One year ago today we got the call that Ellie was cancer free! Induction was successful and removed all traces of leukemia from her body. The process since then has been overwhelmingly difficult, but we are happy to say that a year later there are still no signs of cancer in her body. We are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for carrying our entire family through this time. So many things have been orchestrated by Him, and for that we are grateful.
Ellie is exactly half way done with her treatment. She was diagnosed on April 2, 2016 and will finish treatment on June 9, 2018. Today is May 6, 2017. If you do the math, today marks the beginning of the second half of treatment. Ellie is still on daily chemo, visits the hospital every four weeks and gets a lumbar puncture every third visit. Her treatment is intense, but we are hopeful that the second half is better than the first.
Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers for Ellie and our family. We are so excited to celebrate this milestone today, but are also acutely aware of the families that we have met along the way that did not have the same outcome. Although we never met Emmi Grace, Zion or Nolan, we grieve the loss of these children. I can assure you that we will never forget them.
This experience has changed our family. Some ways are obvious, others we cannot quite yet verbalize. We are still trying to navigate this world of pediatric cancer and find our place in it. As I have previously stated, we will never un-know pediatric cancer. It is a part of us now. Although I would never wish this upon anyone, I am grateful for the lessons that I continue to learn. My hope is that all of our girls learn how to be empathetic, caring and proactive in an increasingly unfair world. More often than not, I feel like I'm not doing enough to enact change. I suppose awareness is the first step.
So, to wrap up this surprisingly long post...we are hopeful. From this day forward, the treatment that is behind Ellie will greatly outweigh the treatment that still lies before her. She is loving, silly and funny. She annoys her sisters exactly how a three year old should. She thinks she is bigger than she is and wants to do everything Eva and Nora do. She is thriving. She is alive.
We do not take that for granted. Not even for a second.