My daughter's battle with Wilms'
This is the story of
my daughter Shannon. In september of 1995, when she was two and a half
years old, she became ill. After a month of being told it was this virus,
or that virus, the truth became known. My daughter had cancer. Specifically,
a form of cancer known as Wilm's tumour, which is a form of kidney cancer.
Many tests were run, and the news got worse. She had a six inch tumour
on her left kidney, which itself only measured two inches. The cancer had
also spread to her lungs. After six months of chemotherapy, radiation treatments,
and the removal of her left kidney, Shannon was pronounced to be in remission.
She was scheduled for her first
check-up three months later. Three weeks before her scheduled check-up,
she was rushed into the hospital. Our worst fears were realized when the
doctors told us that the cancer was back, worse than before, and her probability
of survival was between 20 and 30 percent. The tests showed that Shannon
had loose tumour spread across her entire abdomen. The only good news was
that her lungs were still clear. The next six months were pure hell. Shannon
endured six months of very intensive chemotherapy . She would have five
days of chemo, come home for two to four days, and then go back to the
hospital for two to three weeks until her immune system got strong enough
to fight the various infections that were attacking her. The chemos used
this time were especially nasty. Shannon was nauseous all the time. She
had to be fed liquid nutrition through a tube, and could rarely keep that
down. She lost one third of her body weight. After the last round of chemo,
the surgeons opened her up to check for any remaining cancer. Good news
at last. The cancer was all gone again. Two weeks of radiation treatments
followed, to make sure all the cancer cells were dead.
It's been ten years now, and apart
from a few complications that have arisen due to the severity of her treatments,
Shannon is a normal, fourteen year old little girl. She enjoys school,
riding her bike, hanging out with her friends, swimming, shopping
at the mall, and going camping. She attended Camp Goodtimes (a camp
for kids who have had cancer, or are currently battling cancer) for seven
years, but was "graduated" last year to make room for some of the new kids.
(sniff). She can return as a volunteer when she is sixteen.
Life is back on track, but will
never be the same.
Shannon's new designer room *NEW
Trip to Disneyland
at Katies Place
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This page dedicated to all the children on 3B, past,
present and future
"our prayers are with you always"
This page constructed and maintained on a Macintosh
PowerPC, presented to Shannon by the
"Make A Wish Foundation"
last updated April 7, 2004