Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Is Hannah!

I recently wrote a general article about childhood cancer because my sister's granddaughter was in the process of being diagnosed with cancer at the age of three. At the time we did not know what type of cancer she had or much of anything else. Boy have we all learned a lot in a short month.
Hannah finally got a diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma. This is a type of cancer that affects the soft tissue around the bones, mostly the muscles. It involves a fast growing tumor which is usually the first sign. It is most commonly located in the arms or legs, the pubic area or near the eye but can be located near any bones. It accounts for about 5 percent of all childhood cancers and the prognosis varies depending on the location and the stage.
In Hannah's case, the starting point was in the chest and by the time she was diagnosed it had spread to her lymph nodes. The treatment of choice for Hannah is very strong Chemotherapy over the next year. She has already started the treatments and responded very well the the first dose of the treatment and was able to go home for a week in between. A chance to see her sister. She is not out of the woods yet but everybody is hopeful at this point.
She and her father shaved their heads together. Her hair had just started to fall out but shaving your head is a fashion statement not a sign of illness. There are three intrepid Canadians (two men and one women) who plan to shave their heads as part of a fundraiser for Hannah.
In fact, I have to say that all of Canada seems to have rallied to support the family. Of course, Hannah's mother has stopped working and her father has missed a lot of time ( his company has been very supportive, so far), so the efforts are very much appreciated. I have said it before but I will say it again, I have always liked the Canadian attitude and never more so than now. We have all seen the news stories of families hit by such traumatic events but never thought it would be our family. Now that it is my family, I appreciate the efforts people put into each other. I will include a link to one of the facebook groups that is supporting Hannah and her family (there are three or four) but with no obligation. They do include photos and descriptions of the many events that are taking place on Hannah's behalf. This one is called Hannah updates. Hannah is just doing the best she can at this time.

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