So it’s been challenging for me, but that’s just me. Ana is doing really well with the adjustment. Each month of near-normalcy brings her further away from the awfulness of last year. She is resilient as only children can be. Jim and I are both pretty amazed as we watch this unfold – Ana looking so healthy, growing taller, embracing 7th grade (the good, the bad and the ugly) and all in a way that’s healthy and normal. She doesn’t like to talk about the details of the last year, but then who can blame her? Jim said, “Sometimes it’s so weird. It’s like it never even happened!” Except for the meds, doctors’ visits and scars.
Which brings me to the meat of this post – the latest medical news. Ana’s visit with Dr. Hochberg went well – her stomach is normal (liver’s where it should be), her labs are normal (white blood cells are back where they should be and enzymes good) as of this week and the next visit with Dr. Martinez is scheduled for December. Ana doesn’t need to get labs drawn for a couple of weeks – which makes things REALLY feel like normal. She’s had a lot of doctor visits and lab draws over the last month, but now we’re at another lull. Lull = awesome.
Ana and I are putting together some gift bags for Westchester Medical Center’s Child Life program to distribute to children over the holidays. Well, throughout December, I guess. It just sucks to be in the hospital this time of year and we want to reach out to the kids who aren’t as lucky as Ana with this small gesture. We’ve even gotten the 7th and 8th grade classes in Ana’s school involved by inviting them to purchase some of the things from the hospital’s wish list. We’ll assemble all this stuff and deliver it to the Child Life coordinator the first week in December.
The Child Life Department always has a wish list if you’re interested in giving, check it out.
And, finally, I’ve spent the last month finishing the first draft of my book! I still have piles of editing to do, but it feels good to be done with the first draft (460 pages!) The book is a young adult fantasy (older young adults – 14+) It tells the story of Grace, who is 11-years-old and battling cancer. She meets Sorel, a child from a world called Arkomo, who has discovered a secret that’s jeopardizing her life and the life of her brothers. She opens a (magical) Doorway from her world into Grace’s hospital and the girls become friends. Grace is able to escape the horror of the hospital by going to Arkomo and Sorel is able to escape the burden of her secret by going to the hospital to be with Grace. Both girls are running out of time…
I know you’re all DYING to read it now, aren’t you? I’m putting up a book-related web site and will post a sample chapter soon. In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving (if I don’t get a chance to post before then). I’ll update the blog if there’s any new news.