|Courtesy of Colouring Pages|
I've been remiss about updating the goings-on with Miss Kate McRae. She and her family moved to California this summer, as her father is pastoring a new church. That has meant many scary and exciting changes for them all, maybe especially for Kate -- new doctors, nurses, therapists -- the loss of beloved helpers and friends who were with her from the beginning, three years ago now, of her cancer journey.
The child has an attitude. I love it. I am also glad that I don't have to be on the receiving end of it, sometimes!
Anyway, we *all* have attitude, and Kate has earned the privilege of maybe developing a little extra.
I loved this story that her mom, Holly, told about two weeks ago, when Kate went in to one of her new facilities to have her port removed (a wonderful feeling, one of the few that I can truly relate to!). It's obviously more of a big deal for kids than adults -- when mine was removed it was the most ho-hum procedure ever. And except for the infection (but, of course!) afterward, it was just a wonderful breeze.
Kids, though, may not hold still, may get upset, and may I-don't-know-what-else, so they're put briefly under general anesthesia to yank that old port-a-cath out. For these kids on the cancer journey, it has such significance, this small procedure.
For Kate, it's a mixed mixture of mixed up feelings, I presume. She is off treatment: She has no sign of tumors (yay!) (oh heck, double yay!) but she is at very high risk for relapse, however there really remain no more appropriate, available protocols to keep her on, so stopping treatment is terrifying for her parents. What Kate feels about it, I cannot, and wouldn't dare, imagine.
But -- whatever -- getting that sucker out of your chest wall, and its tentacles out of your major blood vessels? Cool, no matter what. Just as my Dad and my brother Grader Boob managed to convince me that I could see the men walking on the moon through our backyard telescope, I imagined I could feel the tissue surrounding that BARD port-a-cath laughing and doing cartwheels when it got yanked.
Kate had a rougher time of it, I am sorry to say. As usual, Holly tells the story best, having been there, and understanding her daughter in the deep way that some mothers can:
Our sweet girl had a big day today. A big day that started crazy early. We headed out at 4 am to go to CHLA for surgery to have her port (a central line catheter in her chest) removed.
As one of the nurses came in to evaluate her, and ask the same questions the 3 people before her had, she eyed Kate's demeanor. She softly suggested ordering Kate a mild sedative prior to surgery, thinking she was highly anxious about the surgery, as Kate sat with her with her arms crossed facing the wall. A frown prominent on her pretty little face. I smiled and told her I didn't think she was nervous about the surgery at all, rather she was simply very disturbed by the surgical gown. Kate validated my belief and said she felt it was "toddlerish". I laughed as I relayed the information, however only adding insult to injury. So no sedatives prior were needed, rather promises of possibly one day coming up with a little more "appropriate" gown choices. She was simply upset they would think it was okay to make 8 year old girls wear babyish gowns, especially without undergarments! She wasn't disturbed at all by the idea of general anesthesia and surgery.
Kate did super well through surgery, Dr Stein was wonderful and even cleaned up her scar from the previous surgeries.
Tonight she is sore but spicy! (How I always know she is really okay). Thanks for praying. Will update more on Friday as we reach 3 years since Kate's first diagnosis of brain cancer.