Protocols for clinical trials require specific follow-up schedules. For instance, after treatment for average-risk ALL, your child may need monthly physical exams and a monthly CBC for the first year off treatment, and a less frequent schedule for the following years. Find out from the oncologist what the required schedule is, and where the appointments will be. Make sure that your child understands that after treatment ends doctor appointments and blood draws will still be an occasional necessity.
Shawn is a year off treatment and I find myself letting go of the bad memories more and more. They are just fading away. What I am left with is awe, admiration, and amazement that my son handled all of the hardships of treatment and survived. He's very determined and strong-willed, and I'm so proud of him. When people say to me, "Oh, you were so strong to make it through that," I respond, "All I did was drive him to the appointments; he did the rest."
This experience has really changed me and my entire family My marriage is much better, my other sons are stronger and closer to us, and Shawn has shown us all how tough a little kid can be. We take each precious day, one at a time, and try to get the most out of it. I so appreciate life and my family.
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