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03/22/14 - Happy 1 Year!

So hard to believe, one year ago today, Amanda received her gift of life.  This year has gone so quickly!  I know nothing over the past 3 1/2 years has gone quickly for Amanda, but this recovery year really has passed with extreme quickness.  Maybe its just me getting older, my children getting older, but everything is running at an accelerated pace for me.

Amanda had her 1 year bone marrow biopsy last week.  Dr. D called a few days ago to say BCR-ABL ALL CLEAR.  All blood tests, ALL CLEAR.  Kidney function, NORMAL.  Sweet music to my ears....to our ears.

Amanda has been busy with life.  Normal life things.  Hanging out with her best friend Crystal and celebrating Crystal's 21st birthday (see the picture).  Amanda's is coming in July.  Doing things 20 year olds should be doing.  Going to classes at College of DuPage.  Amanda finished up a session at Second City.  Taking a break for a bit to concentrate on school, but hopefully, she will go back.  She has entertainment skills for sure.  Amanda is going to study abroad this summer in Italy for a month, June to July.  She was so excited to learn of the program.  She asked me, I said, "I'm fine with it.  Ask Dr. D."  Well, ask and you shall receive.  Dr. D said, "Yes, you can go."  Amanda is thinking an International Business degree might be in her future, so I think this will certainly assist her in finding out if that is something she would like to pursue.  Amanda has been so busy cramming 3 1/2 years of missed opportunity into a short period of time, but I can't say I blame her much.  While she is busy learning to live life, I am happy to tell everyone who asks that, "Nothing is new.  The family is fine.  Everything is status quo."  I like status quoVery much. 

Amanda has found a new program to make sure she is healthy.  We've even got her doing Cross Fit with us when she is home.  (Ask Dr. D about how strong her bones are...Dr. D said she needed to start doing Cross Fit just to be able to perform biopsies on Amanda).  Fun side note fact, this is the first time I've ever seen her sweat when she exercises.  I am not joking.  This is quite the big deal. Previously, Amanda's effort level towards exercise was about the size of a nat.  This is my child, who when she was an "active 5 year old" would run 10 feet on the soccer field, stop running, turn to me as I was standing on the sidelines (of course I was screaming my head off at her to run faster) and she would say in her best whiny/tired voice, "Moooommmm...my legs hurt...", with the entire body language to go along with that.  Not anymore.  Amanda is loving the Cross Fit and even keeps up with some of the routines when she is not home with me.  :)

My mom is doing better, thank you to those who have prayed for her.  She has one or two more treatments.  My dad, my Auntie Loretta, Uncle Stan and cousin Michael could all use some prayers for healing.  Boy we have a lot of health issues going on, but nothing this family can't handle.  My friend Patty is healing, but pray, pray, pray.  And Kate?  Kate is amazing example of never letting things defeat you.  Not cancer, not fear, nothing.  I saw Kate and her parents at Cross Fit today and its so nice to see and speak with her.  She is doing amazingly well, as is little Austin!

Those kids, people I mentioned, to include my Amanda,  didn't have quite the life they imagined.  But, life goes on.  So, we face our fears and grow in the struggle, or we let it defeat us.  Amanda will continue to have struggles.  Lots of wonder of if something is just going to pop up again one day.  Legitimate fears.  I say, never let fears defeat you.  LIVE.  Even though this has been a long 3 1/2 years, it still could have been worse.  Amanda's life, my own life,  my families lives, have been filled with so many blessings, wonder and surprises.  God is great!  God had all of this in store for us, that we couldn't have even imagined this for ourselves, but I do see the blessing in the storm.

Blessings to all of you!  Raise a glass and toast to a happy one year BMT birthday Amanda!  Love and health to you all!