Thursday, March 12, 2009

"News here....get your news here!" .....the latest on Carter

Little Carter-Man proved to himself and everyone around him today that he is, by far, the bravest 5 year old I have ever met! He got a little bit later of a start to his radiation treatment than was previously expected, but needed to have some additional testing before radiation could begin. He was supposed to be sedated for the procedure(s), but due to having already eaten earlier in the day, they were unable to sedate him……BUT, he cooperated nicely and they were able to perform the first treatment with him awake! Way to go, Carter!!!

After an MRI of his spine late last week it was decided that Carter is apparently an enigma of medical science. He is the ONLY known case of a brainstem glioma to have it spread to his spine, forming “deposits” along his spine (it has been seen in older patients, but never in a child his age). On Monday, March 9th, 2009, there was a biopsy taken of his spine to obtain much more detailed information about the tumor and how it was “behaving”. The tumor is directly related to the Central Nervous System and will not spread beyond the tissues of the brain and spine.

Many, if not all of you, have been asking yourselves and others “is it malignant?!?!?” Here is how the doctors have explained it: Regardless of whether or not the tumor or parts of it are malignant, the tumor needs to be treated as such using aggressive treatment due to its locality to the brainstem. Steroids are being used to reduce the pressure and swelling. Radiation is being used to help shrink the tumor and Chemotherapy (in the form of pills administered at home) is being used to kill that sucker!

The Harris family has been blessed with being put in the care of a WORLD-RENOWN doctor by the name of Dr. Roger J. Packer (the Head Neurologist at Children’s Hospital in DC). This man is absolutely wonderful and the family feels like he is a Disciple in their lives.

I spent the evening with Carter and his family tonight, and let me tell you – it was sooo good to see him and know that he is getting better each and every day through this long journey! He is currently sleeping in the comfort of his parents’ bed and will begin another day of heroism tomorrow!

I hope that this answers a great deal of questions that you all have had. I apologize for not having updated sooner. Courtney had asked me to hold off until they had obtained more tangible answers, as they did not know a whole lot more than any of us until just recently. Please check back here as often as you would like. I will continue to post updates as they come from Courtney directly. This will alleviate some stress on her from having to answer so many questions from so many people whose intentions are and will continue to be in the right place. The family is simply amazed by the support they are receiving from the entire community! Many thanks to you from the Harris Family!!