From e-mail on Wed. Jan.28th
I wanted to give you an update on Lisa Harder. The family and several friends went up to Doernbecher yesterday to meet with two sets of doctors. In the morning they met with the doctors that gave them the information about all the tests that have been done on Lisa over the last weeks.
The name of the cancer that Lisa has is Osteosarcoma. It is a rare form of bone cancer that most often affects adolescence, especially when they are having a growth spurt. This cancer usually starts in the long bones of the leg or arm, but can also affect the pelvis and a few other places. Lisa’s affected her arm, at the shoulder. It is a fast growing cancer that starts out as a tumor in the bone. As it grows it weakens the bone usually causing it to break. That has happened to Lisa. Unfortunately, Lisa’s cancer has also spread to her lungs. There are 2 small spots about the size of a marble in the lower left side of her lung. They were thankful that is had not attacked her lungs to a larger degree. The family left that meeting feeling relieved.
In the afternoon they met with a second set of doctors. These are the ones that will work with Lisa on the treatment of her cancer. This meeting brought the sting of reality of what Lisa will endure over the next months. On Thur. Lisa will be admitted to Doernbecher to have a port put into her chest so that they can administer the chemotherapy into it each time. This way they do not have to do an IV each time, which would not really work anyway because the veins in the arm are not strong enough to support this treatment. That same afternoon, Lisa will start her first treatment of Chemo. We understand that she will be administered 48 hours of chemo and be in the hospital until Mon. or Tue. They are going to put Lisa on a very aggressive regiment of Chemo to try to stop the spread of the cancer and also to shrink the existing tumor. They will continue Chemo for about 12 weeks. The plan is that at about 11 weeks from now they will do surgery to remove the tumor on her arm. Surgery will also have to be performed on her lungs to remove the cancer there, but I am not sure when that would happen. It is possible that chemo will continue some after the surgery.
Chemo will be very hard on Lisa and she will get very sick from it. She will lose her hair and possibly even her fingernails, as the chemo kills cells good and bad in her body. They told us that she will develop sores in her mouth and just overall feel very bad. She will come home in between treatments, they have given the family the schedule of what to expect, but I don’t have that available right now.
Feb. 7th is Lisa’s Birthday, she will be 14 years old. We threw her a surprise party last Sunday with some of her friends from school and church. We managed to pull it off and she was very surprised. It was a nice time together.
Lisa is so sweet through all of this. She has kept her spirits and hopes high. She is relying on scripture and God to give her comfort. She has been surrounded by family and good friends. Connor and Cassie have occupied a lot of her time making crafts, playing Monopoly and Sorry and supporting her on her trips to Doernbecher. The word Lisa has chosen to give her hope is appropriately… “HOPE”. And that is what we have, HOPE!
A lot of this information was given to me last night after the family got back from a long wearing day at Doernbecher. I believe it is all pretty accurate, but as can always happen in passing on news , some of the info may be slightly different. The Harder’s appreciate and depend on your prayers and support and wanted you all to have this update on Lisa.