Saturday, November 5, 2011

By the numbers

We had the first snow accumulation of the season and my kids were in heaven. Steven and Andrew spent the morning bulding a fort and then Steven got to go sledding with some friends in the afternoon. He wants to go again at his first opportunity. I will post a few pictures when I get a chance. His snowpants didn't fit super well over his prosthetic, so his leg was exposed. He said, "Well, that is one good thing about being an amputee--at least my leg won't get cold."

Back to the subject at hand. I've been meaning to post some numbers that I figured out while I was sitting in the waiting room the other day. Some of these are estimates, but it should describe our cancer experience well for you numbers lovers:

The time between diagnosis and port removal was about 8 1/2 months. During that time, Steven had 20 inpatient hospitalizations. 18 of those were for chemo, 1 was for a fever, and 1 was after his rotationplasty surgery. He spent 76 days and 56 nights in the hospital. He has had 3 surgeries and has spent over 14 hours under anesthesia. He needed 4 blood transfusions and 0 platelet transfusions. His port has been accessed over 40 times. He has needed almost 50 shots. He has had over 15 different medications prescribed to him at some point in the process. Each chemo admit cost an average of $10,000. With the chemo, the surgeries, the prescriptions, the scans, the blood transfusions, the home health, physical therapy, and his prosthetic, my best estimate is that this experience cost around $300,000. I haven't seen all the bills, or even added them up, so that is a guess and I could be short. Thank heavens for health insurance!

So, those are some big numbers. It may seem overwhelming to you if you arent involved in the cancer world, but I look at those numbers and feel pretty lucky. He breezed through with minimal complications. And that is another post I may sometime write--how good and bad luck are all mixed up together.

But for now, let me conclude by saying that I wish I had a number for all the letters, cards, care packages, emails, phone calls, dinners, money, blog comments, toys, service and babysitting hours, prayers and thoughts that have been sent our way. I do know that it is impossible to quantify how much it has all meant to us. Unfortunately, the number of thank you notes I've written is much smaller than all of the kind and generous acts that have been performed for us. But still, I am so grateful for every little act. Not one thing has gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you!


  1. Wow. Those are some impressive numbers! I'm glad that stuff is over for you guys.

  2. I want to know the number of books Steven read during that time...I'm sure it would be impressive!

  3. Amy, I wish I had counted, too, but I didn't. He did have to read 1000 pages for his school term, and so I counted most of his reading for about a month and a half. We came up with 3562 pages. Crazy! One week in the summer (when I wasn't counting) he read more than one thick book a day (like Fablehaven). So, yes, I wish we had counted his books, too.

  4. Sonja.... You are the world's BESTEST MOTHER....Being a mother of 2 small kids myself I can only imagine how hectic it could be ...!!! Yet you take out time to write the blog...!!! I Wish the Best of Everything to Steven...! AND YOU !!! :)