"Hi, my name is Emily. I turned five on May 2, 2010. A few weeks after my birthday I started not to feel well and was diagnosed with leukemia on Friday, May 28, 2010. I was supposed to receive chemotherapy treatments until August 2012. However, on October 9, 2011 we found out my leukemia relapsed. I received aggressive chemotherapy through January but found out two weeks before my bone marrow transplant that I relapsed again on February 4, 2012. My bone marrow transplant is now scheduled for March 20, 2012. My mommy and daddy (Kari and Tom) are writing about me on this site to keep friends and family updated on my progress. You can read more about this by going to the journal. I love to read messages from everyone who is thinking about me and saying prayers for me, so please leave a message in my guestbook. My mommy and daddy read these to me every day!"
For those of you who've never had a serious health issue, I highly recommend you read through the ENTIRE entry titled Summary of the Last Week dated Apr 28. Some excerpts:
"We knew at that point that chemotherapy would probably never get Emily back into remission. It was hard to accept but we still had the T-cells to try and still had some hope that she could get better."
"Before we knew what was happening, the PICU doctor had us out in the hall telling us she felt Emily may need to be intubated and on a ventilator to help her breath becausee she was working too hard to breath on her own. We had no idea how much Emily was going to suffer over the next few days or the horrible decisions we were going to face."
"Steroids are usually given to patients in her situation because they help to calm the inflammatory response. However, we knew that steroids would kill the T-cells she had been given. If we killed the T-cells then we had no hope of her cancer being cured. We kept talking with the PICU doctor about how far we could push through without giving steroids and we asked her to tell us when there came a point where she thought Emily was not going to make it unless she was given steroids. She finally came to us and said it was time to give steroids. We struggled with this decision. If we decided not to give steroids then she was not going to make it. If we gave steroids she would have nothing left to fight her cancer and we wondered if we would just prolong her pain and suffering until the leukemia finally took her from us anyway. The doctors recommended we give the steroids so that's what we decided. We were heartbroken because we knew we had just ended Emily's chance at being cured of her cancer but were hoping once she got past this critical period we could just take her home, make her comfortable, and enjoy the remaining time we would have with her."
Can you imagine making that decision? To save your child's life, you have to condemn her to almost certain death soon thereafter. Take away what is pretty much her only chance. Now Emma is a privileged little girl. She lives in a developed country and is getting a very good level of care. There are millions of children who die from simple treatable or preventable diseases, so one can consider her very lucky to have made it this far.
"Should we have them try everything possible to save her life right now so we could maybe have more time with her but in doing so we could just be prolonging her suffering. Would she have any kind of quality to her life or would she just suffer during the last weeks and months of her life as the leukemia slowly took her away? We didn't know what her life would like but we knew she would die from cancer and didn't want her to suffer anymore in pain or feeling sick. Then again, was it really up to us to just end her life right then? We are SO thankful that we haven't yet had to make that final decision."
"We really believe that without all of your prayers she would not be here right now."
Prayer - a plea to the all-powerful all knowing ruler of the universe to alter the universe's laws in your favor. Christians must believe that Emma's leukemia (and indeed first and this second relapse which will probably prove deadly) are part of god's divine plan. Why do you suppose that an all-knowing all powerful god would alter his plan because you beg him to? He would already know you were going to beg before she even developed leukemia in accordance with his plan in the first place.
Is it a popularity contest? If 100K Christians pray for Emma, do they expect god to go: "Hmmm well would you look at that. I was gonna let this little girl die, but I'm under so much pressure from all these people that I can't refuse them." What about that little child in Africa dying from hunger who could be fed for a dollar per day without any divine intervention. Do you really expect god to favor Emma's plight just because a bunch of people want him to? Ridiculous.
I feel very sorry for Emma and her parents. I think that she will probably die soon. Although I hope that it won't happen, I would never beg an imaginary friend to administer a cure to a condition that I also believe he must have allowed to develop in the first place. It makes no sense.
Indeed, I think that it's absolute bullshit that a little child has to go through something like this at the very beginning of her life. That her parents had to condemn her to death to keep her alive. Wouldn't you expect that in a universe ruled by a benevolent god, Hitler or Stalin would get leukemia early in life instead of Emma? "God works in mysterious ways". You go ahead and consider these ways mysterious, but don't be surprised if I consider you pathetic Don't you dare dismiss her plight as something a "normal" part of a plan just to justify your preexisting world view.
I know that deep down her parents don't believe in heaven, they are just fooling themselves. They didn't take their daughter to a faith healer, they took her to a state of the art facility to be treated by evidence-based medicine. They are fighting to the death this loving gift of leukemia which (they claim to believe) will take their daughter from unimaginable suffering into eternal bliss. If they really believed that, they would tell the doctors to pull the plug and end the suffering. They aren't selfish enough to put being with their daughter above her unimaginable suffering. They'll never admit this, but it's fairly obvious.
Now, the actual reason:
"I really know that without the doctors, the researchers who developed the numerous medicines and machines, the hospital staff, yet more people who provide electricity water and garbage services, her loving family and friends, and numerous other HUMAN BEINGS working together she would not be here right now."That's not a statement of belief, it's a statement of fact.
Here's what the doctors did just in that one journal entry:
1) had told us the likelihood would be low, so we had expected her marrow to still have leukemia cells but not that large of a percentage
2) doctors felt she was just really constipated and an x-ray showed that was the case. They thought the fever may be due to an infection or possibly could be a reaction or something called cytokine release syndrome from the T-cell infusion
3) said she was severaly dehyrated and asked why she wasn't getting more IV fluids since she had been vomiting for days and not drinking anything
4) ran out of IV access points again, so they had to do minor surgery right in her room and inserted catheters into her groin and into her arm
5) recommended we give the steroids so that's what we decided
6) decided they needed to use a different kind of ventilator called an oscillator. The oscillator kind of jiggles your lungs to keep them open so oxygen can move better through them.
7) had to continually adjust her medications and ventilator settings
8) were able to slowly start backing off on some of the medications
9) have told us she will be on a ventilator for 2-3 weeks since it takes that long for the lungs to heal and function on their own again
And god? Well, If he exists, he has evidently had other priorities. Over the time that Emma got leukemia, had months of punishing chemo and two relapses, he's helped Tim Tebow earn a few extra million. Clearly that's higher on his todo list. You must believe this as a Christian.
Don't send her your prayers, send her family your money here - [link] I'm sure they have a nice hospital bill to pay for god's little transgression with leukemia.