We have been blessed!
By Colleen Simon — 1 hour ago
Warm summer greetings to you all!! It's been much too long since I've posted an update! Please forgive me while keeping in mind that no updates means things are going great!!
I added several pictures of recent, monumental, wondrous, miraculous events for you to enjoy!!
Alison has graduated high school - an AMAZING FEAT after missing school from September to mid-March!! We are so grateful to the Gettysburg School Staff for all they've done to assist Alison - this past year AND during her 8th grade year! I didn't cry at graduation, I think because we were all so happy just to be there to witness her achievement! But, I do tear up whenever I stop to ponder all the things Alison has accomplished! Isn't it all so crazy wonderful?!
Praise the Lord!!! <3
Alison has been enjoying FFA training and is so excited for the camps and travel she is privileged to do this summer! She continues to be humbled by the office of State President and takes the "wearing of the jacket" seriously. I'm thrilled to see her enjoying a dream come true and I look forward to watching her soar!!
She heads to South Dakota State University in the fall to major in Agriculture Communications!
Medically, Alison is doing great! During the first full week of June, she had her first 3-month post-chemotherapy checkups. They didn't see ANY sign of cancer in the chest x-ray or abdominal ultrasound!! Woohoo!! More praise for the Lord!! Alison has been doing well, so I didn't think there would be any cancer, but it sure is reassuring to know for certain!! Dr. Wagner said she will have checkups every 3 months for at least the first year. At one year, March 2017, they will do a CT scan to make absolutely sure they haven't missed a thing. So, the next round of checkups with oncology, nephrology, and infectious disease will be in September. I'm sure she will be seeing Transplant at some point, too, as they are currently monitoring her Tac (anti-rejection) level with blood draws every 2 weeks. I'm not an official expert, but it seems like the Tac level is getting closer to finding it's "happy place"! Please keep praying for that to happen! Dr. Sanders says Alison's kidney function has leveled off, but it may continue to improve a bit more over time. Dr. Chatterjee could see that Alison has seasonal allergies, but no sign of rhyzopus fungus, thank heavens! At the end of checkup week, Dr. Ryckman removed Alison's chemo port! It all continues to thoroughly amaze me...
I want to thank the amazing staff at Sanford Children's in Sioux Falls who take such magnificent care of Alison! They also hold her in such high esteem. They gave her a poster congratulating her on beating cancer - the oncology staff, front desk staff, child life, and 3rd floor nurses all signed it. What a sweet gesture! I witnessed something, though, that sums up the collective way I believe the Sanford staff feels about Alison. When Dr. Sanders, who has known Alison since August 2011, came into the exam room for her checkup, he was accompanied by a visiting doctor. He greeted us, sat down, turned and looked at Alison and introduced her to the other doctor, saying, "And THIS... is Alison!" It's blatantly obvious she's one of their favorite patients! Another humble moment for this mom who can't blame 'em a bit for loving her so much! <3
And, THANK YOU for your love, strength, thoughts, prayers, hugs, visits, gifts, and for being on this crazy ride with us! I may not post a journal update until September, but I plan to add photos now and then to show you what words cannot express! <3
God bless you all! Colleen