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.

Monday, August 15, 2005

My Husband Only Wanted What is Best for Katie

My husband, Edward, only wants what is best for Katie. Many people have misunderstood him. He is very direct and there is nothing to read in between the lines. He is a researcher and PhD and so he studies and researchs everything. When Katie got sick with Hodgkin's Disease he went immediately and looked up everything he could find out about it. That is his nature. He cares for Katie so much that he would even trade places with her if that were possible and bear the suffering for her. He loves Katie so much. I don't understand how people could think he didn't care enough to get her the treatments the doctors thought she needed that the state had to step in. That just isn't so. He is a loving father and spends much time with all his kids; much more than most dads. Edward was the one who took Katie to all of the doctor appointments.

Perhaps the doctors were offended when Edward asked questions. If they knew their stuff, they shouldn't have been. Parents should ask questions of their doctors. The patients rights of the hospital say the doctors are supposed to explain the recommended treatments to you, side effects, possible complications, and alternative choices. When has your doctor explained all of that to you? Ours never did! I now found out that Dr. Alter is NOT board certified as a Pediatric Hematology/Oncologist. He held himself out to the court as an expert and he wasn't.
And when we wanted to be referred to another doctor he kept insisting that it had to be a pediatric hematology/oncology doctor.

Edward did more than most parents and researched all the scientific journals for the best and latest treatment programs for Katie. He found out that some doctors were not recommending radiation for children as young as Katie because of long term side effects. He also found out that research has shown that the 5 year survival rates were usually not improved by using radiation on young children and that chemo alone avoided the secondary cancers induced by the radiation.

The doctor, either not keeping up with current research, or because of pride, or just because of some standard protocol which is due to change very shortly, or locked into a research protocol with our kid, decided that Katie had to receive that radiation and called in CPS to force it on her. CPS did not try to work or talk to Edward about this. Nor were we included in the emergency hearing before the Judge, even though they knew we had an attorney. This whole situation could have been avoided if everyone sat down to talk first, and Katie would not have to be suffering through this all alone without family. That is the real tradegy here!! She would have got treatments in our care, and possibly radiation if we had exhausted all other treatments and they didn't work. Edward is a logical and reasonable man and weighs the evidence and consequences. That is all good parents can be expected to do: right or wrong.

Edward and I wanted what was best for Katie for her specific type of cancer and for her as an individual. These treatments do not have to be set in stone. Edward looked at the situation and looked at the short and long term treatment effects and made the best choice for our daugther at the time. Katie and I agreed with him. The doctors never looked at the long term effects of the treatments. The reseachers have, but much data is lacking beyond 5 and 10 years. Here we have a girl of 13 that has 70 years of life to live. What will they be like after these treatments? What right does the state have to override the parents choice in medical care as long as we were continuing to seek and accept medical care for Katie. None! Edward won't stop or rest until Katie is returned home. He never gives up. He puts his kids first in his life. They are his life, without them he would give up and die.

Michele Wernecke