Pray for Katie

Katie is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, a lymphatic cancer. This site is a request to pray for her. Call her prayer pager 1-361-333-KATY (5289), enter your ZipCode and # key, to let her know you have prayed for her. Updates of her progress will be posted on the site. The Power of Prayer is Awesome.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Radiation Treatments

When we started our treatments Dr. Alter explained to me and Katie his treatment protocol. Dr Alter said Katie would get 2 chemo treatments + radiation OR 4 chemo treatments only. If response to chemo was good after 2 treatments it would be followed by radiation if not we would get 2 more chemo treatments. That was the way it was explained to us before we began any treatments. Now Katie has completed the 4 chemo treatments and now the doctor is changing the treatments. Now they want Katie to go through the radiation treatments also.

We were refered to and saw the radiologist Dr. Garlitos on May 11th. We asked him questions as to the dangers and side effects of the treatments. He told us she would receive 21 units over 3 weeks and that this was a much lower dose than used in the past of 35 units on adults. But Katie is a small child with little body mass and proportionately that is a much higher dose than an adult.

The Dangers of Radiation Treatment

Radiation would be done to Katie's chest. She is 12 yrs old and hasn't developed sexually and is not physically mature yet. The radiation would damage her lungs (cystic fribrosis), her heart muscle would be damaged, her breasts would be damaged and would likely develop breast cancer later, and her spinal column in her back would be damaged and she would not grow any taller and may have learning problems. Her thyroid and thymos glands would be damaged and she would have hormone problems. Immediate side effects are nausea and vomiting, low blood counts, mouth sores, and skin burns.


  • At Thu Jun 09, 11:54:00 AM 2005, Blogger Ellen said…

    Myname is Ellen. I justturned 36 years old. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins when I was 15 years old. I had surgery and radiation treatments in August of 1985. In January of 86 I had more surgery to remove my spleen and recieved additional radiation. I recieved a total of 78 radiation treatments between Aug 85 and April of 86.I will be in remission 20 years this coming August. I have NO health problems with my LUNGS. No signs of BREAST cancer, I was a straight A student. I have 3 children who were all born healthy and remain so. The only side affect I have was that my thyroid was removed in 2001. I would not be here if I refused treatment. My life is my family. I work 40 hours a week as a Motivational speaker and Trainer for a major casino on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. I am begging you to please consider your options again and allow the doctors to complete the treatments. I am very aware of my body and still have regular checkups. BUT I HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS due to radiation. Please email me at ehwh00 (that's zero zero like the number)

  • At Thu Jun 09, 02:30:00 PM 2005, Blogger Harlan said…

    I just read ellen's comments. I am a man of 53 years of age. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's over 20 years ago also. Mine was staged at 2-A which meant I had affected lymph nodes on both sides of my neck and upper chest. All of my Hodgkin's was above my diaphragm, hence the 2-A staging. I had surgery to remove my spleen (which is not always required now) and 30 radiation treatments. I have had no problems from the radiation. The radiologists were very careful in "mapping" out just where the radiation was required and "shielded" the other areas. I experienced nasea during the treatment times and lost body hair only where radiation treatments affected it, unlike chemo which can affect all your hair as I am sure you are aware. I also became pretty weak during treatments. As soon as the treatments were done, my apetite and strength imediately returned. I received a (good for life) pnemonia shot immediately before my surgery. I have never had any lung diseases or any problems resulting from the radiation. Hodgkin's is about the most treatable cancer although each person's treatment will be different depending on how it is diagnosed. I would encourage you to go through with whatever treatment plan you doctor(s) advise. A second opinion is a very wise choice. I strongly believe the doctor's opinion is far better than the government agencies involved. I don't think the government should be involved with your case at all. My prayers are with you and hope that what ever avenue you choose, you will live a long and prosperous life. Please don't be afraid of the radiation treatments. They will be far better than the consequences of not receiving the treatments, but again, do not be afraid of getting another doctor(s) opinion. God Bless!

  • At Thu Jun 09, 03:22:00 PM 2005, Blogger jen said…

    Cystic fribrosis is genetic....

  • At Thu Jun 09, 04:50:00 PM 2005, Blogger jpenni01 said…

    I think she meant pulmonary fibrosis...a side effect of several chemo treatments and radiation

  • At Thu Jun 09, 05:12:00 PM 2005, Blogger Gary said…

    My name is Gary. I am a 49 year old man who was diagnosed with Hodgkins when I was 18 years old. I had radiation and chemo from Jan to Dec in 1975 after surgery to remove my spleen. I had no major medical problems until 1992. Since then, I have had many problems (too many to list here) due to my radiation treatments.
    I think your parents are correct to seek out all other possibilities first! The state should not be involved in this.
    However, if your cancer looks like it is getting worse, please get the
    radiation. Even with my problems, I still love life and family and I would not be here without the treatments.
    You are in my prayers.

  • At Mon Jun 13, 02:38:00 AM 2005, Blogger shayne1010 said…

    35 years ago my sister was diagonsed with Hodgkins. She was treated with radiation when it was still in experimental stages. She had surgery to remove the lump in her lymph nodes also.

    Now she is 49. She lives in England and is married.

    In school she was an excellent student, much better than my brother and I. She has had some health problems as a result of the radiation, but not serious like your doctor mentioned. She has some problems with her spine, but that tends to run in the family. All the other problems your doctor mentioned have not occurred in her. She received over 100 radiation treatements, and later over 20 chemotherapy treatments.

    Your cancer can be cured.

  • At Fri Jun 17, 04:08:00 PM 2005, Blogger Helen said…

    Greetings, Wernecke family. I did not have Hodgkins, but I did have osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) @ age 15, for which I was treated by surgery, chemotherapy & radiation. My radiation treatments were both to the site of the cancer (upper arm) pre-surgery and to the chest post-surgery. The chest radiation was prophylactic to prevent secondary disease in the lung--there was no evidence of spread.

    I seem to be a case study for later-age cancers developing within in the field of radiation received as a child. At age 39 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had my left breast removed. At age 46 I was dignosed with breast cancer and had my right breast removed. At age 47 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had my thyroid removed. I am now 49 and apparently cancer-free.

    In my case the chest radiation was given when there was no evidence of cancer in my chest; in your case they are treating active disease. Cancer doctors no longer give prophylactic/preventative radiation because of exactly what I am experiencing (and you fear). But, if it can save Katie's life and give her another 25 years before she has to deal with cancer again--hey, that's 25 years she may not have had at all!

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