Today was my daughter's first day of high school. Freshman year. I've pictured this day in my mind several times over the last few years. Weepy mom, aggravated daughter (because of the weepy mom). Any mom with a teenage daughter understands that! Obligatory pictures at home and at school. I was ready. What I wasn't ready for was January 10, 2014. That day changed everything. Our short-term plans. Our priorities. Our lives.
Over the last eight months, Paige has faced more challenges than we ever could have imagined. Biopsy. Leukemia diagnosis. Bone marrow aspirations. Spinal taps. Weekly chemotherapy. Blood and platelet transfusions. ER visits. Planned and unplanned hospital stays. Each one of these obstacles has made her stronger. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Stronger.
The original 'road map' we received at the beginning of our journey held a bit of hope that Paige would be able to begin this school year with her friends. If you've followed us for a while, you'll recall a few events that led to delays in treatment. Fever leading to 8-day hospital stays---on more than one occasion. A severe neurological reaction that called for a 'detour.' Though Paige faced each obstacle with unwavering faith and courage, she knew the chances of returning to school in August were getting slimmer and slimmer. And then...the day was upon us.
August 25, 2014. My daughter's first day of high school. Freshman year. No pictures or fanfare. Instead, bloodwork and a platelet transfusion were the order of the day--though there was a small celebration when she made it through reaction-free! Paige begins her freshman year receiving homebound services as she completes the last couple months of IV chemo. She should return to school sometime this year, continuing treatment mostly via oral meds over the next two years.
Stay tuned. Paige will have one of those treasured first-day pics. Hers will just come a little later in the year. I can see it now. Weepy mom, this is for sure--though it may very well become full-on waterworks--and a daughter ready to take on anything that comes her way.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope. Psalm 130:5