Dear Family and Friends!

So… another up and down day.  Very emotional.  The day started with Mommy pulling the overnight shift, giving Daddy the time to grab about 6 hours of sleep.  The different groups of doctors from the various departments made the rounds and it was determined that the epidural could be removed.  This was done at about 3:30pm and she was switched on to IV pain killers.  This was great big step forward.

This morning we also had a visit from Pastor Dick Engert (Corinth Wesleyan Church, our home church).  This was a really good visit, and towards the end Charlotte was starting to fuss, so Granny, Daddy and Pastor relocated to Starbucks across the street for a time of really good fellowship.  Thank you Pastor for taking time to come visit.  Much appreciated!

Most of the afternoon was spent with Granny and Mommy in the PICU, and Daddy relaxed in the Ronald McDonald Family Room (which is the Ronald McDonald House Charity’s on site family waiting area for PICU and NICU families – fantastic charity!).

Granny stayed with Charlotte, allowing Mommy and Daddy to go down to the cafeteria to have some dinner.  On the way back to the PICU was where the down part of the day started.

As we came back to the PICU we met Dr. Pearce (Pediatric Oncology) and she told us that the results had come back from the Pathology Lab.  With a sorrow and heavy heart we have to say that the type of cancer in the tumor that was removed on Monday is of a type that could return.  This will require a course of chemotherapy to act as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of this happening.  At this time she is cancer free, I repeat there is not cancer right now and chemotherapy will be done as a preventative measure to ensure that the cancer does not return.  Naturally, all of this will require much visitation to the Pediatric Oncology department here at Albany Medical Center, not only over the next few months for chemo, but the next few years for follow up testing to ensure that nothing has returned.

We will meet with Dr. Pearce sometime tomorrow (Thursday) to learn more about what will be involved.  This will be a hard time, and we have had a very emotional evening.

Anyway, on a joyful note to follow up the down part of this e-mail, Charlotte is not only sans epidural, but is also now sans Foley catheter, the latter being removed this evening at about 9:00pm.  This evening Eric and Lois Melito (Uncle Ricky and Aunt Loey) came to visit at about 6:00pm.  This delighted Charlotte to no end, and during this time Charlotte was allowed to be picked up by Mommy!  This totally turned her demeanor about and she is suddenly full of life now.  She had major cuddle time with Mommy, Daddy and Granny!  We are all so much happier, and after the bad news of the evening, this was exactly what all four of us, including Charlotte needed.

We will update again tomorrow when we know more about the upcoming treatment and what we will be needing to do.  I will be posting photos and video from today on Facebook.  I will also post links on our blog for those that do not have Facebook access.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts!  We truly appreciate every single one of you.

Much love to all.

Toby and JoAnn. (and Charlotte too!)