Today is the last day of Childhood Cancer Awareness month, but these kids will battle all year long.  There is HOPE though.  A news article came out yesterday about a new treatment for neuroblastoma, that combines chemotherapy with immunotherapy.  They halted the clinical trial early because the immunotherapy was so much more effective than the standard therapy.  This same approach is now being tried with other pediatric cancers.  There is hope!

Also, I have been in contact with a study coordinator at Stanford who asked me to post this to help her recruit subjects (adults) for this program/study:
Stanford University is running a 6-week workshop that gives people who have
survived cancer two or more times the skills needed to regain their life back
after cancer and take control of their health. Participants also connect with
other cancer survivors. Go to http://cancersurvivors.stanford.edu  to learn more and sign up.
If you know anyone who qualifies, please forward this information to them. This is an online workshop so I don't think you need to be local to participate.

Lastly, if you are able (and believe me I know it is hard in this economy), please consider donating to our team for the Walk for Wishes to raise funds for the Make-a-wish foundation.  They do wonderful things for kids!



This off-therapy business is uncharted territory for us.   Mollie is losing her hair, again.  She has bouts of itchy spots, like hives or bug bites, that respond to steroid cream or benadryl. And she is emotional.  Matt and I are assuming all the adjustments going on in Mollie's body explain these different symptoms.  We have been poisoning her with chemo for almost 2.5 years, and suddenly, it is gone.

My feeling is that the hair loss, which has slowed down considerably so it is more like "thinning", is probably due to her last treatment with vincristine in August.  Apparently, some batches of that drug, especially in combination with a virus, can cause hair loss.  It started when she was hospitalized in early Sept., so the timing makes sense.

A lot of children have skin and allergy problems after treatment.  Maybe the immune system goes into overdrive once the chemo is withdrawn.  We will keep a close eye, with the clinic phone number close at hand, and wait.  The good news is Mollie has lots of energy!  She has finally reached a point where 2-year old Lucy can't keep up with her (it used to be the other way around).  I love it!

We are going to apply some of that energy to the Walk for Wishes this year.  This walk raises funds for the Make-a-Wish foundation.  Make-a-Wish does not give money to cancer research or treatment (we have raised money for LLS in the past 2 years), but it goes to something equally important: providing joy to children (& families) in need.  Mollie and Lucy are really, really looking forward to going to Disney World in December, so we thought this would be a great way to channel the excitement!  The walk is Oct. 23 at Carowinds in Charlotte.  We welcome anyone who wants to join our team and walk with us.  Please consider making a donation to our team in honor of Mollie through this link.