Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Getting out and about

I'm done letting cancer get me down. I'm getting close to the end of treatment and want to focus on putting together a public service announcement with my Make-A-Wish to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and help raise funds for research to help other children.

Getting out and about

I have come to the conclusion that I'm pretty tired of being treated for cancer.

I was getting a little depressed, didn't want to leave my hospital room when I was at CHOP, and wasn't really talking to anybody. So yesterday, I decided that I'd had enough of being stuck in this room and went outside to the courtyard with my parents to get some fresh air - chemotherapy infusion pump and all. There I was, sitting in the garden, and the only noise other than a car going by once in a while was the infusion pump on the pole. (Boy, am I ready to get rid of this thing.)

The courtyard outside of CHOP is really nice. There are some flowers and a statue of a panda bear that I've wanted to go see. My Mom and Dad rolled me outside and we had a chance to get a little family time. It was a whole lot better than being cooped up in my hospital room in the oncology unit. The nurses and doctors were really nice, but the walls were starting to close in on me in here.

After we were done outside and on our way back to the oncology unit, we saw people hanging out at The Voice, the sound and TV studio donated to CHOP by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. The people in the studio invited me to hang out, sing a little Taylor Swift, and broadcast on the closed circuit network in the hospital.

It was way cool. I sang Taylor Swift's "Love Story" in the talent show at my school last year so I knew all the words. There were a couple other kiddos there to hang out with and my parents had some time to talk with the other parents. The Voice is a great place for the kids here to pass some time, get to know one another, and just be kids in a really cool environment. It's way better than hanging out in the basement at your friend's house.  

Anyway, I'm done letting cancer get me down. I'm getting close to the end of treatment and want to focus on putting together a public service announcement with my Make-A-Wish to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and help raise funds for research to help other children.  

One last thing: I know this is Philadelphia and there are not a lot of Giants fans here, but I have to give a shout out to the NY Giants for signing Mark Herzlich a few days ago.  Mark is a Ewings Sarcoma survivor and knowing he can play in the NFL helps me keep my own hope alive to go back to my swim team (Go Barracudas!) real soon.  I don't know Mark Herzlich, but I hope to meet him some day.


Click HERE to comment or read comments on the Onco Girl blog. Comments will be moderated.

About this blog
Rachel Kovach, 12, is a seventh-grader at Mother Theresa Regional School in Atlantic Highlands, N.J. She lives in Highlands, N.J., near the Sandy Hook national seashore, with her parents, Mari and Kurt Kovach.

Since first grade, Rachel has been swimming with the Monmouth Barracudas, a year-round competitive United States Swimming Club program. She hopes to continue competitive swimming after her cancer treatment; if not, she envisions coaching someday or maybe a career in medicine. Figure skating and jazz dancing have been big parts of her life. One of the things she hates about being in the hospital is missing her dog Cocoa and her many friends.

Rachel's doctors

These are the key physicians overseeing Rachel’s care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

Naomi BalamuthNaomi Balamuth, pediatric oncologist, specializes in treating pediatric sarcomas, a subset of solid tumors.

 

 

Richard B. WomerRichard B. Womer, pediatric oncologist, led studies of the latest chemotherapy treatment protocol for Ewing’s sarcoma.

 

 

John P. DormansJohn P. Dormans, M.D., chief of orthopaedic surgery, is an international expert in the surgical treatment of musculoskeletal tumors.

 

Timeline of Rachel Kovach’s Treatment

Dec. 3, 2010: Pain in Rachel's right knee is initially diagnosed as tendinitis.

Jan. 20: An MRI reveals a tumor in right leg.

Jan 24: Rachel sees John Dormans, chief of orthopedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Jan. 27: A biopsy confirms Ewing's sarcoma.

February to mid-April: Regimens of chemotherapy alternate every other week. The three-drug regimen is given over two days; the two-drug regimen is given over five days.

May 3: Surgery replaces most of the right femur with a prosthesis.

May 5: A Children's Hospital team will help Rachel get out of bed.

May 10 to September: Alternating regimens of chemotherapy are to resume.

Around May 10: Physical therapy will begin in the hospital and continue for at least several months after Rachel goes home.

Onco Girl
Latest Health Videos
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected