Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Summer

Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues,

Although we are long overdue for a posting, let's agree it's been worth the wait – as we only have good news to report!

Ella’s treatment continues and her doctors and nurses are happy with her progress.  In early March, she began attending a few classes back at school for the final trimester of her senior year.  Spring arrived, and with it, the dark clouds of winter started to dissipate.  In addition to returning to school (and almost more importantly), Ella was able to regain some semblance of her normal life, being with friends and just hanging out.   Classes ended in mid-May, and since then it’s been non-stop senior class celebrations.  

Six months ago, it was so hard for any of us to imagine Ella attending her senior prom – but on June 8th, she did just that - and she looked stunningly beautiful!   Graduation on June 13th was a truly wonderful day for all of us - Ella and Noah received their diplomas with the usual pomp and circumstance, and our hearts were filled with emotion and pride. It was a great day we were happy to share with our moms and Amy’s sisters.

Noah and Maia continue to be really great – with equal parts love and care and typical sibling squabbling.  Maia is taking a physics class in June/July and then is off on a 10-day adventure in Costa Rica before entering junior year in high school this fall.  Noah is working as a camp counselor this summer and is looking forward to beginning his next four years at Johns Hopkins in Aug.   Ella is working part time a few hours a week, while still undergoing treatment 5-7 times per month.   

She’ll complete year 1 of intensive treatment in Sept/Oct and will progress to maintenance treatment for another year.  Ella is counting the days between now and the end of Aug when she joins the class of 2016 at Barnard College. 

We hope you will enjoy the pictures and share in our happiness.  We are so tremendously proud of them all!  Happy, and proud, and looking towards the future.

Till the next update, we send our love and gratitude.

Amy and Dave

Friday, January 20, 2012

Here's to a New Year!

Hi everyone,

Ella has taken a break from writing in her blog, but she has given us permission to compose this quick update to keep all of you apprised of her status.

At the outset, you should know that Ella is doing well. She is responding to her ongoing treatment and hitting the appropriate milestones her doctors need to see. Her day-to-day condition is very tied into the combination of medicines she takes. She pushes through her toughest times and truly shines when she is feeling her best. 

While Ella is not going to school, she is taking four classes via Skype (AP Stat, AP Pysch, and two English classes: Emily Dickenson and the Bible), and is working with her teachers and classmates to participate in and complete various assignments.  Last Friday, Ella visited school, attended some classes, and presented a Stat project with her friends Olivia and Elliott in Mrs. Itani’s class. That was certainly a good day.

There have been a number of good days over the last few months – and many are triggered by friends and family being close by. We are so grateful for all the support and prayers from all you. It means so much to all of us.

Blog posting can be a challenge, but we will try and keep you in the loop as we continue on our journey to recovery.  For now, enjoy the rest of the season – stay warm – and be well.

All our best,
Ella, Maia, Noah, Amy & Dave