Jun 6, 2016 11:38pm (Scott)

Thank you to our veterans and military personnel on this annual remembrance of D-Day. Your courage, strength, and willingness to take any threat head-on, no matter how terrifying, is 57563daef02065da0f414874humbling and inspiring.

Today’s echocardiogram went as well as we could have hoped. Maya’s heart is strong and calm as ever, and she handled the new experience with the grace and confidence of an old pro.

Afterward, Maya, Sara, and I visited Yogurt Beach for a treat and to pass on our thanks for the fundraiser they hosted in March. It’s funny how much Maya is naturally like her Mommy–she chose all of Sara’s favorite toppings for her yogurt. . . simply choose all the toppings to ensure you haven’t missed out on anything.

We are four days into our two week ‘chemo break’ before we start delayed intensification (DI). DI is the rough one: red devil, steroids, infusions, lumbar punctures, mouth sores, hair loss, fevers, transfusions. . . and a dash or two of the unknown. We have learned much about Maya’s strength, and how it can help sustain our own. DI will be the phase where Sara and I must return the favor.

There is so much about the next phase we don’t know–Sara and I have not completed regular preparations. We have not put together a new poster-sized calendar for medications and reporting of bodily functions. We have not reviewed drugs and potential side effects, and we don’t know what to expect as far as the day to day level of care Maya will need. But in the coming days, as our two weeks of chemo-free time slips away, we will need to get game faces back on. The storm approaches. There’s no way around it. We will grit our teeth, lower our shoulders, and smash through. On the other side is calm air, maintenance, the bright ring of a bell, and a normal, healthy life for our little Dragon.

People ask very often about Maya. Friends, family, coworkers ask how she’s doing, and we’re so thankful to be in so many thoughts and prayers. The answer, though, is hard–on the one hand she’s doing great, she’s winning, she’s wielding miracle treatments and chemo poisons like dragon’s fire, and she’s dismantling this cancer like it’s easy. On the other hand, this is a long battle with the steepest challenges just ahead. Early points don’t count for much if you don’t finish strong–so far she’s awesome, and she’s positioned to attack DI with the same fury and stubborn will that has gotten us this far. So, I answer that she’s doing fine. Treatment has gone smoothly with few surprises. It’s true kids are amazingly resilient, and she’s no exception. And quietly I worry about what’s on the horizon.

This week we will celebrate. Cautiously, we will celebrate. My brothers and sister, nephews and niece will travel to Carson to help celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. To say Maya is enthusiastic about meeting her cousins for the first time would be a dangerous understatement–I think it might be best if we all wear full pads and helmets for the party.

It’s a little early, but happy 50th anniversary, Mom and Dad. You together are an inspiration, and your boundless support is valuable as life. We love you.57563e438b5cd384208eec88