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Reegan05/25/2011

Bakersfield, CA

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~May 30th 2024~


As soon as we thought she was done.... she was delayed. Her blood counts were too low to start her last two weeks of chemo back on May 16th. She was finally approved to start her last two weeks on May 23rd. We celebrated Reegan's 13th birthday that Saturday May 25th at Valley Children's and the staff made it a WONDERFUL day by decorating her room when we arrived. A special thank you to Reegan's BFF Bailey and her parents for making the 2 hour drive to surprise Reegan for her birthday. It was a hard secret to keep, but it lifted her spirits so much! Bailey has been Reegan's constant supporter and companion these past 9 months. It was hard for them to be separated, but thank goodness for technology and FaceTime.



I am happy to report that TODAY, May 30th,  marks the start of Reegan's last treatment!! We are all so excited and emotional. We are happy for this chapter in Reegan's life to be over. Yet, sad that we won't see the friends we have made through this journey as often as we have been used to. After this treatment, Reegan will have 2 weeks of rest with clinic visits each week. And then we start her Physical Therapy.



~May 15th 2024~


Reegan is almost done! TWO MORE WEEKS LEFT! She has chemo this week and next week and then NO MORE CHEMO! Reegan had a minor delay in April and that extended her chemo completion to the weekend of her 13th birthday. Reegan will be in hospital receiving her final dose of chemotherapy on her 13th birthday.


It's been a hard 9 months. Reegan not only had chemo, surgery, and then learning to walk on a new hip, but she also did online school at the same time. We owe a huge thank you to Ms. Harnett and Ms. Riebesell for their continued support as well as their thoughts and prayers. Keeping up with school during this process was hard at times for Reegan but she knew if she didn't she would have to repeat 7th grade. So she pushed through and completed as many zooms and assignments as her body would allow. We got the good news that she will move on to 8th grade with her class. But her dad and I have set up some tutoring during the summer to better address what she should have fully learned during in person classes.


We also want to thank those of you that sent a donation to Reegan. We are beyond greatful for that help.


We now look to the future. Filled with lots of physical therapy, follow-up appointments, and finally... family vacations. Being restricted to a 2 hour radius from Madera had it's limitations.


SHE DID IT!! And we couldn't be more happy to celebrate Reegan and all that she has accomplished!



~March 6th 2024~


It's been a while since we provided an update. And that was at Reegan's request.


In December, during Christmas, Reegan went to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford for her long awaited surgery and tumor removal. I can report that all of the tumor was removed and her hip replacement was successful. The recovery was slow at first. But then Reegan pushed herself everyday and she has far exceeded the expectations of her surgical team and her physical therapy team. The pathology report from her surgery showed 94% tumor necrosis (tumor death). This tells the team that the chemotherapy Reegan has been receiving has been very effective. Just days after surgery, Reegan was fitted with a brace that she must wear for 6-8 weeks. The brace sits on the hips and goes down her right leg to just above the knee. She discontinued use of the brace at the beginning of February.



Reegan started back on chemotherapy on January 11th and is currently in the middle of Cycle 4 of her chemotherapy. She only has 2.5 more cycles to go. If all goes as planned and there are no delays; Reegan will be done with chemotherapy in the middle of May 2024. Just before her 13th birthday. Reegan continues to show the most amazing amount of strength and grace during this process. She has her ups and downs. But somehow she finds happiness wherever she can.



Reegan has chosen to participate in a research study at Valley Children's Hospital. Luckily nothing further needs to be done, they just evaluate what has already been removed. While discussing this option with her and making sure that it was her decision to participate, she said "Yeah! I'll do what I can to help another child. You never know, my situation might make a difference." And this, in a nutshell, is Reegan. During a difficult experience, she's thinking of others.


~November 17th 2023~


On November 9th Reegan started week 1 of her second cycle of chemotherapy. She tolerated the chemotherapy fairly well and she was released home a day early. She was so excited to sleep at home. On November 14th we had a virtual meeting with her surgeon at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford to discuss her surgery. Reegan's surgery is scheduled for Thursday December 21st and then she will stay inpatient for 5-6 days of recovery. That means that Reegan will be spending Christmas at the hospital this year. After 3-4 weeks post surgery, we are hopeful that Reegan will have recovered enough to be approved to start her remaining cycles of chemotherapy.



~October 23rd 2023~


This past weekend Reegan made the brave decision to take charge of her journey. She had been experiencing heavy hair shedding most of the week. On Thursday October 19th, 2 weeks exactly from when she started chemotherapy, her hair started to fall out in large amounts. We shortened her hair at home on Friday and enjoyed the evening with a cute bob hairstyle. On Saturday October 21st, we met with my hair stylist for a private appointment and Reegan decided to shave her hair down. It was an emotional experience for all 3 of us, but she got through it with such grace. We spent the weekend getting used to the new Reegan. She said removing of her hair was very freeing. I think it lifted a weight off her shoulders and she was finally able to move forward from something that she was hoping wouldn't happen.


     


~October 16th 2023~


Reegan completed her first week of chemotherapy at Valley Children's Hospital and was discharged home on Monday October 9th. It was definitely more than her body was used to and she had exhaustion, nausea, and sometimes vomiting lasting for 6 days after chemo had ended. We are so glad she is feeling better these past several days and we are trying to get her to eat as much as possible. She will resume chemo on October 26th for 3 weeks. She will be admitted in hospital for 5 days at a time each week. We continue to hope that each treatment will be tolerable for her and that she will be able to push through the exhaustion and nausea.


~October 4th 2023~


In Spring of 2023 at 12 years old Reegan started to experience pain in her upper thigh. We assumed it was growing pains and gave over-the-counter medicine here and there since the pain came and went. By July 2023 Reegan's pain was more regular and there was a bit of a limp when she walked. As the limp became worse, she was scheduled for a doctor appointment in August 2023. The doctor ordered an x-ray and it was revealed that Reegan had a 4.3 cm bone lesion in the right femoral neck. We were obviously concerned and the doctor referred us to the nearest children's hospital, Valley Children's Hospital in Madera, CA (2 hours away). We saw orthopedics and oncology on August 31st, where Reegan was immediately placed on crutches to remove the weight and impact her hip was receiving. They recommended an MRI of her hip and that scan was completed the very next day, September 1st.


          


After the results of the MRI were reviewed by the oncologist at Valley Children's we were referred to an orthopedic oncologist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, CA (4 hours away) where they recommended and eventually performed an open biopsy on September 13th.


     


On Friday September 22nd, we received the diagnosis of Osteosarcoma of the right proximal femur. Our sweet girl has cancer.  Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer which makes up 2% of all cancers in children ages 0 to 14 years old. The proximal femur is an UNCOMMON location for Osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma most often grows in the ends of long bones, especially the bottom of the thigh bone (femur) close to the knee and the top of the larger shin bone (tibia) close to the knee. The top of the upper arm bone (humerus) is another common place it grows.


Things moved very quickly at that point with more blood work, another CT for mapping for her future surgery and a PET Scan to check for metastasis. The PET scan came back clean showing no metastasis! YAY! On October 5th, Reegan will begin her first round of chemotherapy at Valley Children's Hospital (2 hours away). Each cycle is anticipated to be 5 weeks. After two cycles of chemotherapy, we will pause to travel to Palo Alto, CA (4 hours away) where Reegan will have surgery at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford to remove the tumor and undergo hip replacement and reconstruction. From there she will spend 1 week in-patient recovering and then another 5 weeks at home recovering. After recovering from surgery Reegan will again resume her chemotherapy for an additional 8-10 months, barring any delays. We are hopeful that chemotherapy will be complete in Summer 2024. We are all still trying to wrap our minds around what this will look like for all of us since we will be commuting 2 hours to Madera for her treatments and clinic appointments at Valley Children's Hospital.


Reegan is the youngest of three children with two older brothers. She is kind, funny, silly, sassy, and oh so brave. I will do my best to update this page as often as I can. But out of respect for Reegan's request for some privacy, we are keeping information limited in the public space.


Any and all donations are so very appreciated and will go towards travel expenses such as lodging and gasoline, food costs during travel, home health and nutritional items for Reegan's at home care, and assistance with medical bills and family bills.


**Her brothers made her a cake to cheer her up!**



Supporters (40)

  1. Chris Vizzi 
    55 years ago
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