2009-07-21

Happy School-a-versary

Today is exactly 1 year since Bianca started school last year. We have so much to be thankful for - the fact that she could start school last year. Shortly before we came back to Auckland the Christchurch doctor wasn't keen that she should start school, but our doctor here was happy for her to start and so we took a step into a new world that felt quite unknown to us. In fact it felt complicated because suddenly Bianca would be exposed to so many bugs all of a sudden, we needed to let the school know so many things relating to Bianca, she needs to get medicines every single lunch time, we need to know if a child is diagnosed with anything that could be bad like chickenpox and measles, we need to know if she falls (in case she gets some strange-looking bruises).

When we came to Auckland we didn't really find a rental home with a school in mind not knowing at the time if she could start school or not, but we were blessed to have found Bianca's school. It is smaller so to some extend less risk. They were already familiar with leukemia (already having another child in another class who is also an oncology child with leukemia) and they were just absolutely brilliant to work around us. If Bianca needs a rest, she can go to the sick room and lie down.

They have been great at making sure she got her medicines every single lunch time. They are quite happy to make it possible for her to participate in an activity and accommodate her limited physical abilities.

Here is Bianca meeting the headmistress the day we enrolled her:

And having a look around the school:

She is blessed with some really good teachers:

And even now with Bianca admitted to hospital, her teacher was quite happy to share information for us to carry on with school work to make sure she does not fall behind.

And friends. Wow, she's made so many friends this past year. Bianca is very popular at school, we often get kids saying hello and bye when we see them at the shops or walk past them to our car or to her class. She has made so many wonderful friends and it was just so great being able to invite some of her best friends from school when it was her birthday party recently.

For the first 8 months of her treatment Bianca had to be isolated so many times either at home or in the hospital and I think during that time she has maybe only had 3 play dates. And this past year she has been making up for that completely. Once there was a time where she sat at the top of the slide all alone wishing she had a friend who could play with her and today things are just so wonderfully different:

Bianca has done so well this past year. From learning those first few high frequency words:

to taking her first steps at reading basic books:

and within a term she was just flying ahead. Here she is today reading probably at an 8 or 9 year old level, her spelling is great and she manages most words correctly and even know in what context they are being used, she is ahead with her writing ability:

Her teacher has even gone so far as giving her extra projects to extend her.

She is right on track with her maths and she's even had a speaking part in her very first school production.

And when her class was responsible for leading assembly, she was the Queen Bee. The last term they discussed bees and so when a class leads assembly they get to share a bit about what they have learned. Here is Bianca reading her bit during assembly:

and this is what she read, fluently and without hesitation:

Bianca, you are one amazing little girl. You don't ever feel sorry for yourself. You don't give up just because you face certain challenges. You always do your very best. I will never forget how very excited we all felt that very first day where you found your seat in your brand new class. We knew that this was the start to an amazing new adventure:

Unfortunately today you were not able to be at school, but that did not stop you from doing your school work:

And tomorrow will be a brand new day again, filled with possibilities. Bianca, you have proved that nothing is impossible, that you have courage and that if you set your mind to it, you will achieve great things. We are so very proud of you! Happy school-a-versary Bianca!

2 comments:

sharonvw said...

Happy School-a-versary Bianca! You go you brave girl!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hooray Bianca, and happy School-a-versary from us too. It is so great that you are so happy and doing so well at school.
Hugs from Bridget, Colin, Griffin and Peter
p.s. see you at camp!