Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Ray of Hope

     In case you missed the video posted on our Facebook page, here is an update on Hazel's scan results:


     Hazel's doctors could not detect a single bit of cancer inside her little body, neither in her scans or her bone marrow biopsies, and boy are we thankful! 9 months ago, when our little Hazelnut relapsed, things looked very bleak and grim.  Statistics for relapsed Neuroblastoma are so bad, that we didn't even discuss them with her doctors.  And to be honest, there were many a night where Aaron and I collapsed in heaps of tears, thinking about the strong possibility that we may have to let our daughter go.
     When treatment began to work, I scarcely allowed myself to hope, knowing full well that Neuroblastoma is smart and tricky, and can mutate in a way to resist treatment that was once effective.  My deep depression and anxiety has made it very difficult for me to take a deep breath, to see any light, or feel any hope.  And when you feel hopeless, you feel helpless.  These last 9 months have truly been a hell that I would never wish upon anyone.

     But today is different.

     Today, there is light.

     Today, there is joy.

     Today, there is hope.

     Today, my daughter's body is rid of this disease, and we can take that deep breath, and keep on fighting.  While I still struggle with bitterness, exhaustion, fear, and anger; today it is a little bit easier to see through those feelings, and grab onto that hope that I have so longed for.

     After going over these results with her team, and knowing how Neuroblastoma cells like to hide out, dormant, ready to grown at any minute, we have all decided that it would be best to continue chemotherapy for another three cycles (5 day courses every 4 weeks), and scan again.  If these next scans are again clear, she can be finished with this harsh regimen and begin a maintenance therapy for an indefinite amount of time.

     We sit here now, in the infusion center, beginning what will hopefully be the first of the LAST three rounds of chemo, and I can't even begin to describe to you what it feels like to see a possible end to this part of our journey.  The fact that it is even remotely possible that Hazel could be in school in the fall, and that we would not be spending our days within these hospital walls, is an absolute miracle!  However, it is still difficult for me to grapple with the fact that this cancer life will be with us forever, whether it is with Hazel beating this beast once and for all and I live with the fear of it coming back, or that it indeed comes back for her to battle once again.  I long for the mundane, for the boring, for the normal.  I'm terrified to keep living this life, for fear what it might do to my daughter, my family, and myself.  But alas, this is our life, and I have to teach myself to choose to find the positives, to find the joy and to find the hope.  Please pray that we can keep learning how to do that, and that God may fill us with His peace that surpasses all understanding, as I know that we cannot fight this battle alone.



  1. That is so exciting!! I understand a bit. Our last MIBG showed the tumor is dead and NED but we still have the surgery in a couple weeks then we'll see from there. But congrats! And stupid cancer.

  2. I am so happy to hear this! I cannot even imagine what your life has been! you are a remarkable strong lady with wonderful kids! they have all been through this with hazel! Remember that God is there for you! Depression is terrible to go through, don't let anyone tell you different! Take a deep breath,hug your babies and say I can do this, God is on my side! prayers to you***Jo Wade

  3. I am so happy to hear this news. May God look over you.

  4. God Bless you! I can't imagine what you have been through but I know without a doubt you are Avery strong woman! I will keep you and Hazel and your entire family in my prayers! Hopefully your trials are over and wonderful things will be in store for you! With love from Buffalo NY

  5. Such wonderful news! I'm so happy for you, Hazel and the rest of your family!

  6. Lauren, Aaron and especially Hazel. Although our battles are completely different I empathize with all Hazel and the Hammersley family has had to endure. It is impossible to have the unthinkable thoughts when facing incermountable odds. It is unfathomable for any parent when face to face with life or death of a child. I commend all of you for your continued valor and strength to kill the cancer monster. Hazel you are a warrior princess! I know it's is exhausting to stay strong and keep fighting but I also know you all will.
    So glad to hear the news of no signs of cancer!!! YAY!!!
    Know that the Fisher family will be praying and thinking of you all... God bless the Hammersley's and especially Hazel! ������������
    Alan, Susan, and Casey Fisher..

  7. I am so thankful for the update. I have been checking daily to see if there was a new one posted. This is such wonderful news!! My family has been praying for you and your family. I recently decided to donate 14 inches of hair to wigs for kids, mostly because of reading your posts and being inspired to want to help in any way possible. We will be praying for you and your family all the way from Iowa and thank you for the update!!

  8. Congratulations Hazel, may you live a long and happy fulfilling life. It's has been a pleasure watching you, on Facebook, these last few years we cried with you, we laughed with you, we prayed for you and now we will celebrate with you. Love always, one of your fans Michael

  9. I stand in the gap with you...lifting you and your family up. I can't begin to understand your thoughts or situation. I will be believing this is your miracle and sweet Hazel is healed TOTALLY in the name of Jesus...breathe...smile...hope <3

  10. God bless all of you and especially Hazel! I have followed your journey for a very long time and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to read this new post. May God hold all of you in his hands and continue to protect Hazel! Love and prayers to your entire family! God Bless! Sandy (from Chicago).