Thursday, September 17, 2009

Remission, Five Years Later

Sunday, September 13, 2009 marked the 5th year since remission was announced. It took a month for her to go into remission. The way it works is that they do a bone marrow aspiration, for diagnosis. Then a week of chemo therapy is administered. Seven days later they do another bone marrow aspiration. The goal is that they can achieve remission in that very short period of time. Before the chemo makes the kids sick. If you fail the first test then they schedule one 30 days post diagnosis. If the first one fails they bump up the length and intensity of treatment. You are moved from bad to very bad. Words like High Risk and extra phases of treatment are added.

Because of her age and the fact that there was a mass in her skull/brain made her High Risk to start with but the lack of remission on day 7 was a blow. It made us very nervous at the time and I didn't know what I know today. If kids don't get into remission within 2 months, they don't pass go and head directly to bone marrow transplant. No one ever wants one of those.

So on the 12th of September both of us were thinking about the 5 year mark. That was supposed to be when Mary-E received her mini cooper, the one I promised her 4 years ago. But then that was before 5 years of treatment and no license and bad juju with money and the economy. But the 5th year was still on her mind.

She quietly said to me: Mom I made it, I get to graduate from Holy Names. That is enough.

It is not often that she lets us see into those dark worrying places of her mind. Where she harbors are the years of pain and suffering and worry.

As we watched the fireworks from the ferry on Saturday night, I gave her a hug and told her they were for her. For her birthday, her remission birthday, for her survival.

Now, we wait, 5 more years before they will say she is cured.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Matching Socks

Socks, they are a bother. They seem to hide, don't stay with their friends and seem to like swirling in the sock basket endlessly. The theory is that if one keeps putting the socks in the basket they will be matched eventually. IT IS A LIE.

So this week-end is the week-end that the socks are either with their friends or they go to Good Will where people with much more cleaver mines than mine will do something with them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

New Year, New Start and Lasts

Nothing has really changed other than the books get heavier and the days longer as the work more complicated. Mary-E is having a great year so far as they all settle in and begin to celebrate "lasts".

Last First Day of School
Last Classes at Holy Names
Last First Assembly of the year
Last Homecoming
Last Christmas Ball
Last high school finals

We count them down and begin to disconnect for the firsts to follow next year.

First year at college
First time in the dorm
First roommate trouble
First time cafeteria Jello

All in all it is an adventure. One of many to come.