Friday, December 26, 2014

I'm mobile again!

Sunday was a big day. Ms. Kristen, my physical therapist, came by to help me get out of bed. She brought a recumbent wheel chair (that's a wheelchair that reclines) so I wouldn't have to bend my new hip joint too far when I went for a cruise around the floor here on Four South and East -- and where ever else I could go without getting into trouble.

I'm mobile again!

Kurt Kovach

Sunday was a big day. Ms. Kristen, my physical therapist, came by to help me get out of bed. She brought a recumbent wheel chair (that’s a wheelchair that reclines) so I wouldn’t have to bend my new hip joint too far when I went for a cruise around the floor here on Four South and East -- and where ever else I could go without getting into trouble.

About an hour before Ms. Kristen came to help me, nurse Julia gave me my pain medication so it wouldn’t hurt too much when I moved for the first time. I take most of my pain medication in pills now. I’m almost entirely disconnected from my I.V. pole; it’s only there now for antibiotics and my PCA -- that’s the button I push if I need pain medication in a hurry. I haven’t needed the button much lately. This means I’m mobile!

It took a few minutes to get me situated and sitting on the side of my bed. It felt great to sit up with my legs and feet off of the bed. Ms. Kristen and nurse Julia helped put my weight on my left leg, the one that wasn’t operated on, and then shifted me onto this cool wheelchair. It didn’t really hurt when I sat up or when I got in the wheelchair.

It was so good to get out of this room and see something other than these four walls. I took my mom’s (Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!) MacBook Air laptop with me for a ride around the fourth floor. My dad found me a nice sunny spot by a window and I Skyped with my friend Kate in Highlands, NJ for awhile. I really miss my friends so Skype keeps me from feeling out of touch.

On that note, I heard Sunday morning that my friend Gabby, who has been training in ballet for years, now can finally use point shoes. Yeah, Gabby! I have been rooting for you and can’t wait to see you dance in your point shoes.

A priest came by Sunday morning and gave me and my parents Holy Communion because I couldn’t get to Mass. That was kind of nice. All in all, a good day. And another step closer to going home!

 


 

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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.

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