If you didn’t read the first post, please read “Izzy’s Battle with an Aggressive Brain Tumor” to learn who Izzy is and the first half of the story.
Izzy’s biopsy was performed on January 30th. It went well, and she was cognitively back to herself as soon as she woke up from anesthesia! However, she was really struggling with nausea (due to the anesthesia and chemo). She was in the hospital for a few days to recover, and was able to go home on February 1st. Then, we all just had to wait on the results!
The appointment to go over the biopsy results was on February 7th. When the appointment was over, AW called me to tell me what the doctor had said…
Fantastic news! The biopsy came back as a low-grade glioma!!!!!
Originally, the doctors were telling us that the tumor was most likely a DIPG. DIPG tumors have a survival rate of almost zero, and they tend to be fatal in a very small amount of time. That news upset all of us because we didn’t want to lose Izzy!
A low-grade glioma is pretty much the absolute best news we could have gotten! They didn’t mention exactly what type it was, but they were going to do genetic testing on the tumor to figure out more information about it. In general, low-grade gliomas (pediatric ones – Izzy is only 14) have survival rates in the 80 and 90 percent range! Also, occasionally the tumors will go into spontaneous remission in children.
Starting out, Izzy will be doing 5-6 weeks of radiation treatments. Every weekday, Izzy will be going to the hospital after school for radiation treatment. Yes: 5-6 weeks, 5 days a week. The results from the genetic testing on the tumor will determine if they will add anything to her treatment plan (such as targeted chemo or a gene therapy).
While we’re extremely excited that she can go back to school, and is likely going to survive her tumor, we are very worried about the financial impacts these treatments will have on the family. Thankfully, AW is able to work and help contribute to the finances… but that’s still not a lot. Radiation treatments are very expensive, and we have yet to find out exactly how much the insurance will charge her mother. I did update the YouCaring page to reflect what 30 days worth of “primary care doctor” copays and driving expenses would be. It’s about a 50 mile round trip drive from Izzy’s house to the hospital where her treatments are.
Obviously, radiation treatments and living expenses are difficult on any budget. Because of this, we are asking for help with the monetary expenses required to help Izzy survive. Here’s how you can help:
Donate to Izzy’s YouCaring page!
I do my best to keep it updated with updates as soon as something changes! This is also where to find the most up-to-date financial needs.
Even if you can’t afford to donate, please share the donation page on all your social media! The more we get the word out, the closer we will get to our goal!
Send Cards or Care Packages
We setup a PO Box so that people can safely send cards or packages to Izzy or her family.
Izzy loves K-Pop and Korean culture, she’s also artistic, and loves playing PS4 games (I can’t remember the names of her favorite games, but I can find them out for you if you really need/want to know). She also really enjoy Monty Python, especially “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Her favorite color is a deep, dark red (“blood red”).
Izzy’s big sister, AW, could also use some support. She’s temporarily moved back to Colorado to help out, so supporting her would be awesome! She is artistic and enjoys punk music (Days-N-Daze is a favorite band). She also enjoys the Japanese language and culture, but not at the same “obessed” level that Izzy loves Korean! She also enjoys playing PS4 games. Her favorite colors are cool colors (blues, purples, greens, and black/gray tones). AW also sells Cutco products, and if you’re in the Denver area and interested in Cutco, please let me know – she’d love to chat with you!
Both girls do love adorable Asian art and cute fuzzy animals (like doggies and kitties), as well!
If you’ve been through radiation treatments, or have any great ideas for pampering/self-care things, any small care packages would be great. The radiation treatments don’t take super long, so most of the stuff needed are things to recover at home or small things to do for an hour or two at the hospital. If you want to check if items you’re thinking of sending are okay, you can email me at findinglifessilversun[at]gmail.com (please put “Izzy Questions” in the subject line).
Please address any packages sent to the PO Box to “Elizabeth Bulfer.” Write somewhere on the envelope/box who you want it to go to so that I know who to give it to!
PO Box 631655
Littleton, CO 80163-1655
Thank you so much for all of the support we have already received! The donations and emotional support we have received has been phenomenal and humbling.