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Our Sweet, Precious Angel
Victoria was many things to many different people. She was a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a neighbor, a friend. She was a model, an actress, a singer, a dancer, an artist, a student, and a patient. If you asked her, she was a Cub Scout. Or "scub scout" as she would say when she was 4. Victoria was a ray of sunshine. She was that special sparkle that lights up a room full of people. Victoria was a "girlie girl" that loved to put on dresses but then go dig in the dirt. She never met a stranger. She was always happy. She had the most wonderful attitude and always wanted to please. She loved to share with her brothers and sister. She was always thinking of them. She was a very strong little girl. Victoria never complained. She loved her family deeply. She was the best medicine taker and was quick to tell you she was the best hugger "because that's what Uncle Jim says".
She was proud of her accomplishments. She was proud she lost 2 teeth at the same time on the way home from Grandma's house and the tooth fairy would be coming. She was proud she got to be a flower girl. She was proud when she was a witch for Halloween, a nice witch she insisted. She was proud when she learned to swim and when she learned to ride her bike. She was proud when she learned to skip a bar on the monkey bars at school and when she learned to read sight words. She was proud to be the line leader in kindergarten and Mrs. Pumpkin in the class play. She was proud she was chosen to go to modeling convention. Especially when she won first place in the Spokesmodel category. She was proud she was chosen to audition for sit coms in California and commercials and print ads in Miami. She was proud when she learned to tap her toes in dance class. She was proud she was a cheerleader for Travis. Later she was proud when she learned to do everything all over again: crawl, stand, walk, swim, write, eat, drink, dress herself, ride a bike....so many things.
Victoria loved the color purple. She loved flowers. She loved broccoli and cheese. She liked Mary-Kate and Ashley movies. She liked to hear them sing when they were little. She liked to watch SpongeBob and The Fairly Odd Parents. She thought Timmy Turner was funny. She also liked to watch Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, and Hello Kitty. She liked to go to the beach and dig in the sand and look for seashells. She liked to go to the races with her daddy and "her kids". She loved to color with markers on plain white paper. She wanted to be an artist when she grew up. She loved to listen to music and sing. Her favorites were Rhett Akins, Dr. Jean (who sang silly kid songs), and Mercy Me which she listened to every night while she slept. She loved Jesus. She said many times that Jesus was taking care of her.
She was our sweet, precious angel.
We will miss her more than she will ever know.
She will live forever in our hearts.
In the middle of October 2003, on a Saturday morning, Victoria threw up at home and then again while jumping up and down cheering for her brother's football game.We left the game and took her to Urgent Care. It was assumed she may have a stomach virus, but she only threw up when she was active.She began having headaches and we were told she had tension headaches. She was only six years old so this made no sense.She continued to have headaches, mostly at night and also became constipated.She went to the doctor 4 more times before her eyes crossed on January 6th, 2004 while at school.Her kindergarten teacher called and said she thought something was wrong. Her eyes were crossed and she was missing her mouth while trying to eat her sandwich. Her balance was off. She went from the pediatrician's office to the hospital for a MRI and then…
On January 7th, 2004 we heard words we will never forget, "I have some bad news, Victoria has a brain tumor". Victoria was diagnosed with disseminated Medulloblastoma (cancerous tumors in the brain & spine) on January 8th at Egleston (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta). She underwent emergency surgery on January 9th to have a temporary drain placed in her brain. She had surgery to partially remove the tumor in her brain. Part of the tumor was on the brainstem and could not be removed.She had a shunt placed on the right side of her head to control hydrocephalus.Her shunt was removed after a staph infection in April of 2004 and she was able to leave the shunt out. She also had a port. During the first part of treatment, Victoria had 33 treatments of radiation with 5 doses of chemotherapy (Vincristine). She began chemo again on April 9, 2004 and her protocol was to receive eight 6 week cycles of Cisplatin, CCNU, and Vincristine. On October 1, 2004, her protocol was changed to Cytoxan and Etoposide due to damage in her kidneys. Victoria had a life threatening reaction to the IV Etoposide so on December 1, 2004, after 2 great kidney tests within normal limits, her protocol was switched back to the original protocol of Cisplatin, CCNU, & Vincristine (but at half the dosage). After another good kidney test in February 2005, her chemo was increased to 100%. She finished the 8th cycle of Cisplatin, CCNU, and Vincrisitne at the end of June 2005.Victoria received red blood eleven times and platelets sixteen times.
Victoria was unable to stand alone or walk for 11 months. She learned to crawl, walk with her walker and finally on October 30, 2004, to stand alone. She learned to walk alone and she even learned to ride her bike with training wheels, tie her shoes and do push-ups! After 29 weeks, she finally ended her battle to come off of the steroids which caused extreme muscle weakness.She worked hard every day to regain her strength and move in a positive direction. An MRI in June 2005 showed the tumors in her brain to still be gone and it showed no change in the small spot still in her spine since the scan in March 2005. The scan did show a NEW spot at the very bottom of her spine. After 3 spinal taps negative for tumor cells, a positive PET scan and another MRI which showed growth in the spot in question, Victoria was diagnosed as relapsed with recurrent disseminated Medulloblastoma.
Victoria overcame bacterial meningitis twice. She had 3 CSF leaks and 7 surgeries (two were emergency surgeries). She had a hard time getting her skin to grow back together from surgeries because of the radiation and steroids. She overcame metabolic acidosis. She received lithotripsy three times to break up kidney stones in both kidneys. She had two curves in her spine but did not receive treatment for scoliosis. She overcame C-diff and an ear infection. She struggled with atelectasis in the lower part of her left lung. We prayed and searched for something, anything to help as there is no cure available.
After standard therapy Victoria took two cycles of Temozolomide but it didn't work for her. She participated in a research study with St. Jude Children's Hospital using Cloretazine. It didn't work either. She attempted to try a course of Etoposide and Accutane during the last weeks of her life. Victoria went to "live with Jesus" as she said on November 6, 2005.
You may read more about Victoria's journey at www.caringbridge.org/ga/victorianewsome.
Thank you for your prayers and support.