Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Oncology Appointment

We had our first appointment today with Vanessa's orthopedic oncologist. The appointment was basically to tell us where we go from here and what tests need to be ordered to check for metastasis. The tests were ordered and include a CT Scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis as well as a complete body PET scan. Those are being scheduled as we speak and we will know tomorrow when she will have them done. They should happen pretty quickly. So all of that seems to be good so far.

Where do we go from here?

That is a little more tricky. So we have options... The first option is to begin chemo therapy ASAP, followed by another surgery if needed to remove the margins, and then radiation to the site. This option yields about a 60-80% success and survival rate with a possibility that it could return to the same area. The second option is chemo therapy, followed by a below elbow amputation. This option yields the same survival rate, but obviously eliminates the possibility of recurrence to the site. We of course want to attempt the less invasive option first. If the tumor was to reoccur in the same area we would then opt for the amputation. We will begin seeing a medical oncologist very soon also in the Los Angeles area. We have another consultation with a surgeon who will place her Mediport. This is an implanted device under her skin in her chest that will help deliver the chemo directly in to her Vena Cava and insures that it reaches any area that the cancer can reach. It will also keep her from getting poked with an IV needle in the arm every time she has chemo.


The initial plan is that she will get the mediport and have chemo for four to five months between three and four days a week. She will be getting checked for spread and tumor regrowth every three months during that time and for the next two years. After the initial chemo she will be reassessed for the need of surgery and radiation will begin for an additional four months.

We appreciate all of the care, concern, and prayers we have received so far. Keep the prayers rolling in and  God will lead us through this!

A special thanks to Vanessa's mom, dad, and her Aunt Jory for being there in support for Vanessa. Jory is a Breast cancer survivor and her being there is inspirational to Vanessa and means the world to our family!

Vanessa and her family before an Anaheim Ducks game. She loves hockey.

Vanessa and her Aunt Jory

If you wish to leave comments for Vanessa you may at the end of each post. Just click on the comments link and it will direct you to the page where you can leave a message. Thanks Again.



  1. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

    ~Psalms 34:19

    I love you.

  2. God will never leave you or forsake you...
    He will be with you until the very end.

    We're praying for you.
    Cousin Rosie & Family

  3. christal and barrettAugust 26, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    lots of love and lots of prayers headed your way!

  4. Vanessa and Nathan - Praying for you both as you begin this unwelcomed journey. I believe in a good and loving God, and I trust he will see you through this time.
    God bless you both.
    -Denise Hartmann (BASF-Wyandotte, MI)

  5. Paulette WozencroftAugust 27, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    Hello Vanessa and Nate,
    I am so very sorry and I pray for you everyday.
    I wish both of you all the blessings that you need to carry you through this period. Just remember that God is always with you and he will give you the strength to go on each day.
    Please do not hesitate to call if you want to talk. Nate you know I am always available anytime. Vanessa I think you went to Ayalla with my daughter April.
    I know God will be with you.

  6. Vanessa & Nathan
    Marie and I are here if you, and your
    family, need anything at all.
    You have a very strong support group with your friends, and family, so don't hesitate to use us.

    HE will be with you every step of your journey,and so will we.

    Love, Jim & Marie

  7. Vanessa,
    I am a friend of Jim & Marie's and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time and beyond...
    They say, God only gives us what we can handle, and I pray that with the support of family and friends that you know you don't have to handle this on your own, but know that many are praying for you

  8. Hi Vanessa! It's your long, lost cousin Sarah. I haven't seen or talked to you for awhile. I just wanted you to know though that I have you in my thoughts and I'm wishing the best for you. Love you!

  9. Good Luck Vanessa... it will be extremely trying I am sure... but you are strong, and with prayers, you can do ANYTHING!!

  10. Hi Vanessa,
    You probably don't remember me but I know your mom and dad. God will not abandon you at this time and will guide you. He will place people in your path to help cure you, guide you, console you, love you, make you laugh, cry with you, and carry you when the burden becomes too great. I know through your parents that your faith in God is great. I will pray for you daily and follow your journey. Please know that even though I know you only through passing, my heart goes out to you and know that you will survive this and help others who are going through the same journey as you.

    Patricia Esteve

  11. Stay positive and be strong! You have so much support and love from many friends and family! We love you and will be here for you both through it all!

    Much love always,
    James, Becca and Cole

  12. Gary and Debbie KeaslerAugust 28, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    We are holding you close, in our thoughts and prayers. Find strength in God and the love you have for one another, it will carry you through the journey ahead. We are here to support you every step of the way!
    Love, Gary and Debbie Keasler