On June 2, 2016, Adrina was taken to the doctor for a light fever and no appetite which had been going on for about a week. Adrina is a very good eater so when I noticed that she would tell me that she was hungry but couldn’t eat, I knew something was wrong. At her appointment her doctor felt a mass of and thought maybe it could be constipation. He sent us for an X-ray, followed by an ultrasound. During her ultra sound we noticed that the person doing it had a bit of a hard time seeing her right kidney. The ultrasound technician then asked if she had been complaining of any pain, which she hadn’t. From there she asked me to wait while she went to get a doctor.

At that moment, the tone of her voice made my stomach turn; I already knew what that meant. The doctor came in and told me “the ultrasound shows that your daughter has something called Wilms Tumor, I’m sorry.” At that moment I began to cry and so did Adrina being scared from seeing me upset. Her dad had just arrived to Vegas for work so I had to call him and tell him, and he left from there right away and got back to us that night. From there she was admitted for blood tests and more scans.

Adrina didn’t know exactly what was going on yet, we didn’t want to explain everything until we knew all the details. Scans and blood work were done; this was a Friday so they let us go home that night to get prepared to come back Monday for her surgery. Monday came and we got her settled in her room and this is when the Child Life Specialist came to explain everything that was going to happen to her. Adrina was going to have a major surgery to remove her kidney and her tumor along with adding her port. After the Child Life Specialist talked to her she got nervous and so did we. Adrina’s sister, Alana, had a very hard time accepting that all of this was going to happen to Adrina. She asked over and over “does my sister have cancer? Do people die from cancer?.” We did our best to explain things but it took them both a while to understand.

Adrina had surgery on June 6, 2016, it lasted about 3 ½ hours. Once it was all over the surgeon came out to let us know that she did great, and everything came out wonderful. He removed the kidney and tumor successfully. She was in ICU for 2 days and then she spent the remaining 4 days in the regular pediatric floor. Adrina surprised everyone with how fast she began to do everything in order to go home. The day before we went home the doctor’s had the results from the biopsy and so on. Everything came back with the best results, except the fact that the cancer had spread to her lung and some lymph nodes which is why she was considered a stage 4.

She got to go home on a Sunday and was still in some pain off and on but nothing she couldn’t handle. On June 16th we had to go to LA to begin radiation on her abdomen. She got the lowest dose of radiation and it was done for a week, it caused nausea and vomiting. Then while we were in LA she also had her first round of chemo on June 20th. She tolerated it very well, as if she didn’t get it at all. Once her week was completed we came home and continued chemo for the next 24 weeks along with going to the clinic for labs twice a week. When her 25 week regimen was up she had scans done to see if her tumors were gone or still there. Her scans came back showing that they were still there. Her doctors then moved her treatment from 25 weeks to 33 along with upping the strength of chemo, also adding 4 one week hospital stays for 5 days of chemo and another round of radiation. As parents we see this as bad news because we had hoped and prayed that by the 25th week this monster would be gone, but with Adrina’s high spirits we knew this was just another trial and she would get through it. She then began her new chemo and got through radiation on her lungs.

The new chemo took a toll on her, making her sick and tired. Adrina still made the best of things reassuring us that “the chemo is strong mom, but I’m stronger!’. Her 4 hospital stays were easy ones, fortunately Dad and I had to worry about keeping her busy and entertained rather than worrying about her feeling sick. During Adrina’s second hospital stay she began to feel excruciating pain in her stomach, so bad that she was begging us to help her. After a day of trying to calm it with morphine and other meds, her nurse told the doctor that something was wrong and she needed a CT scan. The scans now showed that her scar tissue from the first surgery had wrapped around her intestines and suffocated them, not letting anything in or out. This led to her having to have a tube put down into her stomach through her nose and an emergency surgery. That surgery went well and everything inside was fine. She also recovered from that really fast. Now her 33 weeks have finished and she has finished her treatment. Unfortunately, her final CT scans were not clear. They showed that she still has 3 nodules on her lung. Next step is surgery, again, to remove the nodules and send them to see if they are living wilms or dead scar tissue. If they are dead tissue then case closed Adrina will now be done all together. If one happens to be alive they will watch her and see if any more grow.

Adrina’s life, along with the family has changed and has been flipped upside down. During treatment Adrina could no longer go to school, play sports, go to kid’s birthday parties, go to kid friendly places, such as the park, or be around large crowds of people. When her ANC counts are low that means her immune system isn’t strong enough to fight infection. Adrina has endured such pain; I don’t know how she gets through all of it with such positivity. Having to be poked so many times a week in her port for labs and chemo, strong chemo, blood and platelet transfusions, hospital stays, weight loss, no appetite, medication at home, shots at home, having to wear a mask in public and being ok with being bald. She is such an inspiration to us all, she is the true definition of a super hero. Her only being 4 when all this started happening was scary for her, but as time went on she began to understand. Understanding medical terminology instead of learning how to spell and learn things at school is sad in a way because we all want our kids to live normally and go to school. Yes she has been limited to what she can and cannot do but she never used that as an excuse, she never let cancer be an excuse.