The next morning Nov 12 we took her to the pediatrician, and we were sent to the hospital for a CT to rule out a concussion. At that time, we were so worried it was a concussion... Little did we know!
The CT showed a possible cyst or tumor in her brain. We were given a few choices on places for an MRI, as kids have to be sedated. We decided on Children's hospital in New Orleans, in case it was worse-case scenario. We were admitted through the ER at Children's that afternoon... They took us straight to the cancer floor without telling us anything, and I almost threw up. I told Lee it must be a mistake and the other rooms were full...
After a lot of talks with doctors, our heads spinning, we were told it was a tumor, and it would need to be operated on, BUT at the moment we had a bigger issue. The CT showed so much fluid on the brain, Ariana needed immediate surgery to put in an exterior ventricular drain. That surgery was about 5:30 or 6 on Nov 12.
We met with our neurosurgeon, and he showed us and told us the tumor was LARGE. It was also attached to important high-functioning areas of the brain. Then she had a brain surgery on Nov 18 to try to get the tumor out. She made it through surgery wonderfully. Doctors, nurses, everyone was pleasantly surprised. We had an MRI the next day.... To see how the tumor looked... And we got the news that 1/3 of the tumor remained. Dr. Roberts felt that he could get more out if he went in a second time, and so we put our trust in that.
Ariana's second brain surgery was Nov 20. Dr Roberts knew he got all he could, but that some still remained. After THAT MRI, we found out 20% is still in there.
We got her oncology report Nov. 21, 2014 on Ariana's 2nd birthday. She was diagnosed with ATRT, a VERY rare, malignant, stage 4 cancer. We knew we needed the best treatment possible, so we reached out to St Jude.
Ariana's pressures were great, so they turned off the EVD. Then, the CTs were good, so they took out the EVD. She was sweating from all the steroids and antibiotics, or so we thought... We later found out she was leaking brain fluid from her stitches...
and so she had her FOURTH surgery on Dec.5 to put in a shunt.
She also got a virus while in the hospital. We have now
been here 23 days, 13 in ICU, and we HOPE to be well enough to go to St. Jude SOON!
We need treatment, and we need it fast.
---Ariana has since had 2 more surgeries- a port and another tumor resection. (Total of 6 surgeries)
She has had 4 months of high dose IV chemo, 6 weeks of proton radiation to the brain, and 6 months of oral maintenance chemo. She has had several seizures and a lot of neuropathic pain. She is not cancer-free, but she WILL be!
Please help us as we help Ariana FIGHT for her life!i
We appreciate everything, and we are especially grateful for the prayers... You ALL will help us win this fight...
much love-- The Farraguts
- Gretchen Guseman
- Donna Hebert
- Stephanie Hood
- Matthew 25:40
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