This post was written by Tabitha Radermacher and was originally posted on the CaringBridge page for Bella, her daughter, who was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma in 2017.
The last time I braided Bella's hair was the week of her diagnosis in April 2017.
I vividly remember holding back tears while braiding Bella's long, blonde hair, knowing it would more than likely be the last time for a long time that I could run my fingers through her tresses. Bella felt miserable that day and wanted nothing to do with braids. But I insisted, knowing it would help her feel better to have her hair done. (Braiding her hair did bring a little smirk to our very sick little lady.)
Fast forward to this past week: Bella's hair is finally long enough to twist back into some beautiful French braids. Bella was so proud of the end result that she jumped around the house and couldn't wait to show them off.
I, on the other hand, found myself in tears because of how far we have come.
It's the little things that really bring us so much joy. We have found a whole new appreciation for life itself. Bella continues to only get stronger and healthier. Lab work continues to look good. We are just so thankful for where we are.
By the way, isn't it crazy that she is wearing the same butterfly dress in both pictures? It was not planned, I only noticed as I was posting them.
Written by Tabitha Radermacher
Tabitha is mom to two children, Bella and Ian. Bella was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, liver cancer, in April 2017. Tabitha and her husband, Travis, live in Ortonville, Minnesota. Learn more about Bella by reading her story or by reading Tabitha's other blog posts: Survivor's Guilt, Two Years and The Most Perfect Gift.
Your donation helps fund the brightest researchers who are looking for better, safer treatments for rare and hard-to-treat cancers. These researchers' breakthroughs will mean less time at the hospital and more time with family for kids like Bella.