The Little Warrior Ariella Paige Stein - AriellaStrong
What a year it’s been. Started with what we thought was just a leg injury turned out to be life changing. Our world was rocked in February when we heard the words “she has cancer” and since treatment began in March it’s been hospital stays, chemo, surgeries, fevers etc. We were in a bubble watching everyone live their lives while we were just adjusting to our new normal.
It has been 296 days since Ariella started chemo (330 since she was officially diagnosed) and in that time she has had:
2 central lines placed resulting in 2 punctured lungs and 3 chest tubes
11 surgeries (including biopsies and central lines) with more to come on her leg and one next week to remove her central line
17 cycles of chemo for a total of 61 days receiving chemo
94 nights in the hospital
15 blood or platelet transfusions
Countless injections given by her dad and me
63 Physical therapy visits (inpatient and outpatient) with plenty more to come
3 ER visits
Countless scans and x-rays
Countless clinic visits (oncology clinic and ortho clinics).
Many new friendships and connections made and many cool opportunities and experiences (though would give every single one back to have never gone through this)
Connections to foundations and organizations who have helped us in many ways.
Mixed emotions when Ariella rang that bell today. Relief that this chapter is over. Because it is just a chapter, not the whole story. But fear and anxiety as well. Fear that the cancer will come back now that treatment has stopped. Fear of the many possible short term and long term side effects of the chemo. Not just physical but mental, emotional and cognitive side effects.
For now the next steps are that Ariella has her central line removed and returns to school (both next week) and keep with follow ups on the leg. Not sure of the exact plan there yet. Will see how it heals now that chemo has stopped and take it from there. The next ortho appointment is in mid-January. After that scans every 3 months for a while. In the meantime we can breathe a bit for a few months and return to “real life”.
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