You never know what tomorrow will bring…and on May 18, 2003, our family didn’t know that our world was going to be turned upside down. Carly’s father found a knot in her stomach so he took her to our pediatrician for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, we went back to his office for the results. He said, “I need you to go to MCG – CMC. I want her to be seen by Dr. Robyn Hatley”. So we did as we were told, and as soon as Dr. Hatley touched her stomach, he told us that he was going to admit us to the hospital and do a CT scan.
May 19, 2003, the day our lives changed. After the CT scan I had a room full of doctors explaining to me what they found on the CT scan. At first, I was listening to everything everyone had to say, until I heard the word “Oncology” and then I didn’t hear anything afterwards. See I knew that word meant cancer, and they couldn’t be telling me that my 2 year-old little redheaded child had cancer…but they were!
That was the week that everything happened…she had a surgery for the doctors to implant a Port-a-Cath in her chest and did a biopsy of the tumor and started chemotherapy. I was told that the biopsy showed that she had Stage IV Unfavorable histology Wilm’s Tumor on her left kidney. It was so large that Carly had to go through 10 weeks of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor to an operable size. In August of 2003, Dr. Hatley and Dr. Howell performed the surgery to remove the left kidney and tumor. After 9 months of chemotherapy, we were told that she was finally in remission.
The first 9 months of the cancer journey was very hard on our family because Carly is the youngest of 6 children and she is a twin. Her older siblings were in complete shock and her 2 sisters that is her age really didn’t understand what was going on…They just knew that Mom and Carly weren’t home a lot and Carly stayed sick all the time.
We went in May 18, 2004 for a recheck which included a CT scan and physical by Dr. Vega and Dr. Bell. It was on the eve of her one year diagnoses that Carly’s father and I was told that the cancer had returned in her lungs. We were devastated!
Carly was admitted back into the hospital for several weeks to undergo another surgery to remove the lower part of her right lung where the cancer had returned. She started a new regiment of chemotherapy drugs after her surgery. After the surgery Carly continued receiving chemotherapy for 13 months and about 6-7 radiation treatments.
Finally in July 2005, Carly was in remission again! She returned every 3 months for a year to be rechecked with CT scans and physicals to make sure the cancer had not returned. Once she was cleared after the year, she had to return every 6 months for 4 years for the same CT scans and physicals. In July 2010, Carly was given a clean bill of health! CANCER FREE!!
Children Hospital of Georgia, formally known as Medical College of Georgia – Children’s Medical Center, was our home away from home for many years. The staff of nurses, doctors, and administrative staff, is the best around our area! I don’t know what our family would have done if we would have had to travel to Atlanta, GA or Charleston, SC to receive Carly’s treatment.
We would love for you to help us help kids like Carly at GRU-CHOG! Our Children's Miracle Network Hospital has done so much for our family and would love to give back! Please SUPPORT ME!! Thank you so much!