|Diagnosed: January 9, 2004 Age: 5 years
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Treatments were continuous until: March 12, 2007
Things you should know:
|One child lost is too many,
One child saved...
Can change the World.
I wanted to share a little of David's story with you. He was 5 and 3/4 when he
was diagnosed and it really came as quite a shock to us. The only symptom he
had prior to diagnosis was limping that came and went. Three weeks prior to
diagnosis, we were told that we "didn't have to worry about it being cancer"
based on a CBC (complete blood count) he'd had. On January 8th, 2004, he
had repeat blood work ordered by a different specialist.
On January 9th, we got the call to head to UW- Madison Children's Hospital.
That nightmare of a day will always be etched in my mind. No one can
understand unless they've lived it.
David was a "lucky" one who only had 4 hospitalizations throughout treatment.
He struggled every month of long term maintenance, though, with the pain and
edginess caused by steroids and Vincristine (an IV chemo drug). I think we all
struggled a bit - learning how to walk on egg shells every 4 weeks!
My older 3 children paid a high price, too. I couldn't be there for them the way I
wanted to be. It really seemed at times that all I could focus on was keeping
David well and trying to keep a positive attitude about the whole thing.
One thing that struck me recently was our oncologist saying that they really
don't like to say "cure" but rather "long term remission". Most people don't
realize that once your child is diagnosed with cancer your life never goes back
to what it was before. There's a real sadness in that. I hope that now that David
is off treatment we will be able to go on with our lives in a new and better way.
When David was diagnosed my oldest son was a freshman in high school. I
used to joke that when I stopped driving David to Madison ( 2 hours away for
us) for treatment, I'd start driving Andy to Madison for college. We moved Andy
into his dorm at UW-Madison just a week ago. I feel like I missed a lot with
our other 3 children. I'm so thankful that David has done well (is now 9!)
and can only hope that he continues to live cancer free for a long, long time.
We appreciate you taking the time to learn about our son!