Today is Ellie’s 10th Birthday. It is so hard to believe that when you were just six years old on January 4th that survival of this brain tumor was slim. That a tumor had pushed your brain to one side and took up half of your head. We have been told over and over that your brain will forever never be the same. The next Day Ellie went into a 9-hour surgery, 6 days later on Jan 11 another 9-hour surgery. Only to find out Ellie had a stroke during surgery and there was a pretty substantial piece of the tumor left untouched. Months of chemotherapy and once again Sept. 28th Ellie went into yet another brain tumor resection surgery. But She has defeated all odds and not only has proved everyone wrong but she has done it better then anyone could have expected.
She has undergone almost three strait years of chemotherapy and has another two years of daily chemotherapy. But nothing has stopped this little girl from fighting and trying her best to live her life. On her birthday we are reminded how precious her life is and how much we adore and love her.
No one wants
But you cant have a
Without a little
Days like today are our RAINBOWS!
Happy Birthday Our Sweet Elisabeth Ashley!
So many people have been asking since my last post about a week ago what the status is on Ellie’s Chemo Study. Ellie was accepted into the study so we were able to begin last Wednesday her first chemo treatment of 1,460 treatments over the next two years. Everything went really well and so far she is handling the chemo like a champ. Only complaint is that she is really tired. The nurses and doctors did warn us that it will take a week or two before any side effects appear. The way the protocol works is that we give Ellie Chemotherapy twice a day at home 12 hours apart. We then go down to the hospital at least once a month. The hardest part of this chemo is Ellie is not aloud to eat two hours before her dose and one hour after her dose. This makes the morning before school a little rough. If you know Ellie she is a very slow eater and needs to eat often or she gets cranky. Ellie did have a complete melt down yesterday because she was hungry. I think it’s going to take some time to get use to the eating schedule. We either are eating supper early for us or supper late in the evening.
Another question that has come up is about the study and the fees. Sadly we don’t get paid to do the study. The nice thing is that the medication is covered under the study. But they do not cover the tests and the processing of the medication. But any savings we will take it. We are just grateful Ellie was one of the seven chosen in this hospital to participate. We feel this is the best medication at the time for Ellie’s life. So we are moving forward and not looking back. Fingers crossed that this works and buys Ellie more time. At some point we are going to have to do radiation but we are buying time hoping we can hold off until most of her brain is developed. What many people don’t think of unless you are going through this type of cancer is that radiation can cause brain damage and many more problems. So the doctors will only do this as a last resort type treatment.
Lastly many people want to know what is going on at our house. Well the back of our house had a room that spanned the entire house that was not safe. Without going into detail the walls started to cave in. There were other dangerous elements that made it not only dangerous for us to live there but dangerous for Ellie’s Health. So we had to get a loan and take down the back half and rebuild. We luckily have great friends that are contractors who did everything in there power to get bids down. They have been going above and beyond. There have been many bumps along the way that have cost more but we have no chose but to move forward. Ellie is so looking forward to being back in our house. We had to move completely out during this process for not only Ellie’s Health but also Dave and Jake’s asthma couldn’t handle the dust. We are hoping to be back in soon. Ellie really wants to get back in her room. The nice thing is that we are living with my sisters, which is less then a mile away so we are constantly at the job site being able to see the changes on a day-to-day basis. Fingers crossed we pass our inspection on Monday and we can move forward finally.
So yep nothing but drama for the Cuiching but I must say I really think we do handle these difficult times as a family like no other. We have an amazing support system that helps us through all these ups and downs. Without the support and love from friends, family, and our community it would be much more of a struggle. Thank you so much for your love. We wish you and your families a fantastic and blessed Easter.
So I wrote this part of the blog Entry on March 20th the Day after we found out.
About 11am on March 19th I got a phone call I thought I would never get. Dr. Goldman Ellie’s lead Nuerologist Oncologist left me a message saying “This is Dr. Goldman, give me a call when you get a chance. I want to discuss Ellie’s MRI with you.” You want to talk about your heart dropping down into your stomach. I was so grateful to have my friend in the car with me at this moment. So I quickly call him back. In 3 years I have never gotten a phone call personally from Dr. Goldman. Most of the time it is Sandy his nurse practitioner. So I knew it could not be good. So Dr. Goldman picks up and tells me “I have to call you back in 5 minutes. Not Stew 5 minutes (which means 20 min) but 5 minutes.” It ended up being about 10 minutes before he was able to call me back. It was an incredibly long 10 minutes. My friend Wendy and I were in the process of driving to Sam’s Club to purchase all the food for the school fun fair. So by the time he called me back we were already inside picking up food. I guess every time I am Sams club and I pass the Soda aisle I will have the heart dropping stomach-hurting moment come into my head when Dr. Goldman told me that Ellie’s tumor had grown and the Chemotherapy had not worked.
Now what I need all of you to understand is I have stayed off of this blog because we have been enjoying Ellie and all her accomplishments. She is one of the most amazing kids. We signed her up for Lemont Hornet Cheerleading and she was amazing. When we signed her up I did not expect her to compete. But she did and they won 1st place at every competition. I was exciting and amazing to watch her and all she had accomplished. Ellie has been competing in taekwondo tournaments and doing better every time. She started 4th Grade in August. Yes 4th grade so hard to believe she began this journey in 1st grade. How much she has grown into a young lady. Even the other day I was talking to my family telling them about something Ellie was going to do and Ellie spoke up and said “ Um did you consult me on this?” Cracks me up how much of a voice she has gotten since Chemotherapy has stopped. Even last week we got her report card back for this semester and she earned Strait A’s. She is only behind her class in Reading and Math and this is missing tons of time in the past of school. Every day this child amazes me with all she has accomplished after having 3 brain surgeries, 3 years of chemotherapy, and tons of obsticals.
This news from doctor Goldman came as such a very hard blow. How am I suppose to tell her its time to going back to being sick and sitting in hospitals for endless hours. As Doctor Goldman was explaining all the information the only thing I heard was Charlie browns mom “whe wha whe” for a minute. Then it was time to figure out what the next steps were. Doctor Goldman then went on to explain our options. Option 1: Send out a sample of the resected brain tumor from the past surgeries and see if Ellie has a mutated gene, which would qualify her a trial Chemotherapy, which is her best chance. But is in Phase 2 of a trial but has shown some good results so far. I believe it would be swallowing pills every day, twice a day and going to the hospital once a week. Option 2: Every other week going down to children’s for full day infusions of a chemotherapy. And if neither one of those work our final option is Radiation. This is a last resort because Radiation can cause severe brain damage and many issues with Ellie’s learning etc.
So we are started with Option one. Now many of you might ask why am I putting this out here three weeks after finding out about the growth in Ellie’s tumor. First we have a few weeks before we even find out if Ellie qualifies for the Chemotherapy Trial going on. Also if you know Ellie you would know she dwells and gets her self-worked up on things such as shots, hospitals, and doctors way before we even are doing any of this. But the main reason is my parents decided months ago to give Ellie her true Make-A-Wish. When Ellie was 6 she wanted to go on a cruise with her cousins and this was her wish. Sadly at the time her cousins could not go on the cruise because my sisters baby was too young. Make a wish did take Ellie and our family on a Dream works cruises. And I have to say it was amazing. But Ellie was sick from Chemotherapy and she was sad her cousins could not come. So when Ellie was released from doing Chemo my parents thought this would be a perfect time to take her on the same cruise with her cousins. So we are leaving for spring break in two weeks and Ellie is getting her wish. We just want her to enjoy the cruise and have an amazing time of her life with no worries. So Dave and I decided that we would keep it to ourselves. Not even family knows, we do not want anyone saying something to Ellie. This was her time to enjoy life and not dwell on what is to come. She deserves this awesome vacation with no worries, energy and tons of fun.
So here we are about to embark on another Journey. A Journey that I am sure will have its ups and downs. By the time I post this I am hoping to have the results from Dr. Goldman weather Ellie does qualify for the study. Once again I am sorry I have not shared my journey over the past months but we were enjoying life and pretending there was no such thing as a tumor. I guess its back to reality. This is my baby’s life.
Wow it’s been some time now since I have blogged. Although I have often thought about it I just didn’t seem to have the time to really say everything that has been going on in the Cuichings life.
So since I blogged last Ellie officially finished 3rd Grade. Although she started the school year off strong with pretty good grades they did slip this last semester. Not sure weather this is do to her memory loss, things getting more difficult, change in teachers or missing so much school. Probably all of the above played a part in this. But I am still so proud of her because most kids with brain tumors while doing treatment probably have a hard time holding a C average.
Right after school finished the same week we had a MRI checkup. And I am pleased to report the tumor is still stable. It has not grown and the doctor even said it looked slightly smaller to his Nuero oncology eye. The Brain tumor board that review Ellie’s case including all her doctors have decided to give Ellie a break at the end of August from chemotherapy. Basically what happens is she will stop treatment and do MRI’s every 10-12 weeks. If there are any changes in the tumor they will start treatment up again. This is a lifetime battle for Ellie there will not be a day when they don’t have to do MRI’s and check her tumor. But I am thrilled that she will get at least 10 weeks off. This chemotherapy is emotional exhausting for our family and we can really use a break.
We did have another huge step that took place this summer. Ellie went to One Step Camp (A camp for children that have or had cancer). She cried that she did not want to go and I would have to say it was the hardest thing I have every had to do sending her away to camp for a week. Well that’s what I said but my mom reminded me that it truly was not the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a mom. I struggled back and forth weather to send her but I truly felt like this was a huge important part of her life that needed to take place. I felt as if she needs lifetime friends that have gone and are going through what she is going through. With Ellie being sick since she was 6, I feel as if our family as a whole, rightfully so, hoovers over her and she needed to be more independent. So the camp is a pretty amazing camp located on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It almost feels like a resort. They have one counselor to every three kids, one nurse for every group, doctors from the actually hospital on staff during the camp. I had several people approach me about sending Ellie. Most of the camp counslors are previous campers who had cancer as children. But what I notice about this camp is the counselors have made life time friends from camp as kids and every year have a reunion at camp. Several of them told me that it was the best thing there parents ever did for them. I cannot say enough about this camp. They start as early as 7 years old but it took a while for me to send her. The drive to pick her up was the longest drive. Everything went through my head what if she hates me and had a horrible time. Well luckily she was all smiles when I picked her up. She spoke of the Dance they had, Fishing, boating, swimming, a carnival & and a magic show. You name it they did it in one week. One the way home she did not stop talking about camp and all her friends. When she came home I have noticed her coming out of her shell a little. I really feel that I made a great decision in sending her and am looking forward to sending her again next year. I have a feeling it might be another fight in the beginning but after a few days I think she will get in the groove and after a few visits to camp she is going to beg to go..
Lastly next Thursday is Run for Gus downtown, all proceeds benefit Children’s neurology oncology research. Dr. Goldman did tell me there are a few new studies’ that children’s are conducting that look very promising for brain tumors. If only they could come up with a cure some day. Think of all the life’s that could be saved. I will include the link to the Run for Gus Family event downtown. Like I said it is a family friendly event. Cuichings are planning on doing the one-mile walk, I know several people that are planning on doing the run. Either way if you can make it down it would be great to see familiar faces.
Lastly I just wanted to touch base on the young lady that is the cover girl that lost her battle with cancer this week. I posted a picture of an interview were she said a little fishy told me “Just keep swimming.” Well that is how I feel every Wednesday. I just keep on telling myself “Just keep on swimming” We will keep on swimming. What is the other option? Sink! and that is not an option for us. So we are swimming along and don’t plan on stopping.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and are enjoying it as much as we have been.
FOLLOW THE FOLLOWING LINK TO REGISTER FOR OUR TEAM FOR THE RUN FOR GUS.. Ellie's Angels..
Yesterday was a very special Day. The most special Day of the year for me. It was Ellie's 9th Birthday. Three years ago when Ellie got diagnosed with a brain tumor the Doctors and I didn't think we would ever get to celebrate Ellie's 9th birthday. I am thrilled to have had another year with my sweet, smart, funny, caring, artistic and Super strong girl. Happy Birthday to my Daddy's little girl Ellie. I love you and pray you have many more birthdays... I made this memory video for her. Enjoy Ellie's Journey...
So sorry it has been so long. I am really going to try to be a little better about updating this.
I unfortunately did not post when we had some hiccups. Ellie was hospitalized near the end of March. Basically they discovered that her chemotherapy made her constipated and everything they tried they could not get it to brake up. Finally I want to say day three they gave her an edema. Not something you want to explain or have to your eight year old experience. Usually leave that for middle age people getting a colonoscopy. Well once again Ellie gets a new experience not a pleasant one but the good news is it worked. I cannot believe it has been a couple of months. Ellie has been trucking along. Although she has gone through the month of April without a long hospital stay that did not mean we did not have drama.
Ellie has been having her chemotherapy done at home three weeks out of the month by an in home nurse and then the fourth month we would go to Children’s hospital. If you read my last post due to a mix up in medication and miss labeling that was discovered. Ellie’s doctor felt more confortable and felt it was safer for Ellie to go downtown weekly for chemotherapy. Although we have only been doing this for two months now after our long stretch of being able to do chemo at home it feels like an eternity. The drive down and back is always very bruttel I feel for anyone who has to do that drive on a daily basis. It took us yesterday over two hours to arrive at the hospital find parking, check in at front desk and then check in at children’s. I almost wish I could take you on a video journey of what our days are like at the hospital so you can get a taste of how long the day becomes. Though our Wednesdays have been rough I feel so blessed to have the backing of my school PTO and friends who set up dinners for us on Wednesday till the end of the school year. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is after spending a long day at the hospital being able to come home and not worry about cooking. We are going to cherish the last few meals we get before the end of the school year.
I would say the hardest thing that I have come across through this whole Wednesday chemotherapy is Ellie really struggling with the change. She truly loves school and missing a day a week is such a struggle for her not only socially but educationally too. She told her teacher she tries to hide from me on chemotherapy days so she doesn’t have to go.
Lots to update sorry this is so long but only a few for things I wanted to share with you. Ellie also had a hiccup back in April were my heart did drop. She was waking up in the mornings and throwing up once or twice and then fine for the rest of the day. This happened a few days but not even in a row. This brought me back to before Ellie was diagnosed she would have the same symptoms. Needless to say I thought her brain was filling with fluid and it scared me to death to think she might need a shunt. Until we tested her with an MRV (it much quicker MRI) I was beyond sick to my stomach. After they did the MRV they found no fluid build up and all was good. Once again nothing like drama for our family.
Ok I promise almost done. I wanted to discuss an incident that occurred at our grade school this past week. A bomb threat was written on the wall of the school over last weekend saying that the bomb would explode on 5/7 Tuesday. I truly was not going to touch base on this but so many people are on our local Patch just bashing parents and being extremely negative. I have yet to comment because I am not sure if anyone can get through to some of these people that are beyond negative. I sent my kids to school on Monday and I must say I was very nervous doing so but after a long time of weighing the risk and reward I decided to keep my kids home from school on Tuesday. Most of my friends did send their kids to school on Tuesday. From what I have been getting from comments on our patch are people calling parents rubber heads for keeping our kids home. I feel like there is no right or wrong answer here as a parent. Parent’s needs to make that decision on their own and no one has the right to judge what decision a parent made. I put this out on my Facebook. The likely hood of this threat being valid was 1 in a million but then again if you told me my daughter would have a rare brain tumor I would say that’s more than one in a million chance of that happening. There are no guarantees in life and as parents we make the best judgment we know how. There are no wrong or right answers and for those people that criticize other people on how they are raising their kids remember no one is perfect especially parents. Now as for me I think I probably would of sent my kids to school if this was pre brain tumor. My parenting has changed and I am sure no one can blame me or understand unless you live in my shoes. So to all the Lemont people that are criticizing the decisions of some of the parents please keep in mind you don’t know the back-story of these families. Who knows maybe they had a family member in the Boston marathon or a niece or nephew in the Connecticut school.
When I was contemplating weather or not to send my kids to school I spoke for a while with mom about it and I broke down and cried. My mom said I am so sorry, all kids should get a chance to be children with and have a innocence about them and you as a parent should not have to make this decision for a 1st and 3rd grader weather its safe to go to school”. But she said (this is were I broke down because it touched me) “I am even sorrier that Ellie has lost all her innocence of childhood. She has not had a chance to have a childhood and has lost years to this tumor and its not fair.” I never looked at it like that. She has a greater loose then time, memory, school, sickness; she has lost an innocence of her childhood.
So last thing I promise. I formed a team to do the RUN/WALK FOR GUS. My sister & brother-in-law are doing the 5k run. Dave, myself, and my kids are doing the one-mile walk. All the proceeds that are raised go directly to Brain tumor research. And even better research to the doctors Lurie Children’s. I know Ellie’s doctor has told us of many brilliant things he has been working on and I want o support him in anyway I can so that maybe one day there will be a cure for brain tumors. I attached the link. Everyone is welcome it is a family friendly event. They have face painting, food, and band. It is on a Thursday July 25th Downtown in Lincoln Park area. I am hoping the team will be huge in show of support to Ellie. Just go to the link and at the bottom of the page it says join Ellie’s Angels Team. Please join us for an awesome night.
Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of Ellie beginning Chemotherapy. We celebrated by going downtown for a blood transfusion. Although this was not scheduled ahead of time it was something that was needed. For the most part it went pretty smoothly. There was one problem in the mix of the day. We originally planned for the in home nurse to come for chemotherapy on Wednesday so the Home base nurse program already planned delivery of Ellie’s Chemotherapy. Her nurse from Lurie Children’s hospital told me just to bring the Chemotherapy with to the hospital on Wednesday and they would administer it while we were there. For some reason god was watching over Ellie yesterday. When we handed the nurse Ellie’s chemotherapy and Zofran the nurse noticed that the medicine was miss labeled. It was pretty scary when Ellie’s nurse was shooken by this. Well apparently they have thought about disbanding the in home nurse program for sometime now for this exact reason. The mistakes that can happen at home could be very dangerous. Needless to say the Doctor and Nurses both informed me that I would be getting a call later this week to tell me what the plan is for Ellie’s medical care. Although I would drive to the ends of earth for my daughter’s medical care I am nervous about the change of schedule once again. We finally had it worked out where Ellie was down to missing only one scheduled day of school a month and now we are looking at once again driving to the hospital once a week to get her medical care. But on the other hand I obviously want to do what is safest for her. It seems as if every time we get confortable an in a routine things have to change. So now we wait for the next step.
On a positive note we met a foundation I was unfamiliar with. The Young Association Board, and they informed us of an event this summer called Run For Gus. This foundation totally supports Brain tumors and supports Dr. Goldman’s research for a cure. Needless to say I will be heading up a team for this summer in Ellie’s Name. From what all the nurses and doctors told me this event is very kid friendly and tons of fun. I am very excited to be able to support something that directly benefits a cure for my daughter. So more information on how to join Ellie’s Team will be coming soon.
One other quick note, April 20th is the One for the Kids Cocktail party. They were such great support for our family last year and want to continue to support their fundraising effort for other families in need. Dave and I will be attending this and hope to see some familiar faces there also. If you went last year you know we all had a great time. Visit OneforTheKids.org for tickets and more information. I included pictures of Ellie in the hospital yesterday and pictures from last years one for the kid’s event. Enjoy!
So today is two very important dates for me. One being the last day you can signup for Sheri Staaks blog at www.sheristaak.com. Everyone that signs up today she will donate $2.00 to Ellie for her medical expenses.
Ellie has had three brain surgeries, port-a-cath surgery, approximately 10 blood transfusions, 90 weeks of chemotherapy, Physical, speech, and occupational therapy, 9 ER visits, 13 MRI’s, 4 Cat scans, 3 MRV’s, 6 long term admissions to the hospital. And I am sure there are plenty other procedures I am not even thinking of at the moment. This all within 2 ½ years. These procedures and keeping Ellie alive is not cheap. Please consider signing up for the FREE blog and help by doing something small in your eyes but big in our eyes.
And then the other important date the eve of my Birthday
As a child I remember blowing out my candles and wishing for a new shiny toy or a vacation to Disney world. I wouldn’t always dream too big but there was always something that wasn’t necessary needed at the time but defiantly wanted. As I grew old blowing out my candles I really stopped wishing for anything. You get a little embarrassed as all the attention is drawn on you and you blow out your candles as quickly as you can. Not only that but as we grow older we loose the magic of wishes. Well not so much anymore for me. These past two years most people would probably notice that there is quite a bit of a pause for me after the singing is done. The long pause is because I am very careful for what I wish for. No longer do I wish for a vacation or a shiny toy but I dedicate my wish to Ellie. The long pause is because I have to really think through how I want to word it each year. For this could be the wish that comes true. I believe the first year it was “Please let Ellie live another year” and if I remember correctly last year was something like “Please let Ellie survive this tumor” I will be thinking about that one moment when I blow out my candles tomorrow all day today. I will be thinking what do I really want to wish for this year. Do I wish for another year or do I think bigger like a cure. Sometimes I think if the wish is too big it might not come true so maybe I shouldn’t wish for a cure but for Ellie to live a long and happy life. If you are one of those people that blow out your candles as quickly as possible so everyone will stop staring and there is no magic in wishing anymore. Don’t waist your wish this year after all sometimes wishes do come true. If you have a perfect life and have no wishes than think about donating your wish to Ellie. My wishes will never go to waste again. When you have a terminally ill child it is so important not to waste anything. Even as simple as a birthday wish, or a coin tossed in a fountain wish. So lots of thought will go into my birthday wish tomorrow. Don’t let little things go to waste.
As most of you that keep up with my blog know Ellie has been doing fantastic but she still needs prayers and love because within the 10 week gap of her MRI things can always change.
P.S. Give me a great birthday gift by signing up for the Blog to help with Ellie’s medical expenses. Remember TODAY IS THE LAST DAY! www.sheristaak.com. And please share with family and friends.
One last thing, I am helping out this year for the School Fun Fair in April and we are looking for any donations of services or items for our raffle baskets. Please contact me if you could help out in anyway. My email address is Kyliew2@aol.com. Thanks for your support.
REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE BEFORE I GIVE AN UPDATE. Can everyone go to the following webpage and put your email address to follow the blog. Then you will get an email to confirm and confirm it. Sheri Staak the author of the website will donate money to Ellie for medical costs for every person who subscribes by the end of the month. Please share this with friends and Facebook it would mean tons if you would be willing to do this for our family. It cost nothing just a few minutes of your time.
THIS MUST BE DONE BY THE END OF FEBRUARY TO GET CREDIT. So please make sure you do it before the end of February.
Ok now onto the update of this past week. This week was like no other, it was slightly challenging with my mother and father having surgery. Ellie also had to go downtown for Chemotherapy and monthly checkup. But I am happy to say that this week has been a complete success. Both surgeries went extremely well and both my parents are amazing. They both have recovered like rock stars. I guess we know were Ellie gets her strength from.
This week as Ellie was getting a checkup from Doctor Goldman, I thought back a year and half ago and realized how far Ellie have come. As she giggled while Doctor Goldman checked her out. Right before he left he said “Wow, my girlfriend likes me so much better these days.” Took me a minute to catch on I was about to say “Your Girlfriend? You have a wife” but luckily I figured out that he was talking about Ellie. In my last post I stated Ellie’s tumor is an mm smaller in one direction and the cysts inside have grown. The doctor wanted to be clear that this could mean one of two things that the tumor is about to attack and grow or the Chemotherapy is working and it is deadening the cancer cells. We here are leaning towards the deadening of the cancer. But it really stinks that even when you get good news there is always underlining concern for bad news. But Ellie is doing amazingly well. I had her IEP meeting at school and we were all very impressed by how well she is doing considering she has chemotherapy each week, misses quit a bit of school, and has short term memory loss. So all and all I am so pleased how far Ellie has come in the past two years. The other day I was saying to my sister that Ellie was going to be in fifth grade in two years and switching schools. My sister said, “Wow isn’t that exciting” My response was “NO” (I’m thinking in my head she is growing up too fast). Well my sister explained what she was thinking, she was thinking that two years ago we couldn’t even picture a month down the road and now I believe that she is going to survive this. She has to survive this. Till next time Happy Belated Valentines Day.
If everyone could please head to the website
And subscribe for Ellie…
Thanks for your love and support as always. This blog has gotten me through the past two years and hoping it will continue to be therapy for me.
I know I am seriously slacking on this updating of the blog. I am pleased to tell everyone that Ellie came home on Monday. She has been hanging with me at home for the past week. We are hoping and praying that she will be going back to school this upcoming Tuesday. Wednesday is another day downtown for our monthly check up with the Doctor. I am hoping that all goes well and Ellie will be able to get chemotherapy. She has not been able to get Chemotherapy in two weeks now. Also I am hoping to get to see her MRI scan. The doctor did stop by while we were in the hospital to tell me he was Optimistically pleased. That the tumor was ever so slightly smaller and it was more cystic. Basically it means that the Cysts that are inside the tumor have grown leaving less tumor hopefully. This is the first time that the pathologist has reported any kind of shrinkage in the tumor. So I said enthusiastically well that means the Chemotherapy is working? And the doctor said that they are still unsure if the chemotherapy is working. This is a good sign but only time will tell.