I have great news that I'm bursting to share with you all - Sophia's 3 month follow-up CT scan was clear! Dr. Stegner said everything looked great. This is such a relief to us and wonderful news. We had a long day today at the hospital complete with a CT scan, labs drawn, echocardiogram, EKG and a clinic visit. Afterward we made a celebratory trip to the American Girl store. Solon was less than thrilled, but to keep him occupied all day at the hospital we let him play Pokémon Go for the first time. So he caught Pokémon while Sophia shopped for her dolls, as you can see in the photo above. :-)
I couldn't help but cry tears of relief and joy when Dr. Stegner walked in smiling with the news. We also discussed some long term care that Sophia will need. She has to get plenty of calcium, vitamin D and exercise for bone health/strength due to the high doses of steroids she has taken, which can cause bone loss. Most sadly, Dr. Stegner confirmed my fear that Sophia will most likely be infertile due to chemo drugs she had to take. This isn't something that Sophia is aware of or would even understand at this point, but eventually it will become another sorrow for her to bear. I am heartbroken for her even now. I know she can still experience motherhood through other means, but it doesn't make it any less painful. It's another unjust loss caused by cancer, and another example of how even though the cancer is gone its shadow will always remain.
On a more joyful note, Sophia had a wonderful time at Camp Esperanza! She's already talking of going back next year. Her favorite activity was horseback riding. She couldn't remember the name of the horse she rode, but she said he had suffered from cancer just as she had and had lost his left eye due to it. She went zip lining, swimming, canoeing, fishing and took an American Girl doll class. They also had a campfire cookout one night and she "got to chop the bell peppers!" Most of all, she made new friends! It was an unforgettable experience for her, and we are so grateful that Children's provides this camp for it's oncology patients.
School begins so very soon. Sophia is thrilled to be a third grader. I usually end up crying the entire first day of school. I know it seems ridiculous, but it's always been a hard day for me. I really miss my kids, and especially after spending all summer together. However, I've already decided to be happy this year. I have too much to be grateful for this year. I will miss my kids as always, but I'm more excited that Sophia is going back to school like a normal child, that she's going to be able to be around all of those precious little germ transmitters and it's O.K., that she now has the energy and strength to run and play at recess like a normal child, that she'll be able to spend time with her sweet friends, and for all of the other normal experiences she will get to have this year. My heart overflows with thanksgiving!
I feel as though our hearts are forever joined to all of yours. You have each walked this journey alongside us sharing in our sorrows and our joys. I think Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put it best when he said, "We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other."
Much love to you all.