The Scoop on Skye
Once again illness has struck our community hard. Skye Landry, daughter of Wren Walker and Fritz Jung (of The Witches' Voice) , was diognosed with a brain tumor shortly after Christmas. These folks who have given so much to the Pagan Community need our prayers and healing energy for their child.
We recieved the following letter to the Community from Wren and Fritz:
Skye has suffered from headaches for quite a while. She thought that she had developed migraines. In December, the headaches got progressively worse and she thought then that perhaps she had a sinus infection. She decided to put off going to the doctor until after the holidays. Two days before Christmas, Skye went shopping with one of her friends. While they were out, she suddenly lost partial vision in one eye and her hands went numb. She couldn't open or close them. When she tried to tell her friend what was happening, words that had nothing to do with what she was trying to say came out. Her friend took her home and the episode subsided, but the headache remainedSand kept getting worse. Finally, the Monday after the Christmas weekend, she went to her doctor.
Skye's doctor ordered a CAT scan, read the results and made some phone calls. (In effect, he pulled in some favors and possibly a few strings as well, bless his heart.) Within an hour, Skye was on her way to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. An MRI scan was ordered that night. She called me around nine thirty pm and told me that she had a brain tumor. It had to be one of the worst moments of my life. Or so I thought then.
Skye had a craniotomy on Monday, Jan 3rd and her surgeons removed as much of the tumor as they safely could. She did extremely well after the operation and went home two days later. Then came the wait for the lab results of the biopsy. (pins and needles)
On January 20th, Skye went for her consultation. She has a mid-grade malignant glioma (grade III anaplastic oligoastrocytoma), a form of primary (originating only from brain cells and not spread from other parts of the body) brain cancer. No one knows the cause. There is no cure.
Because no cure yet exists for her condition (in grade III or IV), she is eligible to take part in voluntary clinical trials. This means that she will likely be part of a study using standard treatments (radiation and chemotherapy) in different ways on different test groups to determine which treatment sequence is more effective, if any. (If she was a grade IV-the
most malignant-she may have gotten more experimental drugs as there is little to lose at that point.) She figures that since she needs treatment anyway, she might as well help the research along and so perhaps the knowledge gained may help someone else down the road.
The main focus at this point is treatment to extend life-span and to keep the cancer from forming new tumors (which is pretty common. Mixed gliomas are aggressive, but not as aggressive usually as anaplastic astrocytoma is on its own.) The survival rate at two years is quite good (60%), but begins to tamper off after three years. This is the median average and some do worse and some do better. Skye believes that she will do better. She is young (28) and strong and has a wonderful attitude about facing this thing down. She is also pagan and is trained in meditation and visualization techniques which have been helpful for other cancer patients. Attitude counts for a lot as any physician will readily admit. She is willing to look
into alternative therapies as well in conjuction with her standard
Research for primary brain cancers is limited. Only 18,000 people will be diagnosed each year in the U.S. It makes up only about 3-5% of cancers and as such, large drug companies find it financially not a disease that would offer a good return on their research dollar investment. It is one of what is called the 'orphan diseases.' (Serious diseases that kill people every year, but research is not being done for a cure for them because the diseases do not kill ENOUGH people every year. Sad, but true. Only so much research money available.) Hospitals, medical centers and foreign drug companies provide most of the studies on primary brain cancer.
We've come up with a personal ribbon campaign, "Gray Matters-Support Primary Brain Cancer Research". The ribbon is a medium gray. (This is a personal thing and not part of or sponsored by TWV) We will continue to follow the latest developments in treatments and research and try to raise the awareness level in order to get someone, somewhere to provide even more.
Skye is confident that she can-and will- hold on for the cure to be found. Your well-wishes are appreciated. The energies sent her way by the pagan communities have greatly aided in keeping her courage up and her spirit strong.
One day at time, Skye will do what she has to do. One day at time, we will be there for her.
She does feel pretty isolated (they live in the boonies of New Hampshire),and she really would love to get some cards and letters, so if anyone feels so inclined, her address is-
Vanessa Skye Landry
P.O. Box 1326
Ashland, N.H. 03217
It needn't be eloquent. NO ONE knows what to say and she realizes this. Just any ole happy card will do. :-)
Thank you so very much for your concern. It does help to know that people care. It helps very much indeed.
Walk in Light and Love,
The Witches' Voice