know that there are many here for you all.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

    ReplyDelete
  11. I along with many others lift you all up in prayer and believe in God's healing hand on sweet Caroline. Thank you for continuing to share this journey with us. Lots of love,the Whisner family.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know you don't know me personally, but we (my family and myself) have supported through fundraisers, prayers and positive thoughts. We will continue to keep you in our prayers and support any way we can. I echo what another commenter said...I am A+ and am willing to donate blood and test for bone marrow, if that looks like help. My husband, Greg, is O+ and is willing to do the same. Please reach out if this is something we can do for you. Autumn can get us in contact. Sending love!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am so sorry to read that more treatment is necessary and that there are still remaining neuroblastoma cancer cells within Caroline's body! I believe all who follow you were hoping for more positive results too! Prayers that the immunotherapy over the next few months eliminates what is remaining in Caroline's system and that God continues to provide her and your family with strength and determination during this battle!

    ReplyDelete