The End is in Sight!

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The End is in Sight!

We are so close to the finish line!
Next week Evie starts the fifth and final round of MAB! This could potentially be our last stay in hospital, although until her central line is removed she will still have to go in if she spikes a fever or becomes unwell. We will not officially be finished treatment until the end of October, but the rest of treatment is medication that can be taken at home.

We are expecting next week to go fairly smoothly, as last round she coped so well, and that round is traditionally much worse for Evie than this final round will be. Apart from one temperature spike and heart rate high on the first day, last round was drama free! Evie ate the whole week, was well, happy and active. She enjoyed playing with her special hospital toys her Child Life Therapist always brings her when she is in, a session with the Music Therapist, painting and colouring in, and loved a visit from Captain Lala who painted Evie’s nails! Even if she does get as sick as she has in some of the previous rounds, knowing this is the last time she has to go through it will make it so much easier. It’s going to be a pretty amazing feeling to walk out of those hospital doors when we are discharged!

Since last round we have enjoyed quality time at home. Evie has been eating so well, and throughout the day will continuously ask, ‘what a you got to eat? Show me.’ I then have to walk her to the pantry and go through the options of what she can have. She loves playing with all her toys, and is such lovely company. We were also able to go out for dinner as a family for the first time in over a year. It was magic! The girls had the best time, and I sat there the whole time with the biggest smile on my face! It was such a highlight for me, a memory to tuck away in my special memory tank.
I have also enjoyed being a more involved Prep Mum with Alicia over the past few weeks. Evie and I have been able to pick Alicia up from Prep most days, which is something we have not really been able to do all year. We also loved going to Book Day, watching Alicia in the parade and spending time with her in the classroom. It feels wonderful to have some normality in our lives.

However, just as the promise of a life with a little normality, and without treatment and lengthy hospital stays is exciting, at the same time it is slightly terrifying. What is normal? What does normal look like? We have been at this so long that this has become our normal. Weekly clinic visits, regular hospital stays, and treatment have been our world for the past 13 months, and although it’s not been easy or enjoyable, it’s all we have known. What does a ‘normal’ life after your child has had treatment for cancer look like? How will we navigate the new season and journey that we will soon enter? Life will never be as it was before this crazy, life-changing journey we were thrust into. It’s not as simple as returning back to life before cancer. Evie has responded so well to her treatment, and prognosis for her is very good, however, it is hard to live in a place of confidence and faith that she will remain cancer free, when in reality, it could return. We have seen firsthand the harsh reality that children do relapse, and that little ‘what if?’ is always in the back of your mind. Just the other day, Evie was complaining of a sore tummy, and my immediate reaction was slight panic! I felt sick inside, and I couldn’t help but think, ‘what if it’s the tumour back?’ She was fine, but a part of me will probably always panic a little when she has a sore tummy for the next five years! However, you can’t think too far ahead. Instead, I will choose daily to enjoy the here and now, to cherish the moments we spend together, and to believe that Evie is healed for good!

So, although I don’t know what life will exactly look like when treatment is finished, I do know there are a few things I am really looking forward to. I am looking forward to being able to go on outings and holidays as a family, not having to take temperatures every day, remaining grateful for the simple things, and maybe even starting to do some work next year! I am looking forward to not having to ahve bags half packed, ready for hospital, or having to go to clinic every week. I am very much looking forward to watching Evie swim this summer, once her central line comes out, and her being able to enjoy her bath time without worrying about getting her dressing wet. Beyond that, we will take each day as it comes.

After a long Winter, Spring is in the air for our family!

Getting very good at colouring in!

Getting very good at colouring in!

Music Time!

Music Time!

Captain La La

Captain La La

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Ready to cook

Ready to cook

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Out for dinner

Out for dinner

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Sarah
Sarah
A little vulnerable and apprehensive, this is my journey. I hope that it will encourage, help, inspire others, especially who find themselves in a similar situation, or going through a difficult circumstance, and also to share a little glimpse of our story with so many who have been praying for Evie.
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