Bella's Journey: Because I Can....."Be Brave, Bright, and Beautiful" Submitted by her Mother: Tiffany
Back in January 2016, Bella was complaining a little about her shoulder hurting. We noticed a very small bump on her clavicle and decided to just keep an eye on it. About three weeks later it had grown significantly. The next morning we took her in to the local doctor for an x-ray. They then sent us to Duluth, after getting a MRI done, to meet with an Orthopedic Surgeon in Minneapolis. After about two weeks of scans, labs, and a biopsy, our nine-year-old baby was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. It was very difficult to take. We decided as a family that we were going to stay positive and take it one day at a time, reassuring Bella that we are a team. Team Bella! It was about a 10-month journey of 14 rounds of Chemotherapy, 5 surgeries, multiple trips to the ER, several blood and plattlet transfusions, numerous meds daily, labs weekly, and almost every side effect! Her treatment plan was 6 rounds of Chemo every other week. Then she had her surgery to remove her whole left clavicle. After three weeks to heal and get her blood levels up she had another 8 rounds of Chemo every other week! Bella was amazing. She never complained and never said "why me?" The doctors, nurses, and medical staff would always say what a perfect patient Bella was. Always so easy going and smiling! On top of all of the medical stuff she had to go through there was more.
Before Bella got sick she was involved in ice skating, basketball, and dance. Knowing what her schedule was going to look like we had to pull her from all of those. She also couldn't go to school. It was very difficult. Over the 10 months of treatment Bella was in the hospital for many special days including: her golden birthday, Easter, Mother's Day, the Little Miss Ely Pageant (she was able to participate in from the hospital, and won!) and the Forth of July. Luckily we had an amazing team at the hospital that made Bella feel safe, comfortable, and special!
Bella finished her last round of Chemotherapy in October 2016 and was back at doing her regular things by November! She is getting stronger every day, and is loving life! We are scheduled every three months for followup scans in Minneapolis with her next one on May 4th. As of today, she is on a competitive dance team, has one of the lead roles in her school musical, playing softball, excelling in school, and can't wait to enjoy a summer full of swimming, fishing, and turtle searching! I often wonder why this was placed on our family and think back about all that Bella has endured....it is overwelming! I always knew our family was a strong unit together, but now I know we can do anything as a team! Bella was the driver of this journey and we were the passengers.
There are 3 words that Bella heard often: Bella you can do this because you are Brave, Bright, and Beautiful!