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...


Sue, Joe and Michael Webber said...

That's fantastic, way to go Bianca♥

Sharon said...

Wow! I cannot believe how fantastic Bianca is looking!!!! You've all come an incredibley long way and I'm so excited to see where your new journey will take you all.
So proud to know you all and especially you, Bianca. You taught me so much along my own difficult journey, about our fighting spirits and about our attidues even in the difficult times. You go girl!!!!!

janin said...

wow wow! brave Bianca and all of you too!! Congratulations so happy for you!!

RosemaryO said...

Everything went well . That is great! Bianca is such a brave little girl and has endured so much in her short years, she and all of you are really an inspiration to others. Your blogs enlightened me concerning so many questions. We trailed you by 6 months so I kept coming to your blog to see how you all were handling and coping with this monster disease. We still have about 9 1/2 months but we are getting there! Thank you for letting us follow your road. I for one am very thankful. I too look forward to seeing your new blog and your familys' new triumps!! Who would have thought that I would be in contact with someone from New Zealand and her little girl going through such a crisis.It really is an awesome time to be around!!! Congratulations!
Love and thinking of you

puppygirl said...

Wow so awesome! Bianca is certainly looking great - loving the curls :)

Lisa said...

Great to hear that Bianca finally has her port out. It was a red letter day when I got mine out.
Such a relief to get rid of the bump.

Kate Richards said...

What a happy day for you all. Your post is very touching. Well done brave Bianca and to you Lea and family. God Bless you all and hoping for only good things in the future.

Felicity said...

A special "well done" to Bianca and to her wonderful parents. You have a lovely family and may Heavenly Father bless you today and always. Bianca is looking absolutely stunning. All the very best to you all for the future.

Michelle Riggs said...

I love seeing all that beautiful hair. Glad to hear that the port is out and that your daughter is doing so well.

I can't wait until my daughter gets to that point. I can't wait for November to get here.

Annie - Steven's mom said...

Its totally wonderful that the ending of this blog is such a beautiful start to another part of your lives!

Your words are lovely, your daughter just gorgeous and all of you, amazing.

Big hugs and lots of
love and light and laughter.

The Clam said...

Bianca is looking so amazing Lea! I am so glad that you chaps have reached this final milestone and that the port is now a part of her memories.

Your family and your story is a source of inspiration to so many of us.

Here's to many new memories as a family.


Cstelle said...

Bianca is a super star!!

superrelish said...

A very late WOO-HOO to Bianca and to you all. I have been following the tweets to see where you are at but dropped back to say Hi.

I have been following Bianca's journey for so long now that I feel like I know you all and I can't believe how much the girls have grown. Please let us know if you are ever in this part of the world as we would love to meet you in real life.

Take care, grow strong and live happily ever after.
Love Del and the monsters

Rosie said...

Over and out, it was a pleasure reading your blog from the far side of the world. Well done,

Rosie in Dublin.

Svilen said...

Congratulations, fantastic news! I'm so happy about you, sweet Bianca. You are an inspiration to us all, wish you lots of health and happiness! Hugs to you brave girl.

dcapobres said...

I am sorry to be so late to the celebration. We are so happy for Bianca and the rest of the family. Thanks again, Lea, for helping us through our troubled times. Your blog was a tremendous help. We're now looking forward to crossing the finish line too. Best wishes to you.

Sandy said...

I haven't been visiting in quite a while. Wow, Bianca has really grown and the full head of hair looks so wonderfully soft. Congratulations on such a milestone.