Monday, June 30, 2014

I had my first end-of-treatment nightmare last night.

Yeah end-of-treatment.  EOT for short.

Just 2 weeks (and 2 days) til EOT.  Today an echocardiogram.  Tomorrow a lumbar puncture.  Some IV chemo.  14 nights of 10:00pm oral chemo.  A week of steroids.  2 final doses of methotrexate.  It's just one final course.  Seems like so much as I write it out but feels like so little.  Two (plus) years felt so long and yet went by so fast. 

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm not ready for it to end.  Light at the end of the tunnel?  I can see it now.  But what if it doesn't stay lit?

I asked the doctors for more chemo.

They said no.

Ari has just two more weeks. 

And then we'll find out if it all worked.

(I should start taking Ari's Ativan.)

Two years ago:

Two weeks ago:

Two weeks to go...


Cancerversary 2

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I remember the events of June 4, 2012 like it was yesterday.

I recall the car ride from Ari's gymnastics class to the hospital for a chest x-ray.  I can hear the sound of the pediatrician's voice as she told us to head directly to the ER and to brace ourselves for a "long day."  I can see the face of the oncologist who came in to tell us Ari's diagnosis.  And I vividly remember my reaction when she told us he would be in treatment for two years.

Two years?  That was longer than Ari had been alive.  Two years?  That seemed like forever.  Two years?  That would make him almost 4 years old. 

Two years?  I remember thinking, Will he even survive that long?  Will we?

But, the days turned to weeks and the weeks to months.  The seasons changed.  With one foot in front of the other, and somehow...

Yesterday marked two years.

Can you believe it?

Two years!  I can't even begin to list all of the medical procedures, the rounds of chemotherapy, the lumbar punctures, the doses of steroids, the hospital admissions, and the countless trips to the ER for fevers.  I recall all of it.

Two years!  I also remember the birthdays celebrated, the songs sung, the trampolines jumped, the  baby birthed, the candy stores sampled, the pre-school student dropped off and picked up, the friends made, the toys purchased, the puddles splashed, the parks visited, the memories made, the fun had, the life lived.

Two years!  Ari made it.  We made it.

Ari still has two final rounds of chemotherapy, 1 more lumbar puncture, and his last scheduled chemo in mid-July.  But even though he's not yet done, yesterday was a huge milestone. 

I made a video to document the two years.  It may be premature to share it, but I'm going to celebrate with you anyway.

Two years in 11 minutes: https://vimeo.com/97039421

(Lemonade stand this weekend?  All $ raised goes to pediatric cancer research.  Maybe Sunday 11am...)


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