you send an angel to watch over them.
Dana you have many, many angels watching over you right now.
I believe that prayers are heard and miracles happen.
Please take a moment of your time to say a prayer for Dana.
Dana is the niece of a friend of mine.
Dana is 14 years old and has cancer. Dana has a tumor called Unressable Osteo Sarcoma Tumor. This type of tumor affects mainly children between the ages of 10 to 16. Her tumor is located in her chest and is the size of a football It is connected to all her organs on her left side.
Dana is currently undergoing chemo which has shrunk the tumor by 1/3.
She is suffering from all the side effects of chemo.
Friday the doctors are having a meeting to schedule surgery for her, the doctors have said that the surgery will take about 22 hours. They want to operate within two weeks.
Dana is such an amazing young lady. She has found the strength through God to fight this disease. So very much to have to endure at such a young age.
Update November 5: Dana will be having cat scans on Monday to see how much the last round of chemo has shrunk her tumor. Dana's mom said all the prayers have really kept Dana's spirits high. Dana has no fear of the surgery and knows God will see her through all of this.
Update November 5: Just recieved this from Dana's mother. The surgeon's office called today, it is set for Nov. 18th at 9:30 am, with Pre-Op on Monday the 16th at 10:45. I just felt Dana's tumor, it seems to be so much smaller, now, let's hope the chemo was able to kill the cells off enough to prevent it from spreading in the surgery.
Update November 9: This was just recieved from Dana's Mother. Just got back a bit ago from the hospital, Dana's blood is low, they said if she gets anymore tired I will have to take her in for a transfusion, they'll check the scan tommorrow and let us know how is was, probably not til Wednesday.
Update November 13:Part of a letter recieved from Dana's Mom. NOW HEAR THIS, DANA'S TUMOR HAS SHRUNK AGAIN !!!!!!! AND IT HAS NOT SPREAD OUTSIDE THE TUMOR !! Alright , I can see all of you doing the Happy Dance, May I lead Please? OOPS, let's not be silly here, we'll have Princess Dana lead us in this gayla and as Dana sings, " His Grace has got me safe thus far" we waltz around the room in complete confidence that all your prayers and good wishes are working and will continue to bring our Princess Dana the success of beating this cancer. ( Elaine has happy tears today ) : )))))
Our prayers are working please continue to pray for Dana
Update November 18: Just recieved this wonderful news. They got ALL the tumor out!!! When they opened her up they found it wasn't no longer attached to her organs.It came out in one large mass.They had to take 3 ribs and are right now filling that space in with some material that they make insulated coats with. She is still in surgery and will be for a while as it will take them a while to put her back together and patch the hole in her diaphram.I will let you know as soon as she is out of surgery.
Update November18: Here is the latest report on Dana. Dana just got out of surgery at 6:15 est time. She is in recovery right now. The surgeon said she will continue chemo for a while but they feel confident that it didn't spread anywhere but will know for certain after they take all the tests on the tumor.They had to take part of her lung. She is still asleep but very stable.
Update November 22:Dana is doing exceptionally well!! She is off most of the pain medication and today she started walking around.The Dr.said if she keeps doing so well she may be able to go home as early as this Wednesday.She is eating like a *horse* her mom says.
Praise the Lord. Isn't the power of prayers awesome.
Update November 24: Letter from Dana's mom. We are home, just a quick email to let you know, we are very tired, so after her meds were just going to bed. I'l respond to all the emails as soon as I can. Just to let you know, the world is soooooooo full of some pretty terrific people, I get all teary eyed just thinking of how much support we have been getting, it sure has gotten us through some rough spots, I'll tell you that. Dana will continue with her chemo protocol, to make sure it's gone, and this cancer can come back in a sneak attack in other parts of her body, mainly her legs or arms, so they will try to prevent that with the chemo.God surely has been on our side !!!
Update November 25:This is a brief summary of Dana's surgery sent by her Mom. here's what she went through. The surgery was about seven hours, ( unbelievable), we didn't know that the tumor was on her spine, and that's what the surgeon was concerned about, he felt he could get it, but wasn't sure if her could go in enough to get extra because you can't take the spine out. Anyway, he ended up getting her spine clean, scraping it, that is where she has enormous pain, they found the tumor was wrapped in her ribs and went through to her diaphram, so they had to take a part of her lung to get to the diaphram, and had to take the 10, 11, and 12th rib out, the tumor had eaten the first two ribs, but he took the third to make sure it hadn't spread there, and he had to have room to get to the diaphram, he tested her kidney three times during the surgery to insure that even though the tumor was on her kidney and lung and all that it caused the kidney to have a big dent in it, but wanted to make sure it didn't have cancer, and it didn't, cancer in the lung is also out, thankfully, the tumor was on them and not in them, they also had to get the back muscle, her other muscles are starting to compensate for that, and that causes more pain in her leg and shoulder. They filled her lower chest cavity with gor-tex, and also the diaphram area, Gor-tex is like insulation, and it will stay there, she will always be numb in these areas, they also used surgery mesh for the rib area to protect her lung. she ran a few fevers, but not too badly, it's going to be quite the recouperation period for her, she goes back in two weeks for the stitches, and then we start the chemo protocol again, it should stay the same, just switch a few of the chemo kinds around because of the one that put her in a coma. I'll let you know when al that is scheduled, until then, I'm just working on keeping her comfortable, and eating to put the weight back on, she has gone from 130 lbs. to 94, so she is a little tiny thing, but still cute as a button. That's it for now, I am going to go lay down with her. Tell all we said hi, and we'll get it together soon, BTW, I tried to get to her site, and started reading her messages, but couldn't do it, got to emotional, so I'' try later today.
Update December 10: Hi, just letting you know that Dana will be going in for her chemo on Friday, for a three to five day stay, they will be running methotrexate for now, and again on the 21st, she may not make it home for xmas, but she is determined she will. We are having a Celebration of LIfe party for her birthday on Friday the 16th at her church, having a normal birthday party just didn't seem to work for me. They are having a problem with her chemo, because she needs the ifosfimide in order to knock the the tumor out completely, ( don't ask, I don't understand myself), she has to have the ifosfimide and the Cysplatin, but are afraid to run them because of her coma and the Cysplatin will make her completely deaf, so until they decide what to do, they will run the metho and the adriamyacin to prevent anything from spreading.
Update December 15: We are home now, Dana did well, another run on the 21st, then sad to say, we have to run the ifosfimide again, we will be in for quite some time with this chemo, it has terrible side effects for Dana, but has to be run to get the cancer. They are changing the way they will be running it, instead of five days straight, they will run it for two, a day break, then for two more days and so on, hopefully, this will prevent any coma, or other side effects she has dealt with in the previous runs, with this chemo
Update Jan 10: Dana has been doing extremely well the past few days, she will have a two week vacation from her chemo runs, and is enjoying every minute. Today, she went to school to see all of her teachers, and she had such a nice time with all of them, they are all so wonderful with their encouragement and surprise to see her looking so well, she will be going to her first youth group in sometime on Friday and Church on Sunday, in short, even if it is temporary, she will be living a somewhat normal life since September, and she is flourishing at the thoughts of it. Her appetite is second to none, nonstop. In two weeks we will be running the Ifosfimide, with the hopes that she can handle it better. Her complete bone scan of her whole body, is set for the 19th of January to check for any other tumors, and she also has a cat scan set for the same day, to check her chestwall area where they took the tumor out. Although, I know the chemo is going to be so hard on her, I somehow have a feeling that she is going to get through it better this time, now that we know the signs of something going bad, maybe we can stop it before anything happens.
Update Feb. 3: I recieved the following wonderful news this evening. The power of prayer is so awesome.
Hi, Dana's bone scan and cat scan have been shown to be negative, which means, they couldn't find any CANCER!!! Hugs, Elaine and Dana
Update Feb. 17: Dana went through her VP16-Ifosfimide Chemo very well, they ran it for eight days, with breaks instead of the five, and she was able to handle it much better, did all of her homework and crafts while it was running, Her counts were at zero when she was sent home, but she had no fever so it was okay.
That was on Friday, by Monday, she had developed a fever that kept going up and we had to have her readmitted, which is where we are now, they are running her antibiotics to fight her infection and she will be released when her cell count goes up enough to be safe.
Update March 15: Dana is home and having severe headaches and nosebleeds plus her liver functions are bad. She goes the 29th of this month for cat/bone scans to check again for tumors.They are puzzeled over her headaches and nosebleeds and are trying to find out what is causing it.She will be in the hospital most of the month of April undergoing extensive chemo treatments.
Update March 23: Dana has been having a very rough time, can hardly get online because we are always waiting for Doc's to call or the labs for when they are coming out to run the blood tests, etc, can't get on at night because they call at night to set the next day appointments. We are hoping to have her taken off one of her meds,the Megace, seems to be doing more damage than good at this point, and they are setting up a Echocardiogram appointment, her heart races where she has to deep breath through it, and then it will skip a few beats, so we have to have that checked out. Adriamyicin, can cause heart trouble, and she had that two weeks ago, so we'll see. Other than that, we just have to hang in there and see what happens, next chemo run is on the 31st of this month. Elaine
Update May 9th: Dana has been doing okay, she went through her Ifosfimide run okay, but the day after we returned home, we had to go back via the emergency room with high fevers, they took an xray for pneumonia and treated her with antibiotics for four days, and sent us home again, she is now off the steroids, which is a good thing, she was gaining too much weight too fast, but now she will have, and is having more stomach troubles after the chemo runs, but she never complains, just keeps taking her medications for it. Dana is tired more often now due to the stronger chemos until the end of July, but the end of the treatments are nearing. They also found a spot in her left hand with the last bone scan so she is scheduled for another scan on the twenty first to see if that has changed. Just keep the prayers going that it will go away and be nothing. Thank you all for you continuing support for Dana, she may not be able to respond all the time, but your emails and cards and such sure do keep her going. Love, Elaine and Dana
Update July 1:Dana is doing very well, although she gets tired when her counts get low, she bounces right back in time. She is walking for excercise, has even taken her bike out, and LOVES to go swimming, I take her as often as I can. Dana has also lost a few pounds, which is a good thing, she gained so much from the steroids. She is goofy as ever, can't wait to start traveling again, although her Make-A-Wish plans had to be changed, she can no longer ride the Whale like she had hoped, a whale attacked it's trainer in California Seaworld, so they banned the ride, we will now be going to Seaworld and Disney World, Dana can't wait to get on all of the water rides, we will be going there in Oct. Dana's last chemo run will be on July 29th, the first week of August she will be going to Camp Hole in the Wall, and camp for cancer patients, the second week, they will be running all of the tests to make sure there's no sign of cancer, and then we will be having those tests every two months. You are all in our thoughts constantly, even when we can't get online to tell you, and, as I have said before, it is all the well wishes of everyone that have kept her going throughout this whole ordeal.
Lot's of Love and Hugs, Elaine
Update September 8: I am now off my chemo treatments as of the end of July. After that, I went to Camp Hole in the wall Gang camp, it was the most awesome place and all the people there either had cancer or were siblings of cancer, so we all understood each other, at first I was homesick, but got over that real quick. It was harder for Mom to leave the hospital when my treatments ended, she calls it her security blanket, but I was ready to hit the road, after camp we went all over the place, any place but home, just to forget the past year for awhile, and we ended up in NY with my Aunt Sandy and everyone, and had a great time, just wish we could have stayed longer. Then we came home and I am now back in school, it is very hard right now, I can't do a full week, but between my classes and the computer, we work it out and I am able to keep up so far, if I have bad days, and I do get really tired, I just stay home and do the work between naps. I will be having surgery shortly to remove my port, it is only a day surgery and won't be that bad. I will see the Oncologist once a month and have bone scans and cat scans every four months, my last scans must have been okay, because no one called to say any different. So, I guess, I can tell you that I am doing real well, I feel pretty good, and am anxious to be with kids again, now, we just have to live a normal life, and hope it never comes back, the Dr. told us it was a fifty percent chance, but I don't think I'm ready for that, so I am going to beat the odds, I have too many things I have to do. Thank you all for caring, and we are sorry it has taken so long for this update, but we just had to go have some fun for awhile, and we did. My next update should be even better. Love, Dana
Update December 19: Dana has been doing extremely well, her hair is coming in a much darker shade, more of a mink color and VERY curly, it is beautiful. She rarely misses a day of school now, except for appointments. Her next bone and cat scans will be on January 5th, although we worry when we go to have them, she is so healthy looking, we keep a positive attitude. Dana has lung x-rays every month, and so far so good. We are now looking forward to the Holidays and are having a ball with our new lives, things have changed so, but we are keeping our traditions and it's making us very sentimental, which is emotional at times, but also A LOT of fun. We wish you were all here to enjoy the Holidays with us, and we will be thinking of you all while we sing our favorite tunes, O Holy NIght, being our favorite, so when you hear it, think of us wishing you all a Wonderful Holiday Season, and a Happy, Healthy New Year Love, Elaine and Dana
Update March 20:Dana has been doing very well, her tests have been great, she goes in May for more bone and cat scans. She is now enjoying a pretty much normal life, never home, messy room, typical teenager. Dana has a lady ruuning the Boston Marathon for her, her name is Mary Ellen, and she is wonderful, Dana will run the last mile with her. The fascinating thing is that Mary Ellen was treated for Breast Cancer last year, and is running the 26 miles this year, it is very exciting for Dana. Dana will also be starting to take Tae-Bo lessons on Wednesdays, so things are looking great and we are being very hopeful that she continues to do this well. Hope you enjoy her new picture.
Be sure and sign Dana's Prayer Book. Let her know we are praying for her recovery.
If you wish to send her some words of encouragement you can email Dana
Thank you letter from Dana
Poem written by Dana
Photo's of Dana New photo added 12-19-1999
Photo's of Dana New photo added 3-20-2000
Newspaper Article on Dana
I would like to see a prayer chain formed around the world.
If you would like to join in this prayer chain, please take her angel to put on your home page with a link back to Dana's page.
Updated on Monday, March 20, 2000