Beads of Courage

Rachel's necklace keeps growing as she earns a "bead of courage" for each step of her treatment

 Today was a pretty big day for me. It is exactly one week since my limb-salvage surgery. The doctors removed the drains (vacuum-like tubing that removes the leaking blood and fluids from the area that was operated on). Right now, I'm not hooked up to ANYTHING, so I enjoyed a ride around the hospital in my wheel chair!

My leg brace also came today. Wearing this brace instead of using the abductor pillow will allow me to move more freely while keeping my hips aligned while I heal from the surgery. I will begin physical therapy with the brace tomorrow morning with Nickie so I can learn how to do things safely and finally go home from the hospital!

The other thing that I got to do today (besides go to school for two hours with the CHOP teacher Jamie) is update my Beads of Courage. When I started my treatment back in February, one of the child-life specialists, Brittany, told me about the beads that oncology patients collect to represent different parts of treatment. My favorite bead is the purple star that you get for having surgery. My strand of beads is already about 4.5 feet long -- and I'm only about half way through treatment!

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