Our first update in a long while

I haven’t posted all of our good news since Zoe finished her chemo, partly because we have been getting on with living a ‘normal’ life and partly because I guess I wanted to post something that had some insight and perspective on where we’ve been. That kind of inspiration doesn’t seem to be coming though, so I’m just going to post some pictures that show what a dramatic difference a few months have made to Zoe.

After my last post, Zoe’s post treatment MRI came back clear and we had a lot of celebrations with family and friends. Even though I thought Zoe was coping amazingly, when I told her that Dr Mark said she was all better, she was like a different little girl. She blossomed literally overnight.
In early February she got to remove her own mic-key button from her tummy since she didn’t need tube feeds anymore.
Then before we knew it we were off to the Child Cancer Foundation’s sunshine lodge for a week.

This was amazing, because after 9 months of Zoe not being able to really go anywhere or even having the energy to, we did something new every day for the week, just me and Zo. It was amazingly restorative.
We had and end of treatment party and then Zoe got to celebrate her 4th birthday. On her third birthday, 3 days after she was diagnosed, we didn’t know if that would happen.

In this picture are Zoe’s beads from the Child Cancer Foundation’s Beads of Courage programme – over 300 of them for all of the procedures she has had.
April brought a second clear MRI. Zoe returned to daycare and it was like she had never been away. She loves it and is looking forward to school. She’s also back to swimming lessons which she adores.

Zoe’s most recent clear MRI was followed 2 days later by an operation to remove her portacath (the device they deliver chemo through). That was a big milestone too and that’s it she’s holding in her hand in this photo.

Her hair is coming through wavy, which she wasn’t too happy about, but is getting used to.

This is a photo of Zoe with her beloved Pop. She is pop’s sweetpea. He and Zoe’s Nana spent the whole time she was ill in Auckland with us, putting their lives on hold to make sure she got the love and care she deserved. Sadly in the next little while, we will be losing her Pop to cancer. As with Zoe’s illness we can only take each day as it comes and deal with what we have.

We enjoy the small pleasures. We dance. We ditch the housework in favour of going to the zoo and visiting friends and family a little more often. We drink lots of fluffies – don’t hold the chocolate fish thanks.

And it looks like the Make A Wish Foundation is about to give Zoe a very special experience. She doesn’t know about it yet, but it looks like she is going to get to meet her hero Dr Harry Cooper, the TV vet, in October.

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