9:56 AM Today is Sophie's Birthday! She is 5 years old today. For some reason, this feels like a big deal to me. Maybe it's the general state of meaningfulness that we're in, but this is an exciting event. She got to open a couple of presents this morning before school (a dress from Oma and a Scooby-Doo game from Grammy). She's been in such a cheerful mood lately, too, so we've had a very good time with her. She's especially proud of her birthday and the fact that she's growing up.
Tomorrow we go to Chapel Hill for her next-to-last clinic visit. Tomorrow is also the start of her last 5-day course of steroids. Of all the challenges that we have been through with Sophie's treatment, I think the steroids have been the worst. The steroids often brought out a cranky, always-hungry, fly-off-the-handle and never-sleeping-through-the-night Sophie, not to mention the difficult reminder of the dark days when we first started treatment, or the even longer periods when she got to be so big and lost all her hair. The steroids have been a monthly reminder that, yeah, we're dealing with life and death here, and powerful, powerful drugs. We won't be sad to throw away whatever is left of the steroids on Saturday after Sophie takes her final dosage.