Megan Avery's Journal
That Time of Year
Written Oct 31, 2012 7:23pm
This time of year always gets me thinking...It's right about now Megan was diagnosed, 6 years ago, on November 1, 2006. In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and other ways it seems like yesterday. I remember Halloween 6 years ago, Megan was laying on the couch unable to walk, except for a few steps at a time. She was so sick that she wasn't even that upset about missing Halloween. I knew something was wrong, I just didn't know how wrong it really was. Now tonight, she's out and about trick or treating! She just came back to dump her bag and go out for more. :) It so great to see her happy and having fun.
She's in fourth grade this year and having a fabulous year! She loves her teacher, is having fun with friends and is learning to be ok with the fact that some things take her a little longer to pick up on than other kids. She gets frustrated sometimes, but she's learning how to deal with it. This is truly the best start to a school year we've ever had for her. I am so relieved.
She is doing well health wise too. She had her clinic check up in August, and obviously all was well, or else you would have heard. Turns out we should have really been on an every 4 month schedule this year instead of 6 month checks, so we'll make one up in the end of November and then go again in February. Next year will truly be the every 6 month check ups. She was sick with a sore throat and low grade fever last week, but it came and went and she's back to school this week.
Megan continues to want to help raise awareness for pediatric cancers and leukemia too. This fall we walked again for CureSearch and had lots of our friends come out to support us to help raise funds and awareness. We had a beautiful day and it was lots of fun. In the coming months she will also be a "honored hero" for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Pennies for Patients program here in Montgomery County. This means that Megan's face will be on posters all over elementary and middle schools in the area. :) She'll occasionally be asked to write thank you's or come to some fundraising events at different schools in the area. Megan really enjoys doing these things. I always make sure she understands she can absolutely say no when we are asked to do things like this. But, she truly wants to do it. She has a big heart and really wants to help.
Jessie and Drew are doing great too. Drew is really liking his Freshman year of high school and is doing great. Jessie is loving her Senior year, is working at Ben and Jerry's and will finish up applying to colleges by this weekend! I wish time could slow down a little.
Ethan and I are doing well too. Ethan just completed his 3rd marathon this past weekend! He ran the Marine Corp Marathon again and raised lots of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! Go Ethan!! :) I don't know how he does it! We were lucky that Hurricane Sandy held off until Monday, and he wasn't running through that. As for me, I actually went back to work last week. I was never able to really be happy staying home. I needed to get back to work. I went back to Fannie working for some really good people who I've known at Fannie a very long time. Staying home definitely had its advantages, especially when kids are sick or on vacation, but those few days a year didn't balance out the rest of it. I was too bored most of the time!
I hope that all of you are doing well. Especially those of you on the East coast after the storm. I pray you are all safe and well, and that your power is on!
Thanks for reading, if I don't check in again before the end of the year, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!
A couple of milestones!
Written Mar 20, 2012 8:00pm
Hello Everyone, it's been quite a while since I've updated. I've been tinkering with the idea of just not updating anymore, but then we got a guest book entry today. That entry made the decision for me - updates now and then are probably a good thing.
Since my last update things have been much smoother. Megan has been sick a few times since then, including strep just a couple of days ago, but happily they were regular illnesses that we were able to just move past...nice and normal. :) I still appreciate that normalcy. I do think Megan gets sick more often then most kids, that could just be how she is, or it could be that her immune system still isn't up to snuff after all that chemo. I don't really know and it doesn't really matter. As long as she bounces back each time!
We past a great milestone in February. Megan went for her 3 year off treatment clinic visit! Yes, it's been 3 years! She's now been off treatment longer than she was on treatment - YAY! This also means she only goes to the clinic every 6 months now...we don't go back until August - crazy! But, I love it. :)
The other noteworthy event of late is that Megan just turned 9 this past Sunday, on the 18th. We had a nice family party here at home. We have quite a few local family members, so it's always a good crowd and lots of fun. Megan had a fun day. At the end of the month she'll be taking a few close friends to see the movie "Mirror, Mirror" and go out to dinner. So, she still has some celebrating to do!
Otherwise, she is still doing "winter swim", which is a swim team practice once a week. She'll probably also sign back up for summer swim team, but she's a little bit on the fence because she's also loving the dance class she's been taking once a week after school. She'd like to do both - hopefully we can make that happen for her. :) She's particularly enjoying the jazz part of the class.
Everyone else is doing great too. Ethan's job is going really well, I'm still adjusting to being a stay at home - it's a little weird for me, still. Jessica is a driving maniac - actually she's a very good driver. We are starting to really get into the college search stuff...scary. Drew is in 8th grade and lacrosse season has just started. He's enjoying that and looking forward to high school next fall. Everyone is getting so old!!! But, not me and Ethan...of course ;-)
I think that's it for now. Enjoy the spring (it sure did come early here)!!
Thanks for checking in.
Written Dec 24, 2011 6:46am
Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family who have come here so many times to check on Megan and support us through so much!
We will be doing some extra celebrating this Christmas as we had a nerve wracking week - to say the least. Megan has had on and off headaches and nausea for the past couple of weeks. These symptoms can be a sign of a central nervous system (CNS) relapse. Of course it could just be a virus too...But, because it was lingering for so long and seems very random, we talked with Beth, who talked with Dr. Seibel. To be cautious they scheduled a cat scan - which ended up being 1/2 an MRI. Long story, but they shockingly had time for the MRI when we got there, so we tried it. Megan got through about 1/2 of it and then was too nervous and claustrophobic. But they got enough pictures of her brain to know there was no fluid in there and also saw 6 of her 8 sinuses, which were clear. Since we knew there was no fluid or anything funky in her brain causing the issues, we were able to do a diagnostic spinal tap yesterday, to check for a CNS relapse. I couldn't believe we were back at the clinic, having this done. Felt surreal. The FANTASTIC news is that there is NO leukemia in her CNS!!! Thank God! What a great early Christmas gift!!
Megan did great with the anesthesia and woke up nicely - no crying or yelling at us or anything like what had happened in the past. :) Not that we cared at all, but now that's she's older and she hears these stories she feels bad. She actually wrote on her hand "Don't yell - ok?", as a reminder to herself. Goofy, sweet kid. :) The other good, yet somewhat puzzling aspect of Megan with all of this is that she has not asked if we are worried that the cancer is coming back. It's puzzling because we've been seeing Beth, having the spinal tap, etc...I'm not sure why it hasn't dawned on her, but I'm happy that she has not lost all of her innocence with this stuff. She can worry so much about things, I'm glad she did not about this. She did ask why she was having the spinal, I just said that like we check her blood all the time, we were just going to check that CNS fluid. She just said, "oh, ok". (Oh, by the way, yes, we've also had blood work done this week and that's all good too!)
So, my friends, we are feeling especially blessed this Christmas and will enjoy family and friends even more this weekend.
Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!