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Dakota Anderson

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I cannot believe that it has been almost a year since my last update!  Dakota is now 13 years old and in the 8th grade!  Wish I could say no news is good news but that hasn't all been the case.

After getting off chemo Dakota went back to being very healthy and active.  Her 7th-grade year she played all 4 sports.  Volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball.  At the end of softball season in May of last year, Dakota dislocated and broke her patella when she was stretching right before a game.  It was a pretty extensive injury just from stretching.  She ended up having surgery to fix the broken patella and torn ligaments and then a second surgery after a second dislocation 6 months later.  She was in extensive pain for many many months and is just now getting back to normal.  It has been a long long road of recovery.  We still don't have any answers to why her knee keeps dislocating.  She's still in physical therapy and needs to wear her brace to keep her knee stable.

Dakota finished chemo for the brain stem tumor in October of 2017.  She has been having MRI's every 3 months since then to monitor for any growth. Her tumor had just about disappeared until her last scan on February 4th when the MRI showed growth again.  To say we were caught off guard and devastated would be an understatement.  Dakota took the news really hard.  She cried and cried for days.  She just really wants to be a kid and not have to go through chemo again.  Her doctors went over her scans in tumor board and all agreed since she's not having any symptoms, besides occasional headaches, we could wait 3 months and then rescan.  If there is more growth on her next scan in May most likely she'll need to go back on treatment.  Her doctors don't want the tumor getting as big as it was and her symptoms coming back.  She was very very sick last time.

In between the medical stuff Dakota is being the typical teen.  She loves hanging out with her friends, sleepovers, going to the movies and listening to music.  She joined 4H this year and she just got a goat that she'll be showing at our local fair this summer.  I will be joining her and her 8th-grade class on their trip to Washington DC in a couple of months!  She is very excited about this trip! 

As always we appreciate your prayers for Dakota and our family.  We really couldn't get through without our faith in God and prayers.

Love April, Dakota's mom

Knee Surgery

Tomorrow can not get here fast enough. It’s been a long week and a half! I will get a call sometime today with the time of her surgery. When Anesthesia called on Wednesday they said she would be spending the night in the hospital.  This girl is going stir crazy being at home. She is so sad to be missing the end of the school year. We are going to try to go for chapel and lunch today. She really wants to see her teachers and friends. Please keep her in your prayers for surgery tomorrow and for a speedy recovery. 

Best news ever!!

Dakota is doing amazing!!  She is feeling so much better the past few months.  Most of her symptoms have completely gone away and she is almost off of all her daily medications.  On July 13th Dakota had her 3 month MRI and we got some amazing news!!  Dakota's brain stem tumor has shrunk over 50%!!!!!  We could not be happier!  The plan is to continue on with her weekly chemo treatments.  She has 12 weeks left!  Thank you all for your continued prayers for Dakota!

MRI

Dakota overall is doing good.  This is a pretty important week.  She is having her 2 month MRI to check to see if her brain stem tumor is shrinking.  If it is shrinking we will continue on with the chemo she is on.  If there is any growth we will stop the chemo and come up with plan B.  Most likely a different chemo since there really aren't many treatment plans.  We would appreciate you praying with us that the tumor is shrinking!!! 

Lots of changes

Wow!  Another year has passed since my last update!  Now with Facebook I seem to not update here as often as I should.  There has been lots of changes since my last post.  A couple months ago Dakota got really sick.  She ended up spending 3 weeks in the hospital.  The very short version of the story is that another tumor was found on Dakota's brain stem and she is back on chemo.  She is getting weekly treatments for the next year. :(  This is heartbreaking news for us but we will get through this bump in the road.  Dakota is such a trooper.  She missed 5 weeks of school and is now back going full day!  She is now in 6th grade, junior high!!!  Overall she is doing good in school.  Especially with all the days she missed and will be missing this next year.  We appreciate all the prayers we can get to get through this.  Thank you so much!!