An update on Scarlett’s progress…

Scarlett is feeling well!  There are lots of smiles in her day and even a little bounce in her step! Scarlett has been working hard in Occupational and Physical Therapy. She is trying to regain some of the strength she has lost in her legs. She struggles to walk up stairs, to run and to get up from a sitting position on the floor.  It’s hard to imagine that just a few months ago she was an active 6 year old ice skating and playing lacrosse with her schoolmates. The good news is this is all temporary.Scarlett misses riding and wants to compete again in the horse shows. We use this as motivation in her physical therapy sessions and she delivers. The therapists are very creative and will stimulate the muscles used in riding by having her straddle a ball etc.  When Scarlett is feeling well, which is more often than not, the therapy sessions are a welcome addition to the weekly routine.

We are hoping to finish up this round of chemo this week.  Following bouts with the rhinovirus (the common cold) and the noro virus (the cruise ship sickness), her white blood count remains low.  She started receiving the GCSF Shot which stimulates her marrow to make white blood cells.  This shot was developed at MSK and has been instrumental in helping cancer patient’s bone marrow recover more quickly from the effects of chemo ~ minimizing delay s in treatment.   It’s just one example of research dollars at MSK being put to great work.  We are so grateful.

This morning, we head back to the hospital to check her blood counts. If her counts are high enough she will begin a 3 day course of 3 different chemos.  Regardless of her counts, she is scheduled for one chemotherapy today which will take several hours to administer. Scarlett’s hospital backpack is ready to go.  It contains her favorite Usborne sticker books (highly recommended if you don’t have them yet), Harry Potter 2, an iPod, headphones and her stuffed panda (Pandy.)

Scarlett talks a lot about what she will do when cancer is over. She wants to eat copious amounts of sushi.  She wants to visit her cousins in Texas. She wants a sleepover. More than anything, she wants me to brush and braid her hair, put on her school uniform and go to school.  She misses play dates,  horse back riding and her hair but she is happy.  Robert and I read to her a lot and play A LOT of board games. Her new world is much different than her old world but Scarlett has adjusted well.  She understands that she has cancer. She understands that things will get better.Hope is a beautiful thing.

PostScript- Scarlett’s counts soared!  She will start her treatment today.