|The girls of Team Mash-Ragbrai 2012|
I was nervous about leaving for RAGBRAI. When I rode in 2009, my best friend got diagnosed with Colon Cancer when we got back. In 2010, Ella got diagnosed when I got back. Needless to say it was in the back of my head that something bad would happen if I rode again this year. Now, I know that that there is nothing special about RAGBRAI, but I still was worried abut going. Everything happens in 3's right? Anyway my team rode 90 miles the 1st day and 45 the 2nd. It was hot, but it was nice to get away and just be Katie for a few days. I wasn't a wife or a mom for those few days- just Katie on a bike ride with a few thousand strangers who didn't know my child has cancer.
Ella's clinic visit went well. Her counts came back at 1300, which is good. She had a spinal and chemo and she has grown AGAIN- so they had to increase her meds. She has 2 more procedures left and 1 surgery to remove her port before the end of this journey. As soon as we got the okay for her to travel, we decided to travel to Florida to visit Grandma and Grandpa. She is having a blast playing with her cousins and getting spoiled by everyone. Her hair is falling out a little bit more now that they changed her meds. The doctor said there is a chance it will not start to grow back until after she is done with chemo. Ella is not very happy about this, but I will tell you- she just doesn't seem to care or notice. She is so fun right now and she is in such a great mood. I hope this lasts the entire trip.
I found this blog last week and I've read the whole thing. Cried through most of it. Your family has had a rough two years. I will be praying for you as you go through this final stretch. You said that you will be publishing the blog and giving it to Ella when she is old enough to handle it. That is an awesome idea. Have you considered publishing the book to sell? The thing is that I had no idea that this is what children with cancer go through. My treatment for breast cancer wasn't any where near as brutal as what you have described Ella's treatments like. I think that if more people understood maybe people would be more willing to put some of that pink ribbon money toward research for childhood cancers. You have opened my eyes and my heart and it was impossible this morning at Arby's to not donate to the childhood cancer drive they have going on. Thank you for that. You will be in my prayers.