Friday, March 4, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I know I've referenced this phrase many times in Amanda's treatment, but it is so fitting. The steps forward deserve the most attention. She bounced back from a nasty migraine. She's had a lot more viral infections lately, but no fevers. She hasn't been to the hospital with a fever in over a year. I know we are unique to be this fortunate as this is not the fate of many other pediatric cancer patients. We have finally mastered how to keep her comfortable after her lumbar punctures. She is keeping up with her school and all the extras that come with a gifted program. She managed to learn how to ski this past month. And the step forward that deserves the most attention, she turned 10. It was so pleasant to watch her excitement and anticipation. And as parents, we are so grateful to be blessed with another year of her life. Now that we are approaching the final months of her treatment, we can see many more birthdays ahead. It brings some much needed happiness and optimism.

Our step back; her last treatment round triggered a lot of joint pain. Because of the length of time she's been on steroids, there's risk to long term joint damage. She was taken off the medicine this week and goes in for an MRI next week. It will determine the remainder of her treatment regiments. Although we do not want long term problems for her, I cannot express the relief in having a month free of steroids. Sometimes you don't realize how hard something is until it's taken away.

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