If you had told me in January what 2016 would look like for our family, I would have said, ‘I wish’! At the beginning of year, 2016 was a year I was dreading. A year of uncertainty and a horizon of questions, anxiety, and ‘what ifs’? We didn’t know what was in store, there was no plan in place, and a trip to New York for treatment was up in the air. Yet as I look back on the year that has been, it has been one of the best for our family. The moment that it was decided that Evie;’s line would come out and we would see what happened, everything changed and we have enjoyed freedom, joy, holidays, and family time unlike anything we have been able to during the past couple of years.
Some of our highlights for the year were during the month of September. Our family was very honoured to be part of a couple of events for Childhood Cancer Awareness month. September 2nd we were invited to Government House for a morning tea to launch Childhood Cancer Awareness, where we also met the Honorable Governor of NSW. A couple of weeks later we headed to Canberra for a special event at Parliament House. We met the Prime Minister of Australia, as well as other members of Parliament. At the end of September we held our fundraiser ‘High Tea for a High Cause’ for the second year in a row for The Kids’ Cancer Project. We had a new venue, and it was such a stunning day. We were honoured to raise just over $10,000, as well as receiving a donation from Sinclair Ford to take our total to $12,000. I loved watching people gather together for a common cause, and I have found such a purpose in being able to raise money and awareness for Children battling cancer.
September came to a close and we found ourselves facing scan week. I was grateful that I had had other things than the scan to focus on leading up to it. But as the day loomed, the inevitable sick tummy feeling came. Although the physical feelings of anxiety and nervousness were there, I felt relatively calm within myself about the scan. Heading in to the Hospital, it was the first time that Evie had been a bit upset about a scan. She didn’t want to do it, and had a single tear in her cheek and her bottom lip out the whole car trip! When we got there, the wonderful staff member doing her scan at Nuclear Med told her she was such a big girl and a pro, that she should tell them how she wanted the scan done. She got to choose whether she was wrapped up, whether they started the scan at her head or feet, so she made her choices and she was amazing the whole scan. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long for the results. The following morning I received one of the best phone calls to say the scan was clear, and there was no evidence of Disease! It felt amazing to have had two clear scans in a row, without Evie having been on treatment.
I have found myself feeling so overwhelmed with emotion. Overwhelmed that we are at this point where Evie is finished treatment, and getting clear scans. Overwhelmed that Evie is here with us. She’s healthy, happy, and trying on kindy uniforms for next year. Overwhelmed with gratitude that we get to live how we have dreamt of living since the nightmare began. I have always tried to find something to be grateful for amidst the hard times. It wasn’t always easy, on days when everything seemed so hard, so lost, it wasn’t easy to feel grateful. However, there is always something you can find to be grateful for. So, now there is lots to be grateful for, I feel overwhelmed!!!! Life isn’t perfect, but it isn’t hard work to find things to be grateful for these days.
There is so much to look forward to in the next couple of months. Next week, Evie will finally receive her wish from Make-a-Wish. She made her wish two years ago, but because she relapsed it has been on hold. We are all so excited that Evie will finally get her wish, and it’s going to possibly be the best week! We also look forward to Evie getting to ring the ‘End of Treatment’ bell in oncology clinic at the end of November. I feel so teary even just thinking about seeing her ring that bell! As always, we don’t know what is ahead. We still have many scans and years ahead of us before Evie will be considered to have beaten it, but I’ve learnt to not dwell to long on the future. The present is far too important. I want to enjoy what I have right now, and cherish the moments I have in front of me. I want to live now, not worry about what may or may not happen.