My name is Naomi Balamuth and I am one of Rachel's oncologists at CHOP. Rachel and her family asked me to update you on her treatment.
As you all know, Rachel had her surgery on May 3rd, 2011. We recently were able to review the pathology slides, and are very happy with the results. When we looked at Rachel's tumor under the microscope, we saw that the large majority of her tumor was dead. This means her tumor responded very well to the chemotherapy. In addition, Dr. Dormans (Rachel's surgeon) was able to achieve "negative margins" -- all the tumor was removed with a rim of healthy tissue around it. That's also great news because it means Rachel will not need radiation therapy. Radiation can have significant long-term side effects for our cancer survivors, so we were very happy to cross that off the list of treatments for Rachel!
Moving forward, she will continue to receive the same chemotherapy that she got prior to her surgery. She will be admitted to the hospital every 2 weeks. So far, she has tolerated the treatment beautifully. Her smile and positive attitude are remarkable! It is a true pleasure seeing her in clinic each week. We have every expectation that she will continue to do well, and we hope for a bright future, full of time with family, swim meets, and pillow fights!