Monday, March 10, 2014

Where We Are At

Our cancer journey is ending. Ania will be cancer free by the end of the week. Not by any miracle treatment or drug- rather by enucleation. Eye Removal. On Thursday of this week, Ania's left eye will be removed in order to make her cancer free. In order to save her life. The tumor just has left Ania's eye FULL of residual seeds that cannot be contained/destroyed/dissolved by any chemotherapy drug at this point. Dr Shields thinks she may be chemotherapy resistant and that any more treatments would be keeping her life at risk.  While we are devastated over the loss of Ania's eye, we have done all that we can do so this is where we are at. I am at peace with this solution for the most part as all I have been praying for was a clear answer from the doctor. 

We fell in love with her beautiful eyes the moment we met her almost 4 years ago. I'm sure we will mourn the loss of her eye greatly. However, we are ready for the cancer that has invaded her precious little body, gone. That eye is a threat to her life so it is time to move on. Ania will be ok. We just have a new phase starting soon- RECOVERY.

Right now, I can be thankful for the fact that we did everything we could. Ania's life will be saved. I am thankful for the clear answer from the doctor I was praying for. I am thankful for the support of my husband as we went through this tough day together and the peace we feel right at this moment with our decision. I am thankful for my mom Julee for being here with us and for giving Ania some normalcy on this strange trip. I am thankful for the friends and family who have lifted us up in prayer and hope that you all would continue to do so as we embark on this next path. 

I'm not sure how I will explain it to Ania. I'm not going to worry about it today though. I'll pray that the right words will come out when the time is right. For now, I am just going to enjoy Where We Are At.  We are at a peaceful place of resolution and a cancer-free life ahead. 

God Bless,



  1. Good evening. I read your article/blog and must say that I was touched by your words. Your family and your daughter will be kept in our prayers. I hope that all goes well with her surgery.

    I run a page on facebook called K9 Kolors. We have a WGSD (White German Shepherd Dog) who paints. Proceeds from her paintings go to random places. Shelters, Paying random vet bills, putting food on the table for family and pets... we have no limits. Our goal is to help the local community, people and animals. It is not much what we do, but even if we are able to bring a little color and happiness to the world... well, that's goal enough for us.

    If your daughter loves dogs and paintings, we would love to make a special painting for her with her favorite colors. :)

    Here is a link to my page. Please contact me through by messaging me here if you would like us to send her a painting. :)

  2. I have been reading story through a FB share! What a brave little girl! My daughter, Ellie, is 2. She had to have her bladder removed to save her from rhabdomyosarcoma, and then had a year of chemo. She is celebrating a year of remission this month. Prayers for you as you walk this road!

  3. What a difficult choice to be faced with. I am glad that you were able to find the counsel you needed to make your decision, and that you feel some peace and resolution now that you have made this choice. I trust that you will find the right words to have that difficult conversation with Ania, and that you continue to feel supported by all of the people -- those you know and those you will never meet -- who are following your journey and praying for your family.

  4. My mother also had retinoblastoma and had her eye removed at the age of 3. It never slowed her down. We often found ourselves completely forgetting that she couldn't see us on that side. I pray that her surgery goes well.

  5. I just saw a post about this on FB thru 4th trimester bodies. My 11 yr old nephew was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at 13mths. Dr. Shields did his surgery. He did fabulously and continues to do well. It is a nasty, horrible thing cancer, esp. in young children. If you would like to talk to her, I'm sure she would love to offer any wisdom she can, from someone who has been down this road before. Prayers for your daughter and your family for a swift, uneventful recovery.

  6. Erica & Mike,

    We continue to pray for your family as you go down this new path. I went to CLC and remember Mike. I'm sorry that this journey has been filled with struggles and I am so happy to hear that you are at peace with such tough decisions. I know that when my mom was faced with that decision over five years ago, that it was a very hard choice to make. However, she is happy with her decision and maintains a normal life working as a kindergarten teacher. She had her left eye removed as well due to some complications stemming back several years. Since she has gone through this surgery, recovery, and knows what life is like with one eye, she maybe able to offer both you and your daughter support and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to get in touch with her please let your friend Juliet know and I will give you her contact information. They were able to match her eye color so well, it really is amazing what doctors can do these days.
    God Bless You & Your Family. Praying for the surgery and recovery process.
    The Inman Family

  7. The relief of knowing she'll be cancer free must be amazing! Ryan is bilateral, and has had several relapses, and I often wonder when it will all end.