Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Beginning

About three months ago, we had been noticing for a while that our three and a half year old dauther had a slight tremor in her right hand. We made a call to the doctor who indicated that it was probably just a concentration tremor and not to worry about it unless it seemed to get worse. Over time, the tremor became worse and we also noticed that she was falling a lot when walking and almost always was stumbling around. I was starting to get worried, but thought that maybe she was a little delayed in her fine motor skills as she has a cousin that has sturggled with that. Last Monday morning however, I noticed that she was not using her right hand to perform normal tasks (eating, brushing teeth, etc) and when I asked her to use her right hand she could use it for anything that required fine motor skills. I was scared and my husband and I decided to take her to the ER.

The ride in was really stressful, I knew in my gut somthing was really wrong, but at the same time kept trying to convice myself that she was find and I was just over reacting. We got to the hospital and they got us right in. The doctor looked at her and when he checked her reflexes he noticed that her right foot moved the wrong way when he stimulated it. He indicated that we would do a cat scan. She got a cat scan within an hour and they immediately told us that they had spotted a mass and that we needed an MRI. Next thing you know we were in an ambulance heading over to Central Main Imaging where they would perform the MRI. They didn't want to sedate her so she was awake the whole time and she was scared! I had to climb in the tunnel with her and she cried and screamed the whole time. The results confirmed that she had a tumor.

The doctor met with us and gave us the option of going to Maine Med or The Children's Hospital in Boston. We chose to go to Boston. We were required to take an ambulance down, I rode with Sammy and Zach followed behind in the car with Adrian. We were just so shocked. We got to The Children's hospital that night and they admitted us. We stayed in the hospital for three days and they have scheduled a surgery to remove all or as much of the tumor as they can for Thursday January 29th. They do not know what the tumor is, and we won't know what it is until about a week or so after her surgery.

We are now staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Boston and it is absolutely wonderful! Very homey and so helpful to be with other children and parents going through similar experiences. This is such a hard situation, but we are just so grateful for all the support and encouragement we have received from so many people - including complete strangers. I was always really shy about offering support to people going through hard times, it felt weird. Going through this situation has made me realize how important it is to reach out to the people around you. I want to extend a heart felt thank you to everyone who has sent positive thoughts and prayers our way and ask that you continue to do so.

I will do my best to update this on a regular basis so that you can follow Sammy's progress. She is such a strong resiliant little girl and I KNOW she will pull through this!


  1. There are many, many people back here sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers Sammy's way. I KNOW she will pull through this as well!

  2. You are truly a wonderful family and will pull through this together. Not only is Sammy strong and resilient, but you, Zach and Adrain are as well. That will give Sammy what she needs to pull through. Love you all:)

  3. Amanda, Zach, Sammy and Adrian,
    Please know that my family (including mothers and sister and everyone..) and I are thinking of you all right now. Grace wants to tell Sammy to be strong and fight and give it all you got! Zach and Amanda, hang in there we know it's so tough..we are here for you and will do anything we can!!
    Love and hugs coming your way...keep your chins up...She'll be outta there in no time! xoxoxo Lori Joe, Clayton, and Brooke

  4. Amanda,
    This blog is an excellent idea! Thank you for taking the time to keep all of us informed.
    I will continue to send positive energy to Sammy and your family, during my daily morning Yoga/Tong Ren Therapy routine!
    I am glad to hear that you are pleased with the Ronald McDonald House. Our home is always open to your family, if you need another home away from home, that is close to Boston!
    Stay Strong & hold onto positive thoughts!

  5. Hi Amanda and Zach,

    We're glad to hear that Sammy is hang'in in there and keeping everyone's spirits high! She'll cruise through her day on Thursday and will be buzzing around before you know it.

    We heard she made some cookies today? Is she taking after "gammy" (is that what she calls your mom?).

    Hope you guys are over the flu and getting some much needed rest.
    Thinking of you often and sending happy thoughts your way!

    Love ya, Uncle Jim, Aunt Laurie, Jack and Jim

  6. We are continuing to pray for all of you. We know that what you are going through is not easy. We are here to help with whatever you guys need. All you need to do is ask! I know that even that is hard, but PLEASE let us know if you need anything at all!
    All our Love-
    Rob, Beth, Anthony & Lauren Benson

  7. Hi Amanda, Zach, Sammy & Adrian,
    Love and positive prayers are being sent from Limerick too. Dave and I know that everything will work out okay for Sammy on Thursday. Boston Children's Hospital is the one of the best available. Dave and I are glad that you have a comfortable place stay while you are going through this. If you need anything at all, please let us know. The blog is a great way to stay in touch. Thanks for taking the time to do this for us.
    Love, Uncle Dave and Aunt Lee

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  9. We met a while back I am Lori Williams sister Rae Smith. My husband and I have a daughter Grace that was born with heart disease. I just wanted to let you know that you all are in my many thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and have faith!! Take care, I look forward to an update. xoxo Gracie Smith

  10. Dearest Amanda and Zack,
    This news came as a shock to your FISC family and our hearts go out to you during this difficult time. Please know that we are here to support you in any we possible. There are so many concerned people sending positive thoughts your way and praying for Samantha to quickly recover 100% post surgery. We miss you will stay in touch. All the best, Kris Avery and the rest of the FISC family

  11. Our prayers are with your family and we feel in our hearts that Samanatha will be find. Keep us posted on the blog and we're here if you need us.

    Uncle Rex and Aunt Barbara

  12. We think of you every day and are sending positive energy and love your way! I keep dreaming of you guys...all happy and healthy. I know Sammy will get through this. Stay strong and we love you!!

    Tiffany & Jonathan

  13. Amanda, Zach, Sammy, and Adrian,

    We are still praying for Sammy and the rest of you everyday. I'm glad to hear that you are staying at the Ronald McDonald house. The people there are so compassionate, caring, and just all around wonderful. I know I've said this already, and am probably starting to sound like a broken record, but I mean it, call if there's anything I can do for anyone of you guys. Sammy is a strong little girl and she will pull through this.....she has a special little angel watching over her in heaven.

    Sending all of our love and prayers,
    Lori, Josh, Isaac, and Trevor.

  14. Amanda, Sammy and family,

    You do not know me but I know Lori Clark and she has told me about Sammy and everything you are going through. I just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and praying for a safe and speedy recovery for Sammy. I just read her story and am so sorry for the things you are going through. Sammy has many special angels watching over her.
    With kind regards,
    Suzanne, Tom, Garrett, Landon & Lucas Herrin

  15. Hi Guys,
    All of a sudden I have this peaceful,positive feeling that everything is going to be OK.
    Sammy is such a sweet innocent child only good things can happen.She has a very special angel
    wrapping her wings around her to keep her safe and sound.Every wakeing minute Sammy is in our

    We Love you all so much
    Mom and Dad

  16. Ahh yes the attitude...I am familiar with that...Change is scary, I am with you on that, and even though we may not be there physically, we are with you in our hearts and our thoughts. We are standing beside both you and Zach and we are so proud to have such cool headed, strong friends to encourage us through our "tough" times.
    When the thinking too much and "whatif's" creep in, take a breath, and take a step back. You'll bump into one of us, we are all behind you!
    Stay positive! Lori

  17. My mom Dot works at Shaws and wanted to tell you that we are saying our prayers for Sammy.

  18. Wow, the power of positive thinking and medicine! Amazing!! I am so glad to hear about the success!!! GO SAMMY!!!! You kicked butt girl!!! And you too Zach and Amanda! I am so pleased to hear all of this good news. Look at what you got through together as a family! We ar still thinking of you and hope that her recovery is quick and that you will be able to go home soon. Love Lori Joe and kids
    For some reason I can't post anywhere but here from the link in my email so it might sound out of order sorry L