Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another EUA...or two.

I made this post several months ago for our family blog and kept meaning to post it on here. Well, now that James has posted on this blog about Gracie's 4 year diagnosis day anniversary it inspired me to paste this post here too.

In January (2012) Gracie went for another EUA, it was also time for her new baby brother's EUA as well as time to draw his blood so they could do his genetic testing. Due to a last minute meeting James had, I had to take the kids by myself to Houston. I was quite concerned about taking care of both of the kids by myself in the recovery room but things actually worked out quite well. We made it back to Austin in record time, which I guess can be expected when you leave at 4am, but both kids got two thumbs up with their retinas and the baby's tests did come back negative for Gracie's RB1 mutation. Thankfully, she's one of a kind in that regard. 

 Here's a very hungry baby in pre-op. He was required to go without food for 4 hours prior to anesthesia. They have no idea how big of a sacrifice this was for our little porker. He'd never done that before and I don't think he's ever done it since. He was two months old for all of this.

 In the recovery room. He's still asleep, hence the oxygen.

 We're pretty used to seeing our little Gracie like this. Thankfully she comes out of anesthesia very well. We've lost count of how many times she's been under it. I think it's something like 25 when you consider EUA's, MRI's and surgeries. 

Sleepily sipping her apple juice that she drinks after every EUA. 

He may look really ticked off, and he may well be, but thankfully he stayed quiet for long enough for me to help Gracie as she came out of anesthesia. He was awfully tired in this picture still, although thankfully his tummy was now full as I nursed him as soon as he was alert enough to eat. That made him a much happier little man.

Of course on our way out of town we stopped by IHOP. You simply can't have an EUA without IHOP after:) 

Diagnosis Day (four years out)

I will post a picture or two later, but just wanted to mention that today is the day we celebrate Gracie's diagnosis day.  We had blizzards on the way home from an amazing vacation with family at the lake.  Gracie loved to be on the water.  She loved being on the tube or watersled behind the boat, creating sandcastles, playing in the water, and all the other fun things you do at the lake.  It is amazing to watch our little girl grow so big.  She was only two years old when she was diagnosed and now she will be starting grade one.
In the last few months we have moved away from Texas and to a new home.  We miss our good friends and the people that loved and supported us during Gracie's treatment.  We saw the very best of many, many people.  Now that we are among new friends that, for the most part, know nothing of Gracie's experiences it is interesting to watch her interact with them and see her share things in her own way.  Even some of our good friends know nothing of Gracie's prosthetic.  I feel like it is Gracie's choice to share what she wants with others.  She is not shy about it though.  If the topic of eyes comes up she will proudly speak about her fake eye and the amazing things you can do with it.  She thinks it is funny to touch her eye for people to demonstrate that it is fake and doesn't hurt to poke it.  I heard her and her brother in the back seat of the car today playing a game of "Poke your eye." I think they were trying to see who could poke the hardest before stopping.  Stephanie and I were not encouraging it but I thought it rather funny and Gracie certainly had the upper hand.

Well, we have been blessed beyond measure.  We thank all of you that have supported Gracie and our family.  Today we celebrate the freedom that Gracie's diagnosis gave us, as it afforded us the opportunity to see our little girl loving life cancer free.