Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Waiting is excruciating

Hello, my name is Kurt Kovach. I'm Rachel's father. Rachel is undergoing her limb salvage surgery as I type this from the surgical waiting room.

Waiting is excruciating

10:34 am

Hello, my name is Kurt Kovach. I’m Rachel’s father. Rachel is undergoing her limb salvage surgery as I type this from the surgical waiting room. Kissing her on her beautiful head and telling her we would see her in a few hours a short time ago was one of the toughest things Mari and I have ever done. We know that Dr. Dormans is the best surgeon in the world to perform this procedure and we are blessed to have him working on our Rachel.  It's still very hard to watch your child get wheeled off to surgery, in tears because she is afraid, by people that you met only moments before.

We just got a "thumbs up" update from the surgical nurse that makes the rounds every hour updating families in the waiting room at CHOP.  The waiting is excruciating.  Every time the door to the waiting room opens, we hope it’s the nurse with news on how Rachel is doing.  We knew going into this surgery that it would take five or six hours but that doesn’t  stop us from starving for information. 

More news after Rachel comes out of surgery.

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Click HERE to read Marie McCullough's article introducing Rachel Kovachs and her blog.

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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