Posted on March 4, 2017
Thursday March 2, 2017 Julianna had her first appointment at the Harley Street Clinic in London. Late morning we met with Dr. Zacharoulis, the oncologist who oversees the chemo infusions through the CED devices. We had spoken with him once before through video conference back when London was just a theoretical option. It was kind of surreal to step into his office and talk face-to-face with him. All the planning, hard work, generosity, and prayer had brought us to London!
After a general discussion about the next week's plans we walked across the street to the hospital where we were admitted and placed in a room in preparation for a super-important highly-detailed MRI. This scan would officially determine whether we qualified for the CED treatment. Had the tumor grown? Was there bleeding? Water collecting on the brain?
After some time in the play room painting with Stacie, Eric and Julianna went down to imaging where he held her as she was given gas to help her ease to sleep.
Two hours later Julianna awoke in recovery, groggy, cranky, and hungry.
Her mood lightened amazingly, however, when she arrived back in her room to find a four-legged visitor waiting for her: a French Bulldog therapy dog named Evie! As soon as Evie was placed next to Julianna on the bed she snuggled in like they belonged together. This was the perfect thing to end a day in the hospital: connecting with a precious, intuitive creature who knew exactly what Julianna (and Eric and Stacie) needed.
As they headed home the question of the MRI results ached in the hearts of all who love Julianna.
Next morning Stacie's mom took all three kids out for an activity while Eric and Stacie walked back to the Harley Street Clinic to go over the results with Dr. Z.
Nearly the first words from his mouth were "Good news!"
The MRI showed slight shrinkage of the tumor, no bleeding, and no hydrocephalus! We are officially a go for the operation!
If you want to learn more about the CED device and it's implantation you can listen to Professor Gill, the neurosurgeon performing her operation, describe it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNs-vpxWskk&feature=share
This has been a long yet blindingly fast road we have traveled to get here. We have seen God do amazing things all along the way. There are far too many instances of blessings to be able to discount them as accident or happenstance.
As I recently pointed out in a sermon we have seen God work most obviously through you. You have been Christ's hands, carrying us through tumultuous times. It's because of you that we are even here in London: some of you are looking after our precious animals, some are picking up extra church responsibilities, some are able to donate funds to pay for Julianna's medical needs and travel, and I know that, most importantly, thousands of you are lifting Julianna up in prayer.
Many of you have wondered if we have reached our fundraising goal. Good question.
We successfully raised enough money to begin Julianna's treatment, to pay for the MRI, surgery, and first infusions.
That said, there are significant continuing costs: monthly trips to London for $7200 infusions. These will continue for as long as they are effective or until a better treatment or cure is found.
Because of this ongoing need we will continue to solicit and welcome donations.
We initially put $150,000 as our goal. We believe, and hope, our needs will be higher than that. We hope because it means that the treatment is controlling tumor growth.
The reasons we haven't posted totals or updated needs are because 1. We have been focusing on traveling and taking care of Julianna, and 2. Because we are assessing how accurate our cost estimates were for visiting London for treatment.
At some point we plan on sharing a revised goal after we are able to analyze cost and crunch numbers.
We thank you for your continued prayers and support,
Eric and Stacie