Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lets give a big “whoot whoot” and” Praise the Lord”! The doctors gave Lisa a very good report. The cancerous tumor that they took out of Lisa’s shoulder was 95% dead from the chemo. That is really amazing news. Gail had been hearing of other kids on that ward coming out of surgery and their cancer was only 30% to 60% dead. They feel very fortunate. During the surgery they cut out an area larger than the tumor, they test to see if there were any cancer cells in the margin area. That report came back that there were zero. There is also the issue of the cancer spots in her lungs. The doctors hope that because the other area were 95% dead that the spots in her lungs will also be 95% dead. They will perform a CT Scan in 2 months to take a look and evaluate what steps they will need to take.
Soooo this means: Lisa will be doing the 18 week chemo! They will start that today. Because of the surgery, this session will be a little lighter. They don’t want to make her too weak while her body is trying to heal. In 3 weeks she will have another session and that one will be more aggressive.
We are so happy for you Lisa!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tomorrow will be a big day for Lisa. After having several weeks off of chemo, the whole process will start all over again. On Wed. they will head back up to Doernbecher to first meet with the doctors to hear the results of the pathology and then to start a new session of chemo. The results of the pathology will determine the course of the chemo that Lisa will have to have. The doctor had mentioned when the surgery was over that everything looked really good and the tumor appeared to be dead. If that truly is the case then the chemo that Lisa will be a administered will be much less harsh and will follow a much shorter schedule.
Lisa has been doing really well in her recovery. Her appetite has been good and the physical therapy has progressed really well. She is strong going into chemo, so that will be a big advantage for her.
Pray that the cancer is completely dead and that it was all removed during surgery. Pray for lighter chemo and that Lisa will keep her strength up. Here we go again…..

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lisa was watching her brothers and dad hit golf balls into the back field. (yes that is a sock monkey on her head! so cute, isn't it!)

Enjoying a little time outside while recovering from surgery.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A big thank you to all of you who participated in the Figaro’s fundraiser for Lisa and Randy, it was a big success! Lisa and her family stopped by the West Salem Figaro’s to get their pizza around 5:00, and stayed for awhile to say “Hi” and visit with friends that came to support them by eating pizza for dinner! The owner of Figaro’s were so friendly and great, they even came out to pose in some pictures with Lisa. I was most impressed with who ever was in the big heavy Figaro man suit standing out on the curb in the 80 degree weather waving to people to let them know of the fundraiser! What a trooper!
If you saw Lisa that night you would have noticed the new hair-do she was sporting. Just the day before she received another wig, the first one was shorter and blond, and this one was dark and long! Both look equally stunning! Lisa was in a wheelchair with a boot on her leg and a big splint on her arm. There are still a few tubes sticking out, but overall she looked really good. She is able to walk a little on the boot, but has to be very careful. Of course, she is still on quite a bit of pain medication so with the recovery and the pain meds she wears out pretty fast.
Lisa still has about a week off before starting the next rounds of chemo. They are treasuring this time. As of now, they have not heard the results of the pathology that will determine the course of this chemo. There are several options and they hope they get to go the route of the one that last for 18 weeks. If not, there are also chemo sessions that last around 24, 36 and 48 weeks.
So again, thanks to all of you who follow this blog and are so faithful to pray and support Lisa.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hungry for pizza? Stop by Figeros pizza tonight. Figeros is donating 50% of all proceeds tonight to Lisa and Randy, so come support the kids and also Figero’s. I heard rumor that Lisa will be at the West Salem Figeros for a while around 4:30 so stop in early and you might get to say Hi!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lisa was able to come home last night! While she was in the hospital they spent many hours working with her each day doing physical therapy. While this was painful and exhausting, Lisa stuck with it and worked hard. After 2 sessions yesterday, that doctors decided she had made enough progress and was stable enough that she could continue the therapy at home. Gordon and Gail decided to take Lisa home to Grandma Willis's house for a little while so that Grandma could help with the therapy. The doctors showed both Gail and Grandma what needed to be done while at home.
Lisa is still on pretty heavy pain killers, as you can imagine. Gail described to me what Lisa was dealing with now. She has a scar from her knee to her ankle, a scar from her shoulder to her lower back and a scar from her shoulder to her elbow. I would say that pretty much covers close to every part of her body and I can hardly imagine how painful that would be.
They are waiting on the results of the pathology to see what the chemo did to the cancer. They should know that next week. It looked really hopeful to the doctors that the chemo had done it's job, which would mean that Lisa would get to have the milder chemo for the next 18 weeks instead of what she just finished with.
The family knows the fight is not over, but I think they have all had a collective sigh of relief to be past this hump. The doctors will still be watching the spots in Lisa's lungs and will probably determine what steps need to be taken toward those after the pathology reports come in.
We are just praying that everyday Lisa will get stronger and her body will heal. Hang in there Lisa!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The doctors are very pleased with the results of the surgery so far. The healing process can take a long time, but Lisa is off to a good start. The doctors had her sit up in bed yesterday and she even stood up for a little bit. It was pretty painful to move around like that, but Lisa was a real trooper and pushed through the pain to do what the doctors needed her to do.
Lisa had a plastic surgeon work on her leg during the surgery to close up the site where they removed the bone. This is just an example of how caring the doctors are… He told them that he spent twice as long on her leg because when she went to the Prom in a few years he wanted it to look perfect. Pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room at that monent.
They are thankful to all the staff for the great care they have received.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I just wanted to give you a quick update: Lisa's surgery went really well. I believe it was about an hour shorter than they expected. The doctor said that he got all of the cancer from Lisa's shoulder and what was there appeared to be dead. That was amazing news! They will send the tissue off to pathology for further tests, but for now we are all thanking God that everything looks good. They got to see Lisa in recovery and Connor came home saying that she acted just like herself, so not sure exactly what that meant cuz I have seen Connor and Lisa act pretty goofy! I bet she is just glad that it is over, and so are we! Get well Lisa!

The morning was filled with mixed emotions. Much of the family and several friends gathered at OHSU Hospital before Lisa's surgery to support Lisa and her parents. They were all glad that finally the doctors would remove the cancer that had taken over Lisa's shoulder, but they were also anxious. The surgery to remove the cancer also means that they will remove a bone from her leg and muscle from her back to rebuild her shoulder. This will mark a milestone in the process, but also bring on a new set of challenges. Lisa will have to wear a brace on her leg and it will be harder for her to get around. Her body will be very sore and she will need to stay strong to fight off any infections. But everyone is ready for the next phase...out with the old, in with the new!
By about 2:00 they had removed the cancer and also the bone from her leg and started the reconstruction process. Lisa is doing well during surgery and the family is holding up "ok". Keep them in your prayers because they estimated it would be about 7:00 pm before Lisa would be out of the OR and into the recovery room. Even after she enters recovery it is still awhile before the family can see her. I imagine that at times like these a mother's instincts kick in overtime and you just want to see for yourself that your "baby" is safe. Lisa is in the hands of some of the best doctors in the world, but we know that she is also in the hands of the God who made her, and that is what gets us through tough times like these.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean.
Whenever one door closes,
I hope one more opens.
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance...
I hope you dance
I hope you dance


Happy Easter to all of you! It is a good day.
Tomorrow around 8 am Lisa will enter surgery to remove the cancer from her shoulder. This is going to be a huge day for all. It will start around 4am so they can get to Doernbecher several hours before the surgery for all the pre op preparations. The surgery is expected to take 9 hours. The team of doctors will take a bone from the bottom half of Lisa's leg, muscles from her back and fatty tissue from her body and use all that to rebuild her shoulder after they remove the cancerous bone and tumor. So the recovery will not only be for her shoulder, it will be her leg and back. Pray for quick and full healing.
Last week was pretty quiet for Lisa, as we had hoped. If you recall, she left the hospital on Monday evening having not passed the "levels" test. Grandma had to take Lisa back up on Tue. to be tested again. At that time her levels of chemo were fine and she was officially released to go home. She did get about 5 sores in her mouth from this round and but healed pretty quickly. Being weak and a little sick to her stomach is just "normal" for Lisa these days so she stayed home and just tried to build her strength and stay well for the surgery on Mon.
I will keep you updated tomorrow as I hear from the family. Thanks again for all the prayers and support.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Finally Home

Lisa finally got to come around 8 pm on Mon. Bummer to miss such a pretty day waiting for the levels of chemo to go down inside you. That was a hard wait, and even though they tried, it was hard to keep their spirits up. They were finally released to come home and were glad to just get out of there. Gail was anxious to sleep in a real bed and needed to get back to work on Tue. but the doctors wanted Lisa to come back to Doernbecher on Tue. to check her levels again. Grandma took her up there and they were back in town around 4:00. I haven't heard the results, but they must have been ok, because she is home. (it was my daughters birthday, just wanted to add that, so I was haven't been able to check in).
Connor said that Lisa felt "just okay" so we are hoping that she will have a great week leading up to her surgery next Mon.
As I sit here and write, I look out my back window and see a bright red cross and the word "hope" both on the back neighbors porch and am reminded that we do have "hope for Harder" and we love you Lisa and are praying for you daily. So hopefully there will not be too much to report between now and Monday, but we can pray that Lisa will enjoy Easter and will feel peace for the upcoming surgery and recovery.


Monday, April 6, 2009

This was writen by the Harders yesterday from Doernbecher

Greetings from the hospital . We were hoping to go home today but Lisas counts are still to high.These past three weeks have been real hard on Lisa and the family but we can finally see the light with the mouth sores she has six right now to the Chemo that we now know is working and that our God is anwering our prayers . Lisa is trying so hard not to worry about this HUGE surgery in case you did not hear she is keeping her arm BUT the surgery that the Dr's are going to do is remove the bone in her leg between her ankle and knee and removing some muscle and tissue in her back and get a new shoulder joint basically removing her shoulder and joint and making her a new one ! If all goes well the surgery will last 7 hrs but could go to 9 hrs . Lisa will have to wear a brace on her leg for awhile becasue she will not have feeling in her leg as the Dr says will be sleeping for quite some time. And a tube in her back so infection does not set in .The Doctor has moved Lisa's surgery date to Monday April 13th .Lisa wanted me to tell everyone that she is so thankful for all of the prayers and support and that she misses everyone .Take care Lisa , Gail and Grandma Nevada

Thursday, April 2, 2009

And the results are back...

On Wed. much of the family made the trip back to Doernbecher to find out the results of the MRI and the Cat Scan. Lisa is nearing the date of her surgery and the Dr.'s wanted to see what all the chemo had done to the cancer in her shoulder and lungs. There was a real fear that the cancer would have progressed so far that they would have to remove Lisa's whole arm.
BUT... the news was that the chemo had done what they were hoping. The tumor in her shoulder has shrunk and they will be able to reconstruct her shoulder during surgery. They will take bone from her leg and tissue from her side and back. The surgery will take about 8 or 9 hours and will be very extensive. They were told how difficult the surgery will be, but fact that Lisa keeps her arm makes it all seem like a piece of cake!
They also addressed the issue of the cancer spots in her lungs. It appears that some of them may have disappeared and the ones that are vi sable have not grown, so that is very good news. At this point they are going to keep an eye on the spots and deal with her shoulder.
About 6:00 pm on Wed. Lisa started the last session of chemo before she will have surgery on April 15th. After the surgery they will start them chemo right back up. But one thing that could make the difference is... if they get 90% of the cancer out during the surgery, they type of chemo that Lisa will have to have will be alot milder. That means that the side effects should be less severe.
So although this was such good news, Lisa still has some tough days ahead in which she will need out prayers and support. But right now she is feeling the relief of being able to keep her arm and is thanking God for answered prayers!

This Friday

Spring Dance Fundraiser
Apr 3, 2009
Walker Middle School (Lisa's school)
SAVE THE DATE! April 3rd, 2009 Jessie Doneth and Jamie Bennett (Lisa's cousins) are setting up a dance @ her school that will bring in more funds for LISA Lu Lu. Please stay connected with this wesbite as we will be posting more details SOON! If you would like to be a part of this fundraiser or would like to donate in a different way, please contact Jamie Bennett @ OR Jessie Doneth @ Thank you all for your continuous love, support and prayers for Lisa Harder!