Posted on February 11, 2016
Posted on February 11, 2016Dear Friends,
We are beyond happy, relieved, overjoyed, and so incredibly thankful to be able to report that Emma's biopsy results and scans have all come back clean and pristine! Her port will come out next week and we cannot be happier. We will make plenty of visits down to CHOP in the years to come to keep a close eye on our Emma to make sure if any signs of cancer came back- we will be ready.
After about 8 months of physical and emotional hell, we can finally take a breath. We can cry tears of relief and hug each other and our baby and exhale. We will always hold onto fear and uncertainty, especially during these next few years. We might always sleep with one eye open. But we have made a promise to Emma to always live in the here and now for our beautiful princess warrior. We will never take one single day for granted.
We thank God that the decisions that we have made have been the right ones and we thank Him for comforting us in our darkest hour. We want to thank Emma's multiple teams of doctors for everything they did to save her life and keep her in our arms, and everyone at CHOP that contributed to her treatment, rehab, and care in a positive and professional manner. We also want to thank our family, friends, and all of Emma's Angels for the unfaltering love and support when we needed it most.
We got the call that we had been waiting for while pulling in to surprise Emma's Aunt Sandy. We were very happy that we were able to share this news with her and Uncle Jimmy and Cousin Michelle.
Emma's eyebrows and eye lashes are starting to come back. And she is starting to get some peach fuzz on her head. It's hard to not rub it. When we do, we get a sense of relief and overwhelming happiness. We are so fortunate to have Emma after all that she has gone through.
We will continue to post pictures and updates on Emma's progress. And we look forward to being able to help others in the future in the hopes that we can make a difference in their lives as you have ours. Thank you all again for everything you have done for us.
AJ, Lindsey, and Emma Wyman
Posted on December 31, 2015
Posted on December 31, 2015Dear Friends,
It has not even been a year since Emma's diagnosis, but it has felt like an eternity. We certainly feel as if we have aged decades. In her short and courageous life, our beautiful baby girl has already been through so much. She was diagnosed with an undifferentiated sarcoma. Emma had an arrest during her first drops of chemo, and suffered a stroke and seizures as a result. She then lost the ability to sit, use the left side of her body, and even lift her head up. She has come down with mucositis, a few other infections, and fever upon fever due to the extremely punishing effects that chemotherapy has had on her.
But she has also had her tumor shrunken and removed. She's gone through and completed intense inpatient rehabilitation. She is currently exceeding expectations in her outpatient and early intervention therapies. And today she has completed her final round of chemo, hopefully ever. Emma has rung her proverbial 'chemo bell' and we couldn't be more elated. We do have important scans in the near future along with a final biopsy and we always take good news in stride. But for right now- we need to exhale and smile. Nine rounds of chemo are in the bag and our doctors are optimistic. We cannot ask for more at this moment in time.
Although we have a very long journey ahead, the end of chemotherapy is a gigantic step forward. We do realize that Emma's counts will bottom out after this round, transfusions will be needed, and another fever and ambulance ride may be required. It is also going to take some time to ween her off meds and get back to a 'normal' schedule.
We also know that therapy will need to continue. As strong as Emma is, she still shows right-sided dominance and left-sided weakness. We will always worry about what sort of additional difficulties, if any, she may run into in the future. We hope and pray for nothing but the best. But we understand that more obstacles may need to be conquered. What we do know is that our girl is strong and determined. She can do anything that she sets her mind to.
Perhaps the biggest fear that will accompany us forever is the fear of more cancer. There is always a possibility that it comes back. There is also a slim chance that Emma could get a rare and untreatable form of leukemia from some of her chemotherapy drugs. This is not a side effect you want to risk, but it was a necessary step that we had to take to help our baby now. Scans, scopes, and blood work will be a normal part of Emma's life for quite a long time. But we will do whatever it takes to help give our Emma the courage she needs to succeed.
These last few months have been incredibly difficult and trying for us. We have been forced to make some critical decisions with our daughter's life and well-being at stake. We wish Emma's story on no one. In fact we pray that no one will ever have to go through anything remotely close. We also know that we are lucky in so many ways and there are so many others out there that do go through what we do, or other things that are just as trying and some with prognoses that are more bleak. To all of those warrior families: you are not alone- and you are raised in our prayers. We understand now that Emma has endured everything in order to inspire and motivate others. And if even one parent or caregiver that has a sick child is helped from Emma's story, or one patient, then she has done her job. But we know that she is destined to do even more. And we can't wait to watch- with all of the pride and joy in the world.
We would like to thank all of Emma's Angels for reading, for your support, prayers, gifts, and words of kindness. We would have been nowhere without all of it. It is upon your thoughts and prayers that we have been lifted and have been given the strength and courage to navigate all of the unanswered questions, uncharted territory, hard days, and sleepless nights.
We will continue to post updates, pictures, and videos of the struggles and the victories. We only ask that you share them with those you may feel could benefit from them.
It is at this time that we look back at 2015. The joys and triumphs, the heartbreaks and unimaginable pains, our fears realized, our hope restored, and yet we live to see another day. Most importantly, we look back with pride at the miracles that our daughter has performed for us. To the hope she has restored.
To the friends who have became family, to the strangers who have became friends, to the army of angels that have joined us in prayer, to our family for being our rock. Wishing you all a happy and HEALTHY 2016 full of lots of love and thousands of happy little moments that penetrate our souls. To coming together in times of need and recognizing the undeniable beauty in the kindness of those around us.
And a little Irish toast:
As we start the New Year, let us get down on our knees to thank God that we are on our feet.
AJ, Lindsey, and Emma
Posted on November 14, 2015
Posted on November 14, 2015We received a lot of inquiries about Emma today. We just want everyone to know that she is okay and acting much more like herself. She is neutropenic though and we will need to stay here for a few more days until her antibiotics are done and her counts recover. Neutropenia is the absence of neutrophils, which are critical to fighting off infection in the blood stream. Emma's count tonight is right around zero. But she will be fine and we will bring her home when the time is right.
Last night was very scary. Emma went from normal to a 104 fever in less than 2 hours. She had chills and would cry every time she was moved even an inch. She was on fire and she was more miserable than we can remember. Thankfully, Morristown Memorial assembled a fantastic transport team to get her down to CHOP safely and comfortably.
We'd like to offer our thoughts and prayers to our aunts this weekend. AJ's Aunt Sandy wrapped up her first round of chemo last week and is starting to feel the effects this week. Lindsey's Aunt Mary Kay just started her first round today. Emma is lucky to have them on her team and as her role models. Please say a prayer for them. And have a good weekend everyone.