Monday, August 23, 2010

Moving Forward–One Day At A Time

Isabella’s oncologist returns from vacation today and we will be meeting with her tomorrow to discuss any treatment options.  It has been over a month now since the recurrence was detected and we are frustrated that we still don’t have a course of action.  Julianne and I get the feeling that the doctors have pretty much given up on Isabella, which is difficult to fathom, but I guess that’s the reality of the situation.
One of the ways that we’ve taken matters into our own hands is by adjusting Isabella’s diet.  I mentioned in a previous post that there has been anecdotal evidence (but no human trials) that a strict low-carb diet may help control the growth of tumor cells and in some cases even shrink the tumor.  So for the last few days, we’ve been severely limiting Isabella’s carb intake, and from those of you who’ve tried the Atkin’s diet, you know how difficult it is (we couldn’t even have cake for Nathaniel’s birthday yesterday).  But amazingly, while on the diet, we’ve noticed that the her right hand has actually improved from a couple weeks ago, and that she has regained some strength in her right foot.  We’ve also noticed that mentally, she is sharper than she has been for a couple weeks.  Since we’re only a few days into the diet, we’re still trying to find the foods that Isabella likes, and the toughest part is when she asks for certain foods and tell her that she can’t have them.  At this point, we don’t even know if it really is helping, but while Isabella is willing to eat what we give her, we’ll try it.
One thing I should mention is that from looking at Isabella, you wouldn’t think much was wrong.  You’d notice her walk is slightly off and you may notice her right hand is weaker, but other than that, she looks like a regular kid.  When you think of a dying person, you think of someone confined to a bed, hooked up to a bunch of tubes and monitors.  But Isabella still runs around, plays, laughs, and sings.  Even this morning, when she woke up, she was just all smiles while the rest of us begrudgingly got ready for the day (the rest of us are clearly not morning people). 
And to some extent, our mindset is the one thing that we can somewhat control.  As a family, we’ve decided to enjoy how many days there are left instead of wallowing in self pity.  There’s plenty of days for sadness, but we know there are just a limited number to be happy, so why waste those days in sadness?  Of course, that’s easier said than done since some emotions are harder to control than others.  When I saw Isabella’s smile this morning, I was sad that I will not be able to see that smile grow up, but then I caught myself and smiled myself, appreciating her smile in all her beauty.P1020430

1 comment:

  1. I continue to pray and want that miracle so badly for your little Isabella and your family. I am so overwhelemed with emotions, having watched your story from the early stages. I am a Marvin parent and do not know Isabella or your family personally but feel so connected. Isabella has changed my life...please know that the whole Marvin community is there for you and want to help in any way possible. Reach out if you need help and God bless you all.


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