It's Been A Year...

It's been a year today since my daughter Chloe was diagnosed with Leukemia. It feels like 5 years since that day. I think about this day last year and I still get very upset. I still wonder why this had to happen to my daughter. I wonder what I could have done differently... It still baffles my mind why SHE has it... She has been asking me a lot lately why God created Leukemia and why He gave it to her. I hate that question!
It has been a really emotional time in the life of our family. EVERYTHING has changed! I really don't know how else to explain it.
I thought I'd share some photos of this last year. I want everyone to see how far my daughter has come. She is a fighter and the strongest little girl I have ever known! She is doing AMAZINGLY well. Absolutely NO cancer cells whatsoever in her body! She still takes medication every day and chemo once a month. She has bone marrow tests every 3 months now (there was time when she had them weekly). She is in Kindergarten, making lots of friends, in an accelerated reading program in her class and she is a budding artist. She makes us very proud!

This is a photo of Chloe from October of 2007, about a month before we learned that she had Leukemia. She was 4 years old.

This is Chloe and her Daddy in the hospital. She was probably on chemo for about a week here. She still has all of her hair and the IV in her arm.

This is the play room at the hospital. Drawing and doing craftsy projects was the only thing that would keep her interest. She would hardly talk and was unable to walk. She had been on chemo for about a month here. She gained a lot of weight. The drugs made her look really puffy and she started to get the apetite of a grown man.

Chloe was able to go home on Christmas Eve from the hospital. She was in and out for a few months after that. She'd get sick, or have allergic reactions to her medication. There was one point where they taught me how to give her chemo at home through her portocath, so I wouldn't have to take her to the hospital. This was me and Nurse Teri taking the needle out of her portocath. She was still able to hold onto a little hair at this point. She wouldn't let me cut it.

February, 2008 ~ This was Chloe on her 5th birthday enjoying a cupcake. I think this is the worst that she looked. Very sickly, but believe it or not, she behaved just like any other 5 year old on her birthday! It was a good day for her.

March, 2008 ~ By Easter Chloe was beginning to look and act like her old self again.

July, 2008 ~ Chloe started her last round of intense chemo in May. This last round was so bad that she woke up one day and ALL OF HER HAIR had fallen out! Seriously! That fast! It was all over her clothes, her pillow, all over the bed. I couldn't believe it! This was a rough time because her attitude was BAD! She was on a steroid that just killed her personality ~ always angry and just a general sense of joylessness. It was rough!

One of the happiest days of my life was the day that she started Kindergarten, just 2 short months ago. I am teary eyed just writing this now...I was SO VERY thankful that she was able to start on time! I dropped her off and then left SOBBING!!! WE GOT HER THERE ON TIME!

Last month she was able to ride the Zamboni at a Kings game. It was Hockey Fights Cancer night at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. Chloe was one of 2 kids with Cancer that got to ride around in the Zamboni between periods.

Well, so that is a quick summary of Chloe's last year. I am so very proud of my little girl. So, today is 1 year. She has 1 1/2 more years of chemo, then she is done. If the Cancer does not return for 5 years, she will be considered cured. So we pray everyday that she will not relapse and that she makes it to 12 years old just like any other child. As her doctor's say, we are still climbing up the mountain". BUT TODAY ~ we are almost halfway up!


Tracey said...

WOW! That's quite a journey your little one has had to endure. So glad she is cancer-free. What an adorable girl she is. All the best to your family for the future!

Jenn said...

thanks for sharing Michelle! Beautiful pics too.

Greta said...

She's an incredible little girl and you should be proud of her. Thank you for sharing the photos and story of the last year.


What an amazing post.
Continued Prayers and Blessings.

Carolyn Mcavoy said...

Michelle, thanks so much for sharing...I'll put you-all on my prayer list...Love the pic's

Anonymous said...

I will pray for Chloe every night with my daughter, I had cancer when my daughter was 3 months old and I was able to handle that knowing it wasn't her. My heart goes out to you and your family so much. I remember the doctors name who took the cancer out of my body. His first born daughters name is Chloe. I can't ever forget that beautiful name. I promise to pray for her. I know it works. I hope you have a beutiful Holiday Season. God Bless Your family and God Bess Chloe!

nightowl said...

I just want to say that I am so happy that your daughter is doing better. You have had an awfully tough year and still run a beautiful inspiring site for us. Bless you and your family.

alalila said...

Your little girl is just incredile. Thanks for sharing these hard moments with us. We will put her in our prayers so that everything goes well for her

Sue said...

You have an incredible little girl and you're so strong too. I'm very touched by your post and wish you and Chloe all the very best.

tonya said...

My prayers for Chloe.. i am so touched by your post.. and so thankful at the same time.

cheryl mezzetti said...

My prayers and thoughts are with you. It is very hard to go through all you have over the last year. Your family will come through this much different then went you entered.
My son was diagnosed at 1yr and myself 9 months after he finished his treatment.
I look back on those times we a heavy heart.
Much love being sent your way.
I hope your holiday is wonderful.

Linda said...

Michelle I'm so touched and moved by what you wrote. When you see the the photos and read trough what you and your family have been true this past year, tears are in my eyes. Chloe is such an incredible brave and sweet girl. I just pray for your family that this new year is going to be so much better! x

Debbie said...

Michelle, so happy that things are better for you and your little sweet girl. I can still remember the day you found out about Chloe and her leukemia. My heart broke for you. We had just been through a very traumatizing time ourselves with our family. I'm so happy things are better.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PattiHutch said...

We LOVE YOU Chloe!!!

Vanessa, Nick, Michael and Luke