WORD OF THE DAY
Neuroblastoma-Sounds like a Star Wars character, so it seems like an appropriate name/diagnosis for William's tumor.
Evidently, one of the things puzzling for the doctors is how well he is doing. He shows very few expected symptoms. We truly attribute this to the fasting and many prayers made in our behalf.
We will pow wow with the team of oncologists to be flooded with information at 2 PM today. They will explain in full detail their findings and what the plan of action is going forward.
We have been asked to refrain from googling, due to the flood of incorrect and anecdotal information on the internet, but they did suggest www.curesearch.org if we couldn't resist. We resisted...until this morning. And it felt good.
Here's the gist of what that website says:
Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor or cancer. It occurs in the developing cells of the sympathetic nervous system, called neuroblasts. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for involuntary actions of the body, such as blushing, increasing heart rate, and dilating the pupils of the eye. The majority of tumors (65%) are located above the kidney. However, tumors can begin anywhere in the body. Other common sites are the chest, neck or pelvis. The disease often spreads from its "primary" location to the bone marrow, bones or lymph nodes. In fact, in many cases the disease has already spread at the time of diagnosis.
There are approximately 650 new cases of neuroblastoma diagnosed in the US annually. Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor outside of the brain in children. Most children are diagnosed as toddlers, but neuroblastoma can present in infants and older teenagers as well.
What causes neuroblastoma? Many researchers believe that neuroblastomas develop when normal neuroblasts (the immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system) fail to mature into nerve cells. Instead, they continue to grow and divide uncontrollably, leading to the growth of a mass of cancerous cells, or a tumor.
Researchers have started to identify mistakes, or "mutations", that occur in genetic material – the DNA – of neuroblastoma cells, but have yet to figure out exactly why those mutations happen in the first place. Many scientists believe that neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers are caused by a random mutation or mistake that happen during cell division.
We'll have heaps of knowledge in a few hours, but until then, we're eating chocolate!