Congratulations, you have successfully completed the Proton level. Are you ready to enter the next level?
Since Jessica got diagnosed, it feels like each day is another level completed in a computer game. We have jumped over obstacles, gained extra time, held our breath in anticipation and dodged this tumour. We will not be beaten. Now that Jessica’s Proton therapy is complete it’s now to the next level which could be the toughest yet… to wait.
If you have been following my blog, you will recall me writing about the eye test Jessica had before her treatment begun. Ben and I were so happy with the news that she had pretty much perfect vision (well, as far as they could tell in someone Jessica’s age). We had a follow up eye appointment last week and the news was not as great.
Since Proton started, we’ve noticed that Jessica has started bumping into large objects and that one pupil sometimes seems bigger than the other, so deep down we knew something had changed in her vision capability. Like us, the eye doctor also noticed these changes and added that her new habit of tilting her head slightly was possibly down to something wrong with her eyes.
The doctor thought it would be best to dilate her pupils to see what was going on at the back of those big brown eyes. To the doctor’s amazement, her optic nerves looked a picture of health. This baffled all the doctors along with us. The fact that she is bumping into things could be down to tiredness. She picks up the smallest bits of fluff of the floor and doesn’t miss a trick so surely her sight can’t be that bad, can it?
The tilting of the head could be a little quirk she has developed and the difference in size of her pupils could be a minor reaction to the radiation. I could be wishfully thinking again, but the doctors have told us to keep a close eye on her (no pun intended). It could be the start of her vision problems. Or, it could just be an unsolved reaction, which in time will pass. Let’s hope it’s the latter.
So today was Jessica’s last day. Typically, the machine had to go down so we were slightly delayed, but boy did the whole of Proton make a fuss of Jessica Rose. We had banners, cakes, and pictures, well-wishers and lots of lovely gifts. I think I can safely say she is going to be truly missed and to be fair we are going to miss the Proton team to. They have all been brilliant and part of our cure. We could never thank them enough.
With Proton now completed, it just leaves one more thing to do. To get our slightly bigger arses back home where we belong. I’m super excited to get back home and see all you guys. I’m so looking forward to seeing Jessica’s face when she gets reunited with all her little buddies. She has really missed her friends and I can tell she is getting a little homesick.
Despite the tragic reasons for our visit to the States we have enjoyed our stay here and fallen in love with America. Here are my top 10 things I’m going to miss.
- The friendliness of complete strangers
- Target (you won’t be surprised to know that this is a store)
- Buttermilk pancakes for breakfast
- Drive thru banks/cash machines
- The cost of fuel and everything else for that matter. It’s so cheap out here.
- Peanut butter ice cream
- Nice weather pretty much 99 per cent of the time
- America style pedicures
- American magazines
- All our American buddies, we are going to miss you guys.
This last part of my blog I would like to donate to all my friends and family who have helped us through this rough time. Together you have held our hands through the bad, jumped with us at the good, helped us raise money beyond our expectations, listened to us when we’ve wanted to talk or changed the subject when we didn’t.
I would like to thank those of you who helped with all our fundraising. We have had curry nights, auctions, cup cake sales, 10k runners, family fun days, and live music, quiz nights, pool parties, and random and extremely kind donations. This money ensured that the three of us could stay together as a family and made this trip a little less stressful. It will also play an important part in Jessica’s rehabilitation and ensure she doesn’t have to struggle her way through life. Simple things in life could be a struggle for Jessica if she doesn’t get the special help needed. Thank you so much, your kindness will stay in our hearts forever.
Now this is the part where you may want to get your sick buckets at the ready. I would be lying to you all if I said that Ben and I had got through this trip without the odd argument. Yes, we’ve argued at times. I mean, what couple wouldn’t? We have spent nearly 10 weeks together living in each other’s pockets and I can count the number of arguments we have had on one hand (pretty good, huh?).
Ben – despite the fact you have a tendency of being a bit grumpy from time to time, you have been a real gem on this trip. You’ve put so much energy into ensuring that Jessica and I are OK, that I’ve often wondered who is taking care of you? You have shown amazing strength and made Jessica truly proud.
You were there for me when I was seriously falling apart (around week seven) and made me realise what is important when I got lost in my thoughts. You took on the task of taking our daughter down to be put under anasetic every single morning for 10 weeks. I could not have done this. During our little trip I have enjoyed getting to know you even more, Ben. There is so much more I have learnt, but the main thing that sticks out in my mind is what a brilliant dad you are. You love our little girl more than anything in the world and it truly does show. From Jessi (this is not a typo, btw, ‘Jessi’ is a new spelling!) and I… THANK YOU!