Chemo #7

We arrived at the hospital at 8:00 AM on Thursday for the MRI. The nurse in Radiology started the IV, so contrast could be administered halfway through the MRI. The ultrasound wasn’t available, but Leah was very relaxed. We looked at an “I Spy” book during the poke. 

Leah’s head must be absolutely still during the MRI. She wears ear plugs, then ear phones so she can listen to her “MRI” playlist from her iPad. Taylor Swift, Jack Johnson, John Mayer- quiet songs. Next, foam rectangles are stuffed around her head to fill the space in the headrest, and a mask is placed over her face. I remind her… Eyes closed, so your eyeballs aren’t moving. Keep your tongue still. And no bopping to the music. She panicked a little when they first slid her into the tunnel, but we brought her back out and she was able to pull herself together. An hour and forty-five minutes later, the Child Life Specialist gave her a new version of the game Clue for being so brave! New rooms, new weapons, new rules, and new information about the suspects. Who knew Colonel Mustard was a strong athletic man and a great storyteller?

Next, we headed up to the fifth floor for chemo. Dr. Rush always shares the new images immediately following the MRI. Although she can’t provide detailed information, she does speak briefly with the radiologist in order to give us general findings. We were elated to learn that the chemo is affecting the tumor. The official results stated that “there is mild improvement in the overall tumor bulk.” Even though the change is small, it is promising that we see results after only three months of therapy. Thank you so much for your continued prayers. It means so much to us. 💜

A few more blessings followed. The staff surprised Leah with the most beautiful birthday cake! Very fancy- a fondant bow and fondant polka dots! It looked just like a Cake Boss cake, which is one of Leah’s favorite shows.


Later, one of Leah’s closest friends stopped for a surprise visit! Homemade blueberry muffins, a long game of Clue, and M&Ms helped pass the time. Needless to say, we did not go home hungry!

Thursday evening and Friday were difficult, because she wasn’t feeling well. Still lying low this week. Squeezed in a few hours of school this afternoon, but it was a challenge.

Yesterday, one of Leah’s friends posted a message on Instagram to “Wear purple for Leah Merriman.” Today at school, so many of the kids were sporting Leah’s favorite color to show her support. She posted this reply on Instagram:

“Wow! Everyone is so sweet and supportive! I might not be at school all the time but all you guys are amazing. Childhood cancer is hard and I love all the support. Texts after school with my friends and everyone gives me hope. That is the best thing for me to do. It makes me so happy. Hashtag BraveStrongGirl! Thanks everyone! 💜✌️#teamleah”