Saturday, June 4, 2011

Looking back

Today 4 years ago our world came crashing down.  In an instant.  Like watching a vase fall from a table - almost as if in slow motion, you see it fall, but your brain is not telling your hand to reach out and stop the fall and then in an instant the pieces all over the floor. Today 4 years ago we were told Bianca had cancer - leukemia.  It was 2 weeks until she was due to turn 4.  Apart from the fear that our beautiful 3 year old could die, I found entering this unknown world to be incredibly hard.  It was like being pushed into a deep and dark pool and told "swim".  It was a world completely foreign to us, a prison sentence looming ahead of us and in an instant world as we knew it came to an end.  Our new world would be the world of leukemia, the uncertainty, the never-ending wait.  Looking back Bianca has more than 1,300 beads of courage she collected during the following 830 days of treatment. 

1 June 2011 we had Bianca's latest blood test and checkup.  And it was the world of difference to how it was 4 years ago.  4 years ago she had no neutrophils, she urgently needed a red blood transfusion as well as platelets.  Today her blood results were completely normal.  Like any other person's should be.  Of course for us there is always a bit of a risk that it might come back or that she could get another cancer and so it will always be a waiting game, but for now, we are thankful that she is doing well. 

Just like 4 years ago we are right in the middle of planning Bianca's birthday party, but unlike 4 years ago we are not forced to cancel the party like we had to in 2007. 

When I look at Bianca she is such an incredibly special kid.  An amazing kid who despite enduring so much never lost her beautiful smile, she never lost her love for life, she never stopped believing that she could do anything.  She never became angry that she was chosen to fight leukemia, she never gave up - she'll always be my hero! 

Last night I sat here watching a video clip of sheer determination - an athlete who tore a muscle in his leg and then hobbled the last 250m to finish the race.  His dad jumped over the barrier and ran to his son's help and then told him "we'll finish this together".  The video clip had me in tears.  Not only because of watching what was busy happening with this athlete, but also because it reminded me so much of the day Bianca chose to participate in her school cross country event, despite being on chemo that affected her legs and her ability to run like other kids and even though she came dead last she finished it.  She was given the option to sit out, be a helper or walk - instead Bianca insisted that she would participate.  She was not going to give up!

Looking back these past 4 years I am so blessed with 2 girls who are the most beautiful, special and amazing kids.  Caitlyn will never realise the important role she played during Bianca's leukemia treatment - despite being only 3 months old at the time, she kept things normal for all of us, her beautiful smile would light up the room.  She brightened Bianca's day when she was stuck in hospital.  And despite often spending time away from one of her parents, or having her routines and schedules revolve around Bianca's treatment schedule, Caitlyn never complained, she was simply an amazing little sister to her big sister.

I will forever be reminded of how very blessed we are!


LatteJunkie said...

What a lovely tribute to an amazing child and her equally amazing family!

I hope the party rocks!

Maa said...

Lea, You've all come a long way. So very glad that there's been no setbacks- let's hope it continues that way for a long time. Hugs Maa.

amanda said...

Hallo Lea, ja dit sal altyd n emosionele herinnering wees. Ek is ontsettend trots op Bianca se deursettingsvermoe en glo dat albei kinders so positief is omdat jy en Terence hulle enduit ondersteun soos die atleet se pa. En ek dank ons Hemelse Vader elke dag omdat hy al die pad daar is vir ons al voel ons soms verlate.

Baie liefde, ma xxxx

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your family for making this accomoplishment. So much to be thankful for, so much to be humbled by; and now you are watching your daughter Bianca, become a beautiful, smart young girl who has so many blessings. How wonderful for all of you.

Sharon said...

I remember the day of Bianca's cross country race. What a brave girl she is, you should be very proud! She's destined for great things!

Buttons said...

I am so happy for your girls and your family. It makes you stronger and it sounds like Bianca is doing great. Her sister Caitlyn was probably the most important part, sisters together are unstoppable.
I really hate cancer it has hurt so many people I love I am so happy for you and your family. B