- Joshua Cantrell - Joshua Cantrell - Chance Harman - Kassidy Foster
Updates on Kassidy

April 30, 2007
Richmond Bound

We finally got the word that we are definately going to MCV tonight.  Dr. Foster has had a cancellation in his surgery schedule for tomorrow and he is putting Kassidy in that time. The plan is to do arthroscopic surgery to look at the joint, clean out the blood and determine where it is bleeding from and repair it.  If it can't be done with the arthroscope than he will have to open her knee up by surgery and do the same thing.  We are trying to get everything ready to go and will try to update tomorrow as soon as the surgery is over.

April 29, 2007
next step?

Courtney and I just got back from the weekend in Chesapeake at her gymnastics competiiton.  For her age group and Level (7) she finished 10th on Vault and 10th on Balance Beam.  That was great!  It made it worth while when Kassidy got on the phone and told Courtney  Congratulations and she was proud of her.  That made Courtney's day even better.  The weekend still got off to a rocky start.  On Saturday before we left, Kassidy was still in a fairly large amount of pain.  I even felt bad about leaving town.  But she was being taken good care of in the hospital so we left.  When we got to Chesapeake, Danny called and said they were headed back to the intensive care unit.  Kassidy's epidural had come out of  her back a little bit and it was no longer in the right place.  They had to replace it  and then stay in intensive care to be monitored.  They got back up to their room around 11:30p.  She slept good and Danny even got some sleep!!  Today she had been complaining that her foot hurt.  Her knee no longer hurt but her foot and her back hurt!  We just can't win!  So I talked with the nurse and she got the Ansthesiologist to come back up and check Kassidy.  He gave her some additional numbing medicine and the pain in her foot went away!! GreaT!  So she just has to push her "Happy Button" to get an additional boost of numbing medicine when she starts to hurt.  But at least the pain is controlled. The doctors are still talking about us having to go to MCV this week.  We will know tomorrow what the plan is after our doctors call and talk with Dr. Foster the specialist at MCV.  I think that her knee again is accumulating fluid so it might be better for us to go to MCV and let Dr. Foster evaluate her.  Maybe they could put a drain in her knee to keep the excess fluid from accumulating.  I will update Monday as soon as I know something.

April 28, 2007
Good Night

Kassidy had a pretty good night last night and got some good sleep.  She is still spiking the fevers but not as frequent as yesterday.  The fluid from her knee so far does not show any infection but she is still having some pain.  She is throwing up more often but the doctors think that could be from the narcotics getting out of her system.  We will wait out the weekend, see how she does but the onocologist is going to talk with the surgeon at MCV (Dr. Foster) to see if he could do anything different or if she needs to be seen by him again.  We will know something on Monday but we may be going back to Richmond next week.  Pray for Kassidy to stop vomiting and her knee pain to get better.  Danny talked with Brian yesterday and this morning.  We also are praying for them as Chance starts his treatments this week.


April 27, 2007
BUSY, Busy,Busy

I'm sorry we got behind and haven't updated in a few days.....The pain management had not been working so yesterday the doctors decided to put an epidural catheter (a line into her spine) that they can put numbing medicine in to control the pain.  It doesn't get rid of the pain entirely but it is much more manageable and Kassidy can rest better.  The Anesthesiologist had to put that in and she was admitted to the intensive care unit for several hours so they could monitor her vital signs.  So last night we came back up to our regular room.  Today she had a chest xray and it came back wonderful results.  No fluid in her lungs, no collapse, perfectly normal!!  BUT, then we had to go to ultrasound to have more fluid drawn off her knee.  This time was only about half of the fluid as the first time (60cc).  Then the doctors were concerned because the site where they did the biopsy (at MCV in Richmond) was looking worse so the surgeon came in a little bit ago and opened it and took some samples to see if it was infected.  She has been running some pretty high fevers, so maybe that is where it is coming from.  If so, at least she can get the right type of antibiotic and start feeling better. Today she slept most of the day because of the medicine they gave her before they drew the fluid off.   She is sitting up a little more tonight so hopefully by tomorrow she will be feeling much better.   The doctors are not sure what is causing her to be in so much pain but it seems that the chemo is working well.  So they will continue to manage the pain this weekend and then Kassidy has Chemo #3 starting on Monday.  Kassidy was so hoping to be better so that she could be out of the hospital this weekend and go with her sister Courtney to Chesapeake to her State Competition in gymnastics.  Both Kassidy and Courtney qualified their very first meet of the season.  And even though Kassidy could not compete she was looking forward to supporting Courtney.  But Danny is going to stay with Courtney in the hospital and me and grandma will take Courtney for her competition.  I hope that Kassidy is feeling better so that she can wish Courtney well before she competes.  Nothing makes Courtney smile more than getting to talk to her sister on the phone when she can't be with her!  Pray that Kassidy's pain is under control and that the fevers will go away.  God Bless you all that continue to follow our progress!

April 25, 2007
Good News
Well it took until 3pm for Kassidy to wake up but she is up and talking again.  Unfortunately that also means hurting some.  But the pain specialist came by today and we are going to be trying some new medicines and some patches on her knee to try to find the right combination for pain without her being so sleepy.  That sounded positive and I think we are headed in the right direction.  Also the xrays came back good.  No more fluid than before and the bone is still making new bone to replace the cancer cells.  Praise God for healing!

April 25, 2007

Kassidy is resting well right now.  We were up and down all night, either going to the bathroom from so much fluid that she is getting, or she would be uncomfortable and hurting.  They are going to be getting more xrays of her knee today to see if the fluid is around her knee again and causing the pain.  Also a Pain Specialist is coming to see her to see if there is anything else we can do to control the pain.  Right now she is not having the sharp pains that she did but more a constant pain.  She is on alot of medicines and is sleeping most of the time.  I hate that she doesn't talk to us because she is sleeping due to the medications but I would rather see her sleep than be crying out in pain.  I like neither way, but we have to deal with it and for Kassidy's sake I would rather her sleep and not remember any of this.  She wakes up frequently and looks at the clock and then she will ask , "What day is it?" And "is it am or pm?" One thing for sure, when you are in the hospital, all your days run together and you never know what day it is...She is doing well from the Chemo treatment and only got sick twice, so far.  So that was an improvement.  She still does not want to eat anything but is keeping her weight steady from the feedings through her tube.  Over all  we know that God is working on her tumors and she is showing signs that the Chemo is already working.  We give God all the praise and the glory for what he is doing and going to do for Kassidy!!

April 24, 2007
Tough Days

Don't some days just seem tougher than others?  In trying to manage the pain, last night we felt like she was overmedicated so we skipped a couple doses of pain meds.  Kassidy was not responding, we had to put her on oxygen to keep the alarms from going off and was talking about crazy things!  All from the medications.  Good thing is she won't remember.  Today we started the pain meds again because her leg was hurting and she has slept most of the day.  She is starting to throw up again from the Chemo but I hope this will not last long.  We are frustrated that the pain has not been able to be controlled yet, so most of the time Kassidy is either sleeping or crying in pain.  I don't like her to not be able to talk to us and wake up but I think it's even tougher to watch and listen to her cry out in pain.  Nothing can break your heart more than to see your own child in pain and there's not one single thing you can do about it! What a range of emotions we all are going through!  I know we will still be in the hospital through tomorrow...not sure when we will get to leave but then we have to come back on Monday for the next treatment...but a few days at home would be good!  We'll keep in touch and let you know.


April 23, 2007
Monday April 23

We had a good night last night.  Kassidy finally got some sleep and we were able to control the pain a little better.  Today she has been hurting again but seems to be doing better as the day goes on.  She is getting ready to start her chemo treatment and getting medicine for the nausea.  Jill came by today and painted her head bright PINK!  She looks like a punk rocker with her pink head.  We will post pictures as soon as we can.  Her gymnastics coaches came to visit today and that  made her smile! I'm sure she misses her time at the gym and everyone there! I'll update more later to let you know how the chemo is going.


April 22, 2007

Today was another hurdle we had to cross.  Kassidy started losing her hair more yesteday, today it was bothering her so she decided that we should go ahead and shave her head.  We did, but sadness came afterwards.  It's hard at 12 when you are so conscious of your looks to suddenly not have that long flowing hair you have worked so hard to grow.  But she is trying to be positive and looks forward to tomorrow when Jill (the Child Life Specialist) comes by and can paint her HEAD!! She thinks that will be fun!  We are still struggling with getting the pain in her leg under control.  It was a bad night last night but then she has had a pretty good day.  She got up and took a bath, put on her new monkey pajamas that her nursing assistant Ashley had given her and her new cute hat!  Now she is struggling again with the pain.  She is having muscle spasms where her leg will hurt really bad and no matter what medicine they give her, nothing helps.  We are hoping that we will soon find the right combination of medications that will get her comfortable.  Since we are already here in the hospital, the doctors are going to go ahead and start her Chemotherapy treatment #2 tomorrow.  Then we should be able to go home by Wed. Hopefully! This one shouldn't make her as nauseated and hopefully will attack more of the cancer cells in her knee and the pain will get less from that.  Please just keep praying that the pain will get better and strength for Kassidy to be able to deal with all that is happening.


April 21, 2007
Saturday April 21

Yesterday the xrays showed that Kassidy had alot of fluid in her knee.  We had to go down to ultrasound and they put in a neddlee in her knee to draw some fluid off.  The drew off 140cc (estimated 1/2 cup) of bloody fluid.  She felt better afterwards but then last night the pain returned.  She slept good but would wake up in pain until the morphine would kick back in. Her Doctor came in this morning and thinks that things are looking good.  She said it's normal to have pain because the Chemo is dividing the cells and that causes pain.  Also her body is trying to regrow normal bone where the chemo is killing the cancer cells and that will cause pain also.  Right now we are just trying different medicines and strengths of medicines to get the right combination that will control her pain.  The doctor said that if her pain isn't any different on Monday that Kassidy will have another MRI to make sure nothing has changed in her knee.  We were also suppose to come back on Wed anyway for Chemo treatment #2 but Dr. Meck thinks we can start that sooner so we can do everything before being discharged again.  She is eating good, still in good spirits, getting out of the room some and still joking around with the nurses and staff!  She is sitting beside me right now while I type this and pointing out my mistakes!  Today, Danny Courtney and other family went to the Check spring fling.  They got to visit with alot of people and everyone asked how Kassidy was doing.  It was good to do some socializing outside the hospital.  Thanks for all the online greetings and cards from everyone, and especially all your prayers!

Tammy,Danny,Kassidy and Courtney 

April 20, 2007

We said before we live hour to hour and things have changed quickly again.  Kassidy was admitted to the hospital again late last night for severe pain in her rt leg.  No matter what medication we tried nothing helped.  She is at Community in Rm 1019 but hopefully this will not be a long stay. They did xrays this morning so we are waiting for results from that.  Hopefully her knee still looks ok and the doctors can find other medication to manage her pain and we can go home later.  We will try to update as soon as we know something.

April 18, 2007
Wed April 18

We were able to come home from the hospital today.  The chest xray showed a little area that was not fully inflated last night but this morning the area is smaller and is healing on its own.  She came home and talked on the computer to some of her friends again.  She is still having some pain in her knee but we are trying everything we can to keep the pain under control.  Danny and I are trying to work as much as we can while she is feeling pretty good.  Thanks to Grandma and PaPa that is staying with her during the day! Danny talked to Brian Harmon tonight and it's good to talk to someone that is walking the same path that we are.  To share what each of our families are going through and advice on various things.  They even got to talk about basketball too!  We are scheduled to go back to the hospital for another Chemo treatment next Wed (25th). Monday we have to go have another chest xray to confirm the healing of her lung.   Kassidy has started loosing her hair.  She is in good spirits about it but it is still bothering her to see it come out.  She has decided to cut it and dye it pink with purple highlights while she still has hair.  The Child Life specialist (Jill) at Comm. Hosp. said sometimes she paints the kids heads so Kassidy is looking forward to having her head painted!!! The nurses and everyone at Comm Hosp 10th floor has been wonderful!  They call Kassidy "princess"  because she puts the bed up in the highest position so she looks like she is on a throne.  Really she just does it to look out the windows!! Well, off to get some sleep and start a new day.  We used to be able to plan for weeks ahead but now we plan from day to day and sometimes hour to hour.  But we make the most of every never know when your life can change in an instant.  Remember to keep all of the families and friends of the victims at Virginia Tech in your prayers! And wear your Orange and Maroon on Friday in support! God Bless!

April 17, 2007
Tues. April 16

Last night Kassidy was back to normal.  She wanted to get out of her room for a little while and she went to the computer room and talked with some of her friends. She is eating better and even says that the food smells good!  This morning they did another chest xray and her lung looks like it is reinflated again.  The Doctors came in around 10a and took the chest tube out.  She didn't like that!! But with good medicine she is sleeping now and hopefully wont remember much of it.  They are going to do another chest xray later to make sure it still looks ok.  We have to stay in the hospital today and may get to go home tomorrow.  Please pray that her lung stays inflated and we will update later.

April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007 11:30 AM

Kassidy is doing much better today. They are going to keep the chest tube in a few more days to make sure her lung is going to stay inflated. She is drinking and even eating a little bit more. Her blood counts have improved and are almost back to normal. It's great to have her sitting up, talking to friends and even wanting to get on the computer. We never thought we would say this, but we can't wait for her to get back on the computer! She's not sleeping much but she had slept a lot the past two weeks so I guess she wants to stay up as much as possible. Of course Mom and Dad would like for her to sleep a little bit more so we could get some sleep!! But we're glad to see her being more herself again. Thanks for all the messages and hopefully Kassidy will be back on the computer soon and you all can talk to her on AIM or instant messenger.


April 16, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007 3:00 PM

Kassidy is feeling better today except for an occasional fever spike (from low blood counts). She received a transfusion this afternoon and they expect to remove her chest tube soon. She is expected to be moved from ICU to the children's floor later today! Hopefully, she'll be released from the hospital on Sunday.

April 16, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:00 PM

Today, when Kassidy went to the oncologist, a chest x-ray revealed a collapsed lung so she was admitted to the hospital. The collapse was a result of the port-a-cath installation. The lung has been "reinflated" and Kassidy is feeling okay. She is expected to be in the hospital for 2-3 days.

April 16, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 10:30 PM

Kassidy had a good day today. She was awake more and even ate part of a popsicle this morning. She watched some TV. Seemed to have less pain and didn't throw up at all! The nausea seems to be subsiding but she still doesn't seem to have any desire to eat. We continue to give her nutrients through the NG tube so she will not lose any more weight. Danny stayed with her today while I went to work. They looked at the website and Danny read some of the entries in the guest book to her. She seemed to enjoy that. I can't wait till she feels like being on the computer and can read all the entries herself. Thanks to everyone for all the encouraging words, thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow we go to have her lab work done. We are expecting that her white blood count will be very low. The Oncologist said this is normal but we will just have to wait and see how low. If it is OK then great but if low then she will have to have a transfusion while there.æ We'll pray for her counts to be up and surprise all the doctors!


April 16, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007 7:30 PM

Today we had to go back to the hospital to the oncologist's clinic. Kassidy threw up a lot last night and we had to stop the tube feedings. So, today they gave her some more fluids to keep her from being dehydrated. We also found out that one of the medicines she was getting in the hospital did not get called in to the pharmacy. We think that's what caused her to throw up.We picked that up on the way home andænow she is resting comfortably. We hope for a better night!

April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 8, 2007 10:10 AM

Happy Easter to everyone! Kassidy is planning to be discharged from the hospital later today. We are going home with tons of medicines and she also has a naso-gastric tube (that goes into her stomach) in place so that we can give her medicines and nutrition through this. She is having some trouble with nausea but this is common with the chemotherapy. Overall, she is doing better today and the oncologists are encouraged with the way her knee looks. The swelling has gone down some and there are signs that the Chemo is already working. Praise God!! Thanks to everyone that has signed her guest book. That means a lot to us and Kassidy. We sat by her bedside last night and read those to her. This gives us all encouragement that we can beat this!

Tammy,Danny, Kassidy and Courtney

April 16, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 2:12 PM

Kassidy was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday. We came to Roanoke to have some other tests done before surgery and she was running a fever, had fluid in her ears and felt terrible so they went ahead and admitted her. She got some fluids and antibiotics all through the night. This morning she went down to surgery to have the port put in and is back in the room already and doing well. She is hooked up to a morphine pump that keeps continuous pain medicine in her system. Right now she is snoring!! I think she will sleep the rest of today away! They are going to start the chemotherapy around 4pm tonight.

We also found out today that she will be going through around 40 weeks of treatments. So, maybe by Christmas we will be almost done. Long road ahead and each time she has chemo she will be admitted to the hospital for 3-6 days. She won't have chemo every week. She won't the next two weeks but the two weeks after and everything is subject to how she is doing and how her blood work is keeping steady. Things will change from week to week and sometimes daily. At the 11th week mark, we will have more scans to see if the chemo is working. If, at that time, the cancer is contained to her right femur then she will return to MCV and have the bone replaced by a rod in her femur and then come back and continue with the chemo.

Foster Family Journal

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