My Story My Life: Childhood Leukemia

By Guest Editor on Jan 1, 2018

Aubree is three, and her feet hit the ground running every day. It isn't until her head lays on her pillow that she stops. To classify her as hyper would be an understatement because this girl has a love for living everyday to the fullest already. When the doctors told me that Aubree had leukemia, I sunk into my chair and buried my head in my hands. How can this happen? What was I going to tell my daughter? Would I have to live life without my baby girl?

Before her diagnosis, Aubree was melancholic for a few days, and I knew it was time to take her to the doctor. Aubree's initial diagnosis from her pediatrician was bronchitis and a double ear infection. I scheduled a follow-up for one week later to make sure we had her bronchitis managed and on the mend. At the time of her follow-up she checked out okay, but her pediatrician was worried about how pale Aubree had become and asked us to allow them to run a complete blood count. The test came back showing the pediatrician that Aubree had a deficiency in all three cellular components of the blood, red, white and platelets. Thinking she may have contracted a viral infection we were referred to a hematologist-oncologist.

I took Aubree to see the specialist, and we were immediately rushed to the hospital for a red blood cell and platelet transfusion. It happened so fast, and we were barely seen before an emergent trip was ordered. Our doctors performed a bone marrow biopsy to find out what they may have already suspected. She was diagnosed with b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in less than 48 hours.

Our everyday full of life Aubree started to struggle, being sick with a port was very difficult for her. When you are three, it is even more difficult because it is something they do not understand. The new normal for us consists of multiple daily house cleaning tasks to ensure she doesn't contract any infections, and she sees her doctor for chemotherapy up to four times a week. Somehow though, throughout all of this, Aubree stays true to her sweet self. She is often seen helping the nurses cleaning her port site and giving other people high fives. The road to recovery is not going to be short nor easy, with approximately 3.7 percent of all new cancer cases in the U.S. being leukemia with around 4,900 children being diagnosed, we know that we are not alone with our fight and recovery.

Symptoms of B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children

  • Bleeding or bruising easily
  • Very tired or lethargic
  • Frequently contracting infections
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale skin
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms or groin
  • Red or purple spots on the skin called petechiae

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