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Port Removal is Scheduled

Julia had a clinic visit and some additional tests on Friday. We started the day with a blood test at clinic. Her counts have been rebounding very well. Julia will no longer need to go for weekly blood work and the orders were placed to have her port removed.

We then had to go the big CHOP (in the city) for a scheduled Pulmonary Function test and Echocardiogram. This is standard procedure for post-chemo/radiation when there is a mass in the chest. Just making sure that Julia’s heart and lungs are working properly and are not damaged from the treatments. We have not heard the results yet, but no news is good news – we weren’t asked to go straight to admissions, so that is a good sign.

Things moved quickly and we already received a call from Julia’s surgeon, Dr. Mattei. Julia’s port will be removed on Tuesday, April 10th. This will be out-patient surgery, just like the last time.

Julia also does not need to go back to clinic again until early June when her first set of scans happen (3 months post treatment). It seems weird that I am writing this. The “apron strings” of clinic have been cut and we are nervous. We have been down this road before and just need to have faith that the medicines has worked, that our prayers have been answered, that Julia has been cured. But still, we worry, afraid to let our guard down. Time to start the “new normal” again.

Today, Julia went to clinic to have her photo taken by a group called “Flashes of Hope”. They do professional black and white photos of children with cancer.

Flashes is also involved with an organization called Kickin’ It for Cancer. “Kickin’ It for Cancer” raises funds for cancer research by holding kickball tournaments. Today they asked if Julia would have her photo taken with a sign that told why she is “Kickin it for Cancer”. This photo will be used on their Facebook page to promote events.

I asked Julia what she would like her sign to read – why is she “kickin’ Cancer”. With no hesitation, she responded and I wrote her words on the sign. I watched as Julia climbed on the chair and sat in front of the photographer, holding her sign, grinning ear-to-ear, so proud –

“I’m Kickin’ Cancer – So there will be more days for smiles”

There sat my little girl – my hope, my faith, my strength. Once again, she shows me the way to live and teaches me how to get through the “new normal”.

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