Today, we “celebrate” the one year anniversary of Maddie’s diagnosis, and we can’t help but be thankful for how far we’ve come. The Maddie that is running around the house this morning hardly resembles the child that we carried into Maine Med one year ago. Pale, scared, and listless is how I remember Maddie on that day. Still so clear in my mind is a picture of Maddie after having her blood drawn at the hospital where I worked crying and saying,”I’m never going to your hospital again.” A simple blood draw was only the beginning of our journey that has changed all of our lives and forced Maddie to grow up very fast. After months on a rollercoaster of highs and lows brought on by the different phases of her treatment, we now find her physical and emotional health consistent and predictable (or as predictable as any 4-year-old). Aside from a very short “hair-cut” (as many people unknowingly refer to it) and a vocabulary that consists of medical terminology that must adults don’t understand, you would not know all that she has been through in the last year. She is healthy, vibrant, energetic, positive, and thriving.
She was a fairy princess for Halloween. While last year she spent Halloween on the couch asleep because she felt so poorly, this year she trick or treated with her preschool class in the afternoon and some friends in the evening. Also, we have recently added a canine friend to our family, who Maddie adores. We still have a way to go before Maddie’s treatment ends, but now we find leukemia and her treatment have become less of a focal point of our daily lives.