Hallmark doesn’t make a card for this.
Last October I showed you Rachael’s Beads of Courage. This is what her necklace looked like back then. She had already been through an awful lot.
Here we have IV’s, an ambulance ride and overnight hospital stays, A.K.A. Staphylococcus Sucks. Royally, I might add.
It culminated in this one very special bead that represents, in all its artistic beauty, the most painful procedure Rachael has had to date…. getting an ultrasound at the site of her staph infection. I had to emotionally check-out that day.
Each time she has to get an echo-cardiogram (three times so far), she double-checks that it’s the ultrasound that won’t hurt, right? That memory can still make both our hearts race. This bead is beautiful and bitter to me. I think she just finds it pretty.
Speaking of echo-cardiograms… there’s a bead for that. It’s also the bead for EKG’s. She does both of those on the same day.
She has other special beads too. Like this one that celebrated her last high-dose interferon infusion, and Christmas, which was only two weeks away. This bead meant “we get to go home!”
And this one…. which represents surgery. She has three stars.
Silver beads are for dressing changes and they were dreaded, painful experiences. This was a bad week.
This represents three weeks of Rachael’s current treatment. Black beads are for “pokes” – blood draws, IV’s, or home injections. White beads are for interferon. When she is done, she will have 65 white beads. She would have had 68 but we had to stop her infusions the last week of “high-dose” due to her blood counts getting too low.
She has a lot of black and white beads.
This is what her beads look like now. She’s working on that third necklace.
I wanted to show you a bit of her journey because today is a big day. Today is a day Rachael will remember and celebrate like a birthday, maybe even in a more deeply profound and personal way. This date, September 24th is a precious day for me and a medically important date for her.
Today my beautiful Warrior is one year, No Evidence of Disease!