You made it! You are one year old and your mom and I are so glad. Today we're going to smash a cupcake in your face; don't take it the wrong way. We're going to have a lot of fun, because that's what's supposed to happen on birthdays. You'll get the hang of it, don't worry.
Your mom, Cosmo, Josie, Dora and I all love you very much. It's been a long year. Your mom and dad are at least 10 years older. The math doesn't add up, but it's true, we assure you. You're not going to remember everything that's happened, because you're still a tiny little squirt, so here's some of the things that have happened in your first year.
- You were born here in Fremont.. We won't tell you any of the gross stuff unless you really want to know. But it was pretty awesome. We were so happy and flabbergasted to meet you. Your daddy cried and cried and cried. Your daddy's kind of a cry baby - no offense.
- By the time you were three days old, you fell in love with your pacifier. Now you have lots of them. All of them have little animals sewn on them, and they hide all over the house. You have a giraffe paci, a kitty paci, a frog paci... You love all of them. Your mommy and daddy like to call your sucking 'nuk nuk' because that's kind of like the sound you make when you suck on them. You love your paci's so much that sometimes you dream about sucking on them. How do we know? We watch you 'nuk nuk' in your sleep, even without a Paci in your mouth! That is pretty darn cute.
- You met your pediatrician, and she took good care of you. She weighed you to make sure you were the right weight, and measured how tall you were, and checked your ears and eyes and nose. She helped your mommy and daddy feed you, because that was extra tough. And then, when you were two months old, she checked out a little bruise on your forehead that your mommy and daddy were worried about. Your doctor was worried, and made sure to look inside your head with a CT machine, which is a giant donut shaped machine. Here you are inside of it.
Your daddy thought that your pediatrician was overreacting, but the CT machine was just down the hall, so he went along with it. Boy was your daddy wrong! The CT scan showed that there was something enormous inside your head, and that we needed to go the Emergency room right away! So your doctor rushed all of us to the emergency room, and the paramedics rushed you to another hospital in Palo Alto. Your mommy and I couldn't ride with you in the ambulance over, so we followed you, and the paramedics took you to the Intensive Care Unit for kids, where all of the really sick babies and kids go.
Suddenly you had a whole bunch of doctors. You doctors that do different things: heart doctors, lung doctors, endocrinologists, and most importantly, head doctors. You had a whole bunch of head doctors: neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuropsychologists and more! All of these doctors looked at you really closely. They put you in a machine that was even bigger than the CT scan; it was called an MRI machine. I don't have a picture for you, because your daddy didn't remember to take pictures.
Your mommy and daddy and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and everyone came. We all were shocked. The MRI machine showed your head had a tumor inside of it. The doctors operated on your head, to get a small piece of the tumor out. They needed to study it closely to know what it was.
- Before we could find out what your tumor was, we went home for Christmas. You were feeling good, and so it was okay to go home. You had your first Christmas! This was a very special Christmas for your mommy and daddy, and we wanted to make sure it was a really good Christmas for you, too, so we invited Santa Clause to your Grandma and Grandpa Marzano's house. Santa came! We all made sure to have a really fun Christmas with you, even though we were worried about your tumor.
- After Christmas, we had a meeting with one of the doctors from Palo Alto, who told us all about the tumor. We were scared, because we weren't sure we were going to be able to get the tumor out. We went to another doctor, all the way in Oakland this time, to see what he would say.
The doctor there said we needed to operate on you right away, to get that tumor out! So we spent the next month in Oakland. The doctor there cut the tumor out,
- In February you started chemotherapy. You're still taking it. We'll tell you about Chemo when you're older. It's the yuckiest medicine ever. We didn't like giving it to you, because it made you feel sick a lot. But it was really important to get, so that the tumor didn't grow back.
- In April you got really sick, and the shunt you have to help drain fluids from your head stopped working, so we had to replace that.
- After a while, you got used to chemotherapy, and over the summer we had a little fun again. We even went to the beach one day. Every California baby needs to see the beach, and that included you!
- Lately you are a very busy girl. You have appointments every day all over the bay area. You're learning to make new sounds like Ba! Ga! and Da! You also drool a lot! You have eight new teeth coming in right now, so we can understand all of the drool. I'd be drooling too if that were happening to me.
Today, sweetheart, we are so happy to have you. One year old is a big day, and we just can't wait to see what more you surprise us with!
Happy Birthday. I hope you like the bike.