1 Year anniversary

Today (4 June 2008) marks the 1 year anniversary of the day Bianca was diagnosed.

4 June 2007, was a devastating day to us. Terence was with Bianca at hospital and when I arrived a bit later with Caitlyn he took me aside to tell me that she had leukemia. I remember standing in the corridor staring at the wall trying really really hard not to cry. No parent ever wants to hear that their child has leukemia.

Looking back I can honestly say that it has been the hardest thing we've ever had to do, cancer and easy don't belong in the same sentence. But despite the challenges and despite the difficulties, the devastation - it is a process that became manageable. And with "manageable" you take back some of the control, you start understanding what you are dealing with and what you need to do.

Way back then we made the decision that we would be as positive as possible. I certainly did not want to look back on the journey and only remember feeling sad. I wanted us to be happy, to smile and to have fun. I wanted Bianca to have some good memories.

When I look back over the past year we've absolutely achieved being happy, to smile and to have fun. Yes, we are dealing with cancer, but we don't have to give up living just because Bianca has cancer. And so we embrace each day we have and try to enjoy it as much as we can.

Bianca achieved so much this past year:
  • Spent approx. 106 days as an inpatient in hospital with various admissions.
  • Spent around 78 days in an isolation room for either an admission, check-up or receiving treatment.
  • Had around 54 different tests such as X-Rays, CT-Scans and so on.
  • Had around 31 unusual things happening.
  • Received around 26 blood product transfusions (red blood cells, platelets and plasma).
  • Had around 214 days of chemotherapy
  • Had around 74 days receiving steroids
  • Received around 89 pokes where she received an injection, finger prick or had her port accessed, including 9 injections into her leg muscles.
  • Had a nose tube (NG tube) inserted 4 times.
  • Lost her hair twice.
  • Had 4 bone marrow aspirates.
  • Received approx. 13 lumbar punctures / spinal taps.
Bianca also had:
  • Kidney stones.
  • Shingles (which flared up several times) which now requires oral Acyclovir tablets taken 4 times a day every day.
  • An unknown viral infection which required admission of around 34 days mostly in isolation and on oxygen.
  • Pneumonia.
  • A broncospasm that required immediate assistance.
  • She was diagnosed with panhypogammaglobulinaemia.
  • And of course she had to learn to swallow tablets as she has to take all her daily oral chemotherapy in tablet form and it is not recommended that she chews them.
And through all of this Bianca remained happy, smiling and not once asking "why me?" She accepts what has to happen and she makes us so very proud. She is a true inspiration. I put together a little photo montage to share with you the courage and bravery of my little girl! Click here.

Bianca will still get treatment until September 2009.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe a year has already passed. It seems like just yesterday you were emailing us with the sad news. We wish we could be more of a help to you and that we lived closer to you but eventhough we are far, far away, you are all in our thoughts and prayers every day.

Lots of love to the whole family and a big hug and kiss for the girls.

Love Shaz

ShiQing said...

Lea, you made a wonderful video!

What a brave girl Bianca is. We all know that she is going to go through all the challenges and live a beautiful life =)