Deb Here! (A.k.a Ella’s Step-Mommy)
A few days ago Glen, Alycia, Ella and I went back down to Kaiser Oakland to review Ella’s recent MRI results with Dr. Kim. The scans show that Ella’s brain is healing, and shows no signs of cancer. GREAT NEWS!!!
We are all still decompressing from the stress that built up leading to the results. She has been making such great progress and the unknown was very scary.
She will continue having regular MRIs for the next few years to monitor her progress. At this time, there are areas that still show trauma, and only time will tell how those areas of the brain will heal. Science and technology are amazing. It was so interesting to see the MRI scans from last August, September, October and then compare those scans with her scan in February and her most recent one from last week.
The progress this little 7 year old is making is AMAZING! And she’s not so little anymore, this girl has grown.
Ella has been keeping us busy. She has been splitting her time between her Mom & Daddy Marks home and our home here with Daddy and Deb. I will say it again, Thank you to Alycia (Mom) and Dad (Glen) for being ‘on demand’ 24/7 when Ella is at the respective home. Us step-parents get out of the home for our full-time jobs, and try to help as much as we can when we are home. Alycia and Glen are AMAZING PARENTS and their strength keeps me going.
Ella works very hard each day to relearn how to use all of her muscles. Her ankles & legs are getting stronger, and with assistance she is able to stand, and take steps. It’s been almost five months since we brought her home from her five month stay in the hospital. She now can sit up on her own and even scoot across the floor on her own.
Ella still has the g-tube, but only for additional water intake. I am pleased to report that she is ‘eating’ all of her food, and drinking the majority of her liquids. The g-tube will stay in until this fall.
She is still wearing her eye patch. It gets switched back from eye to eye to strengthen her eyes, and hopefully help reduce her double vision. I need to sew more eye patches, so she can color coordinate them with her stylish outfits. She LOVES purple, she loves pink too – but I think she has more fun teasing her dad (Glen) about how much he ‘loves’ pink. Luckily Ella still has her witty personality and jokes often.
Ella & Glen have been trying to convince me to get a new pet bunny for the home. I think our home is full & tending to her, our other pets, the land and our 13 chickens, well… We were out visiting with some friends, one who has a bunny. Ella says in her sarcastic tone ‘Deb loves bunnies, don’t you Deb’ – I looked at Ella puzzled, and then see Ella start laughing and reach behind her to give her Dad a ‘high five’. She really got me. That kiddo has timing and her sense of humor (atleast dishing out the jokes) has only gotten better in the past few months. She is hilarious.
We have taken her out on a few short trips recently. The Petrified Forest, the Geyers, The Exploratorium, CA Academy of Sciences (just Daddy & Ella) and then most recently… Monterey Bay Aquarium, where we also had Ella’s first (and successful) swimming experience in a year. She LOVED being in the pool, and got very sad when we had to leave to go back to the room. We are home now, and have recently taken her to a local pool for exercise and fun.
Back to Monterey Bay Aquarium… It was great! Glen and Ella battled about which would be cooler to see, the penguins or the otters. We got to see both. Don’t tell Ella, but my vote is for the otters. They are amazing little creatures.
The trip was very memorable and enjoyable; and we look forward to going back when the jellies exhibit is open.
We will be working this summer, not only to get her physically back on track, but getting her ready to start school. She will continue weekly with her physical therapy sessions, occupational therapy and speech therapy. We are working with Ella on reading and her writing. She loves to draw, it’s now time to start working with getting her prepared to start school in August.
Thank you for all of your love and support. We have been busy, but we will continue to update the site to keep everyone updated on the progress Ella is making.
Thank you again,