Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

I have a lot to be thankful for

This past Sunday at Mass I was thinking about finishing up my cancer treatment. I go in for my last round of chemotherapy this Friday and will be at CHOP until Tuesday when I will finish my 14th (and final...YES!!!!!) round.

I have a lot to be thankful for

Rachel takes Communion at Mass – without crutches. (Photo: Kurt Kovach)
Rachel takes Communion at Mass – without crutches. (Photo: Kurt Kovach) Kurt Kovach

This past Sunday at Mass I was thinking about finishing up my cancer treatment.  I go in for my last round of chemotherapy this Friday and will be at CHOP until Tuesday when I will finish my 14th (and final…YES!!!!!) round.

Thinking about this, I have a lot to be thankful for.  When I first went to the doctor in New Jersey because my knee hurt last winter, my local orthopedic doctor had a professional relationship with Dr. Dormans at CHOP, so he was able to get me in to see Dr. Dormans the next business day after my MRI results showed I might have Ewing’s sarcoma.  My parents did a lot of research and found out that Dr. Dormans is pretty much the best doctor in the world to work on you if you need surgery for Ewing’s.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  The oncology team at CHOP actually developed the standard treatment for Ewing’s that is used around the world.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  The oncology nurses at CHOP are awesome!  They always make sure that I’m comfortable when I’m getting my icky chemo treatments and always make sure that my parents and I know exactly what’s going on.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  When you add all of this up, I have the best surgeon in the world, the best oncology team in the world, the best nurses in the world and I’m getting treated at the best children’s hospital in the world.  

This year started out pretty bad for me.  I got just about the worst news a kid could get in January when I was diagnosed with cancer.  But if you think about it, God must be watching over me because I got the best treatment in the world and I’m going to beat this.

 I have a lot to be thankful for.


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