Point of View

Catie lives under a microscope as Christine mentioned in her last update and I would agree except that I think it is more like a whole group of microscopes and a telescope or two. I can only imagine how overwhelming that could be over the course of months. The reasons for it are legitimate and necessary, but it would still drive me crazy. It is only going to get more intense next week as we start checking “counts” on a daily basis as she recovers from her first round of chemotherapy which begins Friday night. The good news is that the recovery will be aided by her own transplanted stem cells which were successfully harvested this morning. During the 1 hour procedure, the doctors bored 4 holes in her hips (2 on each side), and then drew out her bone marrow which had been made plentiful by the G-CSF injections Christine had been giving Catie for the last 4 days. The cells have now been frozen and will be given back to her after the chemo has been delivered, (Thursday of next week).

As for Catie being Catie, (lively, smiling, larger than life personality), we see glimpses that give us hope that she is emerging from the haze that has hidden her from us these past few weeks. How much of her we get back and at what pace is still undetermined. Like her cancer, her cure will be unique and rare as well, and because of the paucity of previous cases to draw incite from, she will be a trailblazer in her recovery as well. As we have said before, we are blessed that she is who she is to be able to pave the way for the kids who come after her. The continued grace, poise and positive attitude with which she endures this is a constant reminder to me of just how special this little girl really is. The dedication and determination with which Christine faces this chapter of our lives is similarly inspiring to me.

Life away from St. Jude’s is going well. All of the plans that Christine put in place before she left are being executed flawlessly by Megan who continues to be a God send to us as a family. The unceasing support from the St. Joseph and Mechanicsburg communities is still overwhelming and greatly appreciated. The prayerful support from thousands continues and is unquestionably responsible for Catie’s continued existence and path to recovery. The kids are all doing well in school, and despite Christine’s supposition that they are receiving preferential “my sister has cancer” grading, I know that they are excelling, as they have since they came to St. Joseph’s last year, because of the rich environment that exists in this very special school. We had an interesting time with Mia today as she announced to a faculty member and some students that Catie had a new tumor and is coming home this week because she is not going to live. I sat down with her this evening and made sure that she understood that Catie is in treatment and that we are convinced that she will live and will be home to celebrate her First Holy Communion and her birthday this coming April. She seemed very relieved, and can’t wait to tell everyone at school tomorrow.

Until we meet again, may our Father in heaven continue to bless you and provide you with unceasing reminders of His providential love for you, and may you each have the opportunity to share that loving embrace with someone who means the world to you. Make sure you let them know how important they are as He is letting you know how important you are to Him.

Love and God bless,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, M.E., and Megan

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