It’s hard to believe we’ve hit the two year “cancer-versary” of Caroline’s diagnosis: November 24, 2017. We feel so many things, but mostly just grateful. Her original diagnosis was on Black Friday, and last year we were inpatient for Thanksgiving AND her one year mark...we are continuously reminded of how much we have to be thankful for, regardless of the holiday, or what the future holds.
The biggest blessing is that Caroline is alive and still has NO evidence of disease! She is on a clinical trial drug to (hopefully!) prevent relapse, and so far, so GREAT! She takes 6 pills a day, but relative to what she’s been through, it’s nothing. She is thriving in Kindergarten, was able to play soccer this Fall, and is enjoying being a Daisy Scout. She loves hanging out with her friends and having the freedom to do things that involve germs! She still loves singing, dancing, talking to everyone she meets, all things American Girl Dolls, and of course, her BFF dog, Hank.
Andrew has had his own version of challenges during this process, but he is resilient, strong, and protective of his little sister. He seems to have bounced back and is in full-on tween mode (fun times). He's loving all the new-found freedom Middle School has to offer, and is still football’s #1 fan!
As for Mark and Margaret...we’ve been trying to find or new “normal” over the past 6 months. Margaret went back to work full-time in September, and Mark has been steadfast in keeping our family together and supported; he's been our rock. PTSD is real, and it’s something that weaves in and out of our house regularly. We process and cope differently, but try to take each day, hour, minute as it comes, and practice patience.
As a family, we’ve slowly been able to show up for the community that carried us through, and it feels so good to be able to pay it forward and care for others. We’ve also been able to champion some causes that we so strongly believe in: BeatNB.org, Make-A-Wish, Children’s Miracle Network, and of course, the Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt!
We will continue to use the blog to update as Caroline gets required scans throughout the rest of her clinical trail (approximately 18 more months). Thank you for pouring your love, support and prayers into our family…you have sustained us through the past 2 years.
Looking forward to the new year and new decade!
All the best to you and yours,
The Lantz Family
In 2017, Caroline was diagnosed with Stage IV, High-Risk Neuroblastoma: an aggressive, solid-tumor cancer that spread throughout almost all of her body, including her bone marrow. She completed a 2-year clinical trial (called DFMO) in April 2021, and relapsed in April 2022. She is currently a patient at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN; this blog documents her journey.
Sunday, November 24, 2019
TWO YEARS since diagnosis - where are we now?
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You all are such an inspiration, a reminder of how much we have to be thankful for, and a testament to the ability to stay strong in times of incredible adversity. You are a beautiful family! So happy for you. Sending love and best wishes alwaysReplyDelete
Margaret and Mark - It's so great to read this post. We continue to talk and think of, and pray for your amazing family. It's been an inspiration seeing you tackle life's (at times enormous) challenges. We do hope to spend time with you at some point, whenever that might be. Caroline - we love your so much and we're so happy to see you thrive. You've been awesome and we'll be looking forward to seeing you again. Andrew - you've been amazing, in ways that are uniquely you, as your mom so eloquently expressed in this post. We look forward to seeing you again as well! Enjoy middle school, it (and HS) goes fast. Myles is about to turn 17, and I remember when he was just starting high school. Now, we're starting to talk about college. God bless your amazing family. We love you. ~AlmontesReplyDelete
So happy to read this post. Happy for your family and thankful for God's amazing work. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.ReplyDelete
It’s wonderful to hear all this. John is now done too with no active disease. 3rd grade and loving life with friends and family. He’s a little kid again but does have moments where he recounts his treatments. You’re right about the PTSD and every day is a bit better than the previous. Warm wishes to you all. The NickolsReplyDelete
It's wonderful to check in on you folks and read such great news with your last couple of posts! Caroline looks strong & healthy, and nobody would know what she & your family have been through these last couple of years based on your current family photo! Congratulations on being able to return to work! Awesome Caroline is busy enjoying what all girls her age should be doing! I will continue to keep all of you in prayer as Caroline continues her clinical trial to remain healthy! May your family have a blessed holiday season! 🎄☃️ReplyDelete
Checking in to see how y'all are doing. I realized today I hadn't seen much from Mark and looked to see his account is deactivated. I wanted to send a note to let you know I'm thinking about you. It is crazy to me how I feel tied to your family, yet don't even know you. I've been following your journey, assuming it was because of basic kinship over children. But reading this I see Caroline was diagnosed on my birthday! I dunno, it probably nothing - but I just think of you ALL often XO SuzyReplyDelete