Exactly one year ago today, Andrew left the hospital for the last time. When I re-read posts I've made on here, it still surprises me how easily the tears come. I'm still not quite able to put myself back where we were a year ago, but I am so grateful we've made it this far. Every milestone since one year ago has put cancer further and further in the back of our minds.
He had his one year post-treatment ECHO last Thursday to see if he had any heart damage from the chemo--a well-documented side effect of taking anthracyclines. There is a lifetime limit of anthracyclines you can take, and the damage can appear years after treatment. Other than relapse or a secondary cancer, this is our biggest worry. Andrew took daunorubicin and mitoxantrone (also known as the red devil and the blue devil). They really are very effective drugs--when they work, that is. For some reason, I always felt like the other chemos in his cocktail were just seasoning.
Andrew did so well during the ECHO. I was so worried the whole week that he would need to be sedated, which I absolutely hate watching, but he didn't have to! The fellow was telling me that he would almost surely need to be sedated at his age so he could sit still, but after asking some other cancer moms and the technician who did it, it seemed silly to worry about. I was reminded again why I love Primary Children's so much--we had a very compassionate and competent tech who, instead of just sticking wires on his chest and holding him down, took the time to talk him through it and show him exactly what he was going to do before he did it. I'm guessing the sucker and the movie in the background helped a bit, too. When I was watching his heart--the first time I have really seen it since I was pregnant with him--I just wanted to say 'Keep going! Keep going!' hoping that that little pump would listen and keep working hard. I don't know what the results were (they haven't called me), but his heart just looked so perfect I can't imagine any other outcome... It's amazing--as horrible as this whole cancer thing is, it has made it impossible to not turn to the Lord almost daily for reassurance that everything will be okay.