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haynes9 
Posted: 08-Jan-2009, 01:40 PM
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I just got this notification on Esther Joy Travis. Just to update you, the family is now in India doing missionary work. The bad news (from our finite point of view) is that it seems that Esther's cancer has returned. The following is the posting from Esther's mom, Jennifer.

BTW, good to be back! I have been away from the forums for so long it's not even funny. Trust everyone is well and having a wonderful 2009. Take care!

Well, we arrived in Delhi safely (did not have any of our belongings stolen or any of the 5 kids kidnapped while we were sleeping, it was an over night train)and the day we are to get the big results we got a call from our vet. Esther's doggy Dozer died and later I went to pick up the results. YES, believe it or not thats how we had to find out, NO Dr. conversation just open the envelope and use your own two eyes. The cancer is back. The paper showed light up spots on both sides of her bladder and in 3 of the lymph nodes in that area. The MIBG took us the rest of the week to complete and it just confirmed the PET scan. She also got a PIC line placed for treatment. From there we flew to Nepal to be with her Aunt and Uncle and cousins. As soon as we arrived and picked up her Fedx box of meds we had sent from the States we started her 21 days of intravenous DMSO treatments. We all had a great Christmas, flew in to host USA company, and as soon as they left some of us( not Esther) got really sick, we are just coming out of that. Her 21 days are finishing that means it is time to return to Delhi and get another PET scan to see if we have been able to do any damage to the cancer! Sunday night Esther and Daddy leave for Delhi, Tues. is the scan. Will let you know as soon as we can.

Love Jennifer


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Rindy 
Posted: 09-Jan-2009, 03:44 PM
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Hi haynes glad your back. It has been awhile. Thank you for the update on Ester. So sad that her cancer has returned. So sad about her dog as well. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Slainte
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 12-Jan-2009, 09:34 PM
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Thanks for the update, haynes. My thoughts and wishes go out to Esther for strength, for cheer and patience, for joy in small, ordinary lovely things day by day, and for resting in serene confidence in God's love and her family's.
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haynes9 
Posted: 16-Jan-2009, 11:57 PM
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Just got another update tonight. Humanly speaking, things don't look very good. Thanks to all of you and think of and pray for this little girl. I am grieved for the challenges her parents must be facing at this time. Please continue to pray for little Esther Joy. The update from Caringbridge follows:

We are truly sorry that we have to report that Esther's Cancer has returned and is progressing very rapidly. We had a series of tests run in December, just before Christmas that showed the cancer was beginning to grow again. At that time it looked like we might be able to operate, remove the cancer and treat her with radiation therapy, here in India. The surgery was scheduled for the the 2nd week in January. Esther and I went back to Delhi for the surgery this last week, but the follow up scan prior to surgery showed that the cancer had started growing in some of her bones as well, which means that most likely her cancer is also in her bone marrow. This makes surgery an inadequate solution, since the cancer is not confined to one location. It looks like chemotherapy is the only option we have at this point. While India does have cancer treatment centers, they cannot give the same standard of care that is available in the states. In addition, since Esther had life threatening complications due to the chemo used in her stem cell transplant, her Doctor here recommended we take her back to the states.

I think it would be good for me to explain that Esther's cancer has a very low cure rate. Majority of the children that we know who have had this particular type of cancer do not live very long after they relapse, since the cancer developes a resistance to chemotherapy drugs. We should know fairly quickly after she begins treatment again, if the cancer has become resistant to the chemo or not. Because of the way the cancer appears to be spreading we are coming home immediately. We have every intention of returning to India and resuming the work which God has called us to just as soon as we can. We are still going to maintain our residence here in India for the time being. We have had some good seeds planted here and some exciting things were beginning to take place. We are looking to the Lord for His guidance and wisdom.

We apologize for any delay in communication that has taken place over the last few weeks. Things don't always work as efficiently over here, as we would like them to. We will be leaving from Varanasi tomorrow and reaching Tulsa on Monday at 10:30pm. on United. God Bless you and thank you for your prayers and support.
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haynes9 
Posted: 03-Feb-2009, 05:11 PM
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I was really sorry to get this report today on Esther Joy. The following is from CaringBridge from Esther's mother and dad. Please keep praying for this little girl.

We finally are at a point where we can give some real information about Esther's condition. We had all the kids tested for a match for a Stem Cell Donation for another stem cell transplant like she had last April. unfortunately none of the kids were a match for her which closes the doors on the possibility of a transplant from someone other than herself. The medical risk of a transplant from a donor other than a sibling is just too great. Today we started an oral chemo called VP-16 and will be combining that with a drug called Accutane which has the ability to mature her malignant cancer cells into a non- malignant form. We are praying that this will reduce her tumors down where they can be removed surgically and perhaps see if she could have another transplant of her own stem cells. Targeted radiation therapy might also be used to help shrink the tumor down. All of these treatments however run the risk of sending her into liver failure like she experienced back in April. Her body has already been through alot and she is just more prone to having more difficulty in handling the treatments, than she was before.

As of the last week Esther has been having a lot of pain in her right leg. Apparently the tumor in her pelvis is beginning to push on some of the major nerves in that area. We are able to control the pain right now with Tylenol/ Codeine. Except for the times when she starts to really hurt, her spirits are up. Her favorite saying right now is "God is with me from the Beginning to the End." Her faith is a great encouragement to Jennifer and I.
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valpal59 
Posted: 04-Feb-2009, 03:03 PM
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Haynes9,
Thank you for the update. My heart goes out to this family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Val


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haynes9 
Posted: 24-Feb-2009, 06:16 PM
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Just makes the heart ache. Here is the latest update on Esther Joy Travis from CaringBridge. Please keep praying.

Esther has been doing very well since we last updated the journal. If you didn;t know about her situation you would think she was perfectly healthy, running around, riding her scooter and doing all the things a six year old likes to do including horseback riding. Someone has "given" a real pony to Esther. His name is Gordon and is really a small horse not a pony. Esther's only responsibility is to ride him as much as she wants to. It's a great deal. People's generosity toward our family is overwhelming and we truly thank you all for making a bitter experience somewhat sweeter by your love.

Esther had to go into the hospital yesterday as a routine precaution since she was running a temp with the cold she got this week. The doctor decided to run a ct scan on her just to see why her leg has been hurting her more than it had been. They wanted to rule out the possibility of a fracture since the cancer is also in her pelvis bones. The scan revealed that the cancer has doubled in size since her last scan. Evidently the oral chemo has not been effective. This brings us back to step one in treating her cancer. We are researching to see if we have other options. Esther is back home and planning to go ride Gordan.


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haynes9 
Posted: 05-Mar-2009, 08:51 PM
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Esther Joy is having surgery tomorrow. Here s the latest from CaringBridge on her condition. Thanks for praying for this little girl.

Yesterday we met with a surgeon to discuss the possibility of "debulking" Esther's tumor. He said it would be possible and that he should be able to remove a large portion of it. Over the last week Esther has been having a increasing amount of pain in her pelvis area. She is now on 6 mg of morphine every six hours along with Tylenol with codeine. The combination takes care of the majority of the pain, but leaves her a little lethargic. We have been looking into a study trial at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and may be taking Esther up there after her surgery. Esther's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 :45. Please pray for her during that time. Thank you.
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Rindy 
Posted: 07-Mar-2009, 09:34 PM
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haynes9 have you heard any news on Esther Joy since her sugery? She and her family have been in my thoughts and prayers.

Slainte
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haynes9 
Posted: 07-Mar-2009, 09:39 PM
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QUOTE (Rindy @ 07-Mar-2009, 07:34 PM)
haynes9 have you heard any news on Esther Joy since her sugery? She and her family have been in my thoughts and prayers.

Slainte

Hey Rindy. I just got this report today. Seems to be good news, but it's way too early to tell. Thanks for praying for this little sweetheart.

Esther successfully underwent surgery today to "debulk" her tumor in preparation for continued treatment, that is supposed to start in the next three weeks or so. The surgeon said he was able to take out around 60 to 70 percent of the mass. Some of the tumor looked necrotic, which means the chemo she had been on was working , but apparently was not able to outpace the rate at which the tumor was growing. She is currently resting. They are controlling her pain with morphine at the present. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
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Rindy 
Posted: 08-Mar-2009, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for keeping us updated. Your welcome for the prayers. I feel so bad for her and her family. They've been through so much.

Slainte
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 08-Mar-2009, 02:51 PM
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This little doll is really fighting hard and not giving up; you have to admire her spirit and especially her ability to keep enjoying the things she loves in spite of the pain. My sincerest wishes for her continued progress in overcoming her illness, and for comfort and wisdom for her family and her caregivers.
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haynes9 
Posted: 13-Mar-2009, 02:01 PM
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Boy, this is a tough update. We need to keep praying for Esther Joy and her family. This is hard to read, but we need to keep this situation updated.

Thank you so much for your prayers! The last 5 days have been very hard. The tumor is attacking some of the nerves in Esther's pelvis. She has been screaming all morning and just now gave out due to sheer exhaustion and they also doubled her morphine. We are trying to get this pain under control as soon as possible, so we can leave for CHOPS (Children's Hospital of Penn.) for MIBG therapy. As far as a cure this treatment is our last and the Dr. K said, "looks like a good choice for Esther".Our consult is on the 18 we have tickets to fly up Tues. Along with getting Esther out of the hospital in time and on the plane, we still have not heard back from the insurance. If they don't call today or Monday approving the out of state treatment, well we won't be going. We appreciate all your prayers for these matters. Esther's going for sedation to finish her scans.

In His Hands, Jennifer
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haynes9 
Posted: 18-Mar-2009, 11:29 PM
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Please keep praying for Esther Joy. This is tough. Here is the latest update from CaringBridge.

We made it to Philly! Ten minutes after we were in the air leaving Tulsa a high fever hit Esther. This morning when we came in for the consultation it was back. The nurse could not get blood out of Esther's line. They did an X-ray, discovered a kink at the end that reaches her heart. The very famous Neuroblastoma doctor we came to see said the line needed to be pulled, she should be admitted, and a 24 hour round of antibiotics given. We would need to look at postponing tomarrows plane tickets till later on in the day. In the mean time her labs came back.--- Her creatinine levels are alarmingly high and every thing else that has to do with the function of her kidneys is elevated. Something has all of a suddenly gone wrong with Esther's kidnys. The doctors have spent the day and will probably spend most of the night trying to figure out WHY and BALANCE HER SYSTEM. I don't now exactly but, doesn't the Lord know just when and where to have us? CHOPS (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) is one of the very most renown children's hospitals in the U.S. Thank you for your prayers.

In His Hands, Jennifer
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Rindy 
Posted: 19-Mar-2009, 09:26 AM
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Oh no haynes. I am so saddened by this. I hope they get her kidneys to normal quickly. This poor girl and family have been through so much. More thoughts and prayers going out.

Slainte
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