Yesterday we reminded Ava today would mark two years of her leukemia diagnosis, her cancerversary. She hooted and told us she wanted smoothies and eggs Benny to celebrate. Ellie looked at her like she was nuts and said why would you want to celebrate that?! Who celebrates getting leukemia? Wouldn’t you rather celebrate the day it went away, like your CAR-T day? Ava told her that she was celebrating the diagnosis because it led to her cure. She was celebrating still being here two years later. She was celebrating feeling amazing. She also added that she would celebrate her CAR-T day and any other day she pleased because she could. She is alive. Kevin and I are celebrating those exact things as well.
It’s hard to believe that just 24 months ago we were headed to Hopkins hoping we’d get answers for our girl and dreading what we knew those answers would bring. Never could I have imagined what the next two years would lead too.
Ava is now a healthy 16 year old attending drivers ed and getting ready to enter 11th grade. She’s completed two full years of virtual learning and is on track to graduate with her classmates. When she was first diagnosed she told us all she wanted was a kitten for her Make-A-Wish. We asked Dr. Molina if that was okay and he told her to wait until she was 16. I think he was trying to buy us time in hopes she’d change her mind. While she still hasn’t had her MAW granted she did get a kitten for her bday.
During a recent trip to Breckenridge, CO she broke down while climbing a mountain and was sure she couldn’t do it. Kev and I were shocked that she was letting a trail get to her like that. We reminded her of all she’s been through and overcome and while we’re pumping her up she made it to the reservoir. I don’t think she understood how proud I was of her in that moment. To her it was conquering a fear of falling. To me is conquering that 35% chance she had.
In a prior entry I told y’all we were getting ready to start living our lives and rejoicing instead of living in fear. Our trip to the mountains of Colorado was just what we needed to get started. It was amazing. We did so much living and encountered so much to rejoice over. We experienced new adventures that created a different kind of fear, a good kind.
Ava will spend the rest of her summer taking classes, driving, drivers ed and spending lots of time with Winnie and Wesley. She will go in for IVIg on Thursday and then hopefully move onto visits every 3-6 months.
As always we’d appreciate you’re prayers for thanksgiving and continued health. In addition we ask that you also keep the rest of the 11 South July 2019 crew in your prayers. These warriors are all in different points in their journeys and can use all our prayers. Zoey is doing well and nearing the end of her treatment. Elena is undergoing surgery today for a broken internal leg brace in her femur. I can only imagine how her family is coping with that on the anniversary of her diagnosis. We especially ask that you keep Ailani and Jade in your prayers as they move forward towards transplant.