Hello all,

To save us travel time the doctors have agreed to train us how to give some of the more frequent heavy chemo meds directly at home. Monday's typically start with a trip to Sanford for Natalie's weekly Spinal Tap. Medicines are injected (intrathecally) into her spine, and the fluid evaluated. This 15 minute procedure takes about 8hrs from leaving to returning home. By the time we leave the hospital Natalie's Port is "Accessed." This means there's a needle and tube present in her chest port for the delivery of medicines. Each week we have been trained at regular intervals to administer a mind-numbing number of medicines, one of which though her chest port. If you try to imagine, it's a fairly odd to suit up in protective gear and inject a bio hazardous substance into human being, let alone your daughter. But still you press on because as a parent you know it's her best chance at beating this disease.

Natalie is such a trooper. Don't get us wrong, she really doesn't like her treatments, but she handles them with courage; honestly better than Dana or I would. I am so proud of her. Her courage and strength is monumentally amazing to me. I continually grow more fond of her daily. Though this time has been immeasurably tough, I've truly treasured spending countless hours by her side. It has been such a treat to get to know her more completely (than I think I would have normally). I will always treasure all of the little moments like our little gibberish talks, having her fall asleep in my arms, and holding her hand at the bed side nearly all night.

Sometimes I feel like she is telling me that everything will be alright. I don't know how she does it but she has managed to touch so many lives with her amazing (I don't even know what you call it) it's like an aura. Something about her little spirit, people gravitate to her. I really feel she is being used by God in so many ways.
It is truly amazing how someone so young can teach so much.

Your prayers are hard at work,

The Orlando's

Natalie Orlando

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