Doctors are pleased with her progress. They say we are not in the clear yet...but are very impressed how much of the disease is gone given what she came in with a year ago. Most kids still have active sites even after the treatments, so at this point Lisa is ahead of the game. Yeah.
There will be monthly check ups for the next year and scans every 3 mos. She is on maintenance drugs for the next year to help rebuild her immune. She is also starting Accutane which is an acne medicine, but in now being used to help fight neuroblastoma. Studies show that Accutane encourage immature neuroblastoma cells to stop dividing or to die.
They are still hoping there is a way to get her onto an anti-body study. It is a painful procedure and requires 3-6 different weekly stays at the hospital but has shown to be helpful in fighting NB.
So, things are going well and I try to stay in the present or very near future. Looking too far forward makes me uneasy because I know what our other neuroblastoma friends have gone thru and I know that approximately 40 percent of high-risk stage 4 patients relapse, usually within the first two to three years after diagnosis. Although some of these patients can be brought back to near remission, fewer than 20 percent of these patients are expected to survive for longer than five years. Those are tough numbers to swallow. But I continue to have hope and try to stay grounded in reality....none of us really know how much time we have left, so we can't spend our time wondering "what if" we need to spend our time living life at that moment.