april 2014 seemed like a lifetime away. but in no time, hair fell out. MRIs ticked by. chemo came and went. labs were monotonous. soon it was spring, reese's birthday. summer and vacation. halloween marked a year. then christmas and a new baby.
this new year surprised me with a feeling of promise. i constantly felt renewed and less worried. confident and hopeful. it was the year chemo would end. whether it ended for a lifetime or ended for a little while, it had done its job. an adult sized fist of a tumor was resected to smaller, and then again after growth. and then this protocol - which continued to amaze us.
and now, while i feel as if the rug has been taken out from under me, i have to trust that things will be okay. that we will be okay. no one can stay on chemo forever. no matter what sort of safety net it seems to be.
we went in yesterday, showed off walking skills, had labs drawn. chatted with our favorite people.
(reese's awesome dress by rhinestones and tutus)
our oncologist told me they were going to reduce the cisplatin by 50% this time because of her high freq hearing lost seen on the last test. sounded okay to me, being the last one. thank heavens this didn't happen before this.
there isn't much to say except for what i did last night. this morning we were unhooked until the 2nd dose of etoposide and so we went to the playroom. something we have done, now, twice. she has always been on contact restrictions, had an infection, hooked up to too much… but today, no.
EJ brought ASM up to the hospital today. i wanted them to know that this part was over. to see it. yesterday in clinic, our sweet nurses gave reese some gifts (and a signed card that will go in a frame in her room asap haha) - and so ASRM played tea party the whole time we waited for the etoposide to finish. "aidan!! more tea!!" reese hollered. it warmed my heart to watch her pretend. what a big girl.
then we were surprised with such a warm and loving "goodbye". gifts and a sign and… i could barely hold my tears back. i had thought we'd just smile and wave. we'd be back next week for labs. but they - the nurses, child life, doctors, everyone - knew exactly how to make it special. ASM tore through wrapping paper to "help" reese see her gifts and, now that we're at home, everything has been opened, put together, sorted, and loved.
reese was de-accessed and that was it.
we left in our large family caravan of people and headed home. one finished protocol behind us. hopefully the only one reese will need.
in december 2012, i couldn't imagine being here so quickly. it seemed so far away.
but here we are.
thank you. HERE is a flickr set of the photos people submitted if you want to read the signs :)
thank you for praying for reese. for loving her and sharing her story. for talking about her with your children. for stopping me in public to meet reese and say hi. for making me laugh when i am sad. thank you for reading and following.
we will always have wonder. we'll always need help. things will always be changing. but i am blessed to have constant prayer. now we start to plan things for the future, no matter what it may hold.