This is it!

Today we reached an incredible milestone. Finally! I honestly had my doubts the port removal will happen today and right up to the point where they finally called us for theatre at around 4pm, I expected them to come and tell us that we've been bumped again. But apart from a very long day, everything went according to plan. Even now it feels unreal that it has finally happened.

Bianca was so excited to finally get to the point where her port will come out. Not that she remembers a time without it, but it means that soon she'll be able to get her ears pierced as she's been asking for a little while now.

The day was incredibly long. I have forgotten how very long theatre days can be and when we were finally called around 4pm Bianca was just so happy and could hardly wait. They didn't give her anaesthetic through her port today, but instead Bianca opted to have the mask with the gas option. It took around 1 hour and in that time Terence and Caitlyn arrived and then when Bianca came out and woke up we all went back up to the ward where we had to wait for 2 hours afterwards. Initially Bianca complained of a bit of a headache, but soon after she got some pamol she felt much better and her option to celebrate was to go out for supper.

We asked to keep Bianca's port and it was so cool to actually see what it looks like. It is in a little plastic container and we will put this in Bianca's memory box so she can show her kids one day.

When we are able to remove the dressing next week, then all that will remain will be a scar that over time will fade. But that will always be a reminder of just how amazing and how brave Bianca is and was. Bianca, you make us so incredibly proud!

Here are some photos of our day:

Waiting to be called to theatre....

One last glimpse at her constant companion - the port she received when she was diagnosed beginning June 2007:

All excited to finally be called for theatre, forms signed and medical notes all ready for the theatre staff...

Instead of getting the "sleepy milk" through her port, Bianca opted for the gas option today. Here she has just fallen asleep.

Back on the ward and choosing beads for the port removal and surgery today.

And Bianca's port. The round part is what was sitting just under the skin and where they used to access it to be able to draw blood when needed, give transfusions, IV fluids / medication and chemo. It then has a plastic tube which were fed through to the arteries (I think).

On the way out, we noticed that Radio Lollipop was open. Bianca got to say hi on live radio and choose a song.

And then we went out for a celebration dinner to Lone Star. And finishing it off with pavlova (and a candle)...

This journey has been incredibly long, at times exhausting, and overwhelming at the same time. But we have learned so much. We have been incredibly blessed throughout. We will never know why we were chosen to walk this road, but hopefully we were able to make a difference to somebody somewhere to help them know that they are not alone, that it is possible to live life despite living with cancer and that whilst we can't choose what happens in life, we can choose how we handle it.

Thank you to every single one of you for walking this journey with us.

And so as we reach this point, it is also time to say goodbye. This blog was started after Bianca was diagnosed to share with family and friends and to let them know what was happening. And so it is fitting that with Bianca's port removal, it is time to close this chapter.

But watch the space. I am hoping to start a new blog soon! And I hope to see you there...


And so it seems...

That tomorrow will be the day. On Tuesday we had our monthly hospital appointment, got there all ready with Emla on Bianca's port area and they then told us they won't be flushing her port as she's scheduled for theatre on Thursday (in 2 days time). Wow! Unreal!

Today I fully expected to get a call saying "sorry she's been bumped and we don't know when next", but the only call that came was to let us know she's on the afternoon theatre list and what time we would need to be there and what time Bianca should stop eating breakfast. It's going to be a long day. We'll have to stay 2 hours after Bianca is done with threatre before we can come home and no showering or anything that will cause the port area to get wet.

Bianca is so excited, she's been speaking about tomorrow since Tuesday. So fingers crossed all will go well and there won't be any last-minute bumping.