September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. At PCFLV, we are committed to spreading the GOLD all year long. However, in September, we truly make it our mission. 30 Days, 30 Stories celebrates the children we know and love and the brave battles they fight and have fought, with their families by their sides. In celebrating these beautiful children and their stories, we hope to inspire you to join us in our mission to SPREAD THE GOLD in September and all year long!
February 16, 2012. That is the day on which I was diagnosed with ALL or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; a blood cancer. During this time was when I realized the amount of people, even around the world, that cared for me and prayed for me like family. This is my story (At least from my perspective)!
Initially, before the 16th, I began to have a lot of headaches and nosebleeds frequently, seemingly out of nowhere. Eventually, my mother's instincts suggested that we go to an Urgent Care center. After quite a lengthy visit, the doctor concluded that there was obviously nothing majorly wrong with me. (Boy, was he wrong!) We went home. A few nosebleeds, headaches, and barfing sessions later, we thought it would be best to see my pediatrician. At this point, I was feeling so sickly and frail, that I felt like throwing up every 2 minutes!
We finally arrived at the pediatrician, where he checks me out and we tell him my symptoms. His expression darkens, as he explains to us that he has a background in Pediatric Oncology and suggested that we get checked out at the Lehigh Valley Hospital.
When we reached our destination, I felt even worse! They tried to drug me and do tests to see what my malfunction was, but they accidentally gave me a drug that they didn't know I was allergic to, which caused my organs to shut down. This was obviously highly problematic. So they transported me on ambulance to CHOP (The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). Surprisingly enough, I was still conscious - in pain and very tired, but conscious, none the less.
At CHOP, they hooked me up to a whole bunch of machines, and as they put the last machine on my face, I was out - finally. I could sleep. Being under the influence of drugs meant more sleep, which I definitely needed.
When I awoke, I was feeling much better, and was greeted by my mother who explained the current situation to me, and at the time I thought it was pretty bad. Then we prayed, we prayed really hard. We prayed that I would be OK, and that I would make it through this, even though there were lots of people who hadn't.
A few hospital visits in, my mom came up with the idea for a Prayer Map; a world map that we hung in my hospital room, where we put stars on anywhere we knew people we praying for me. I thought it was a pretty neat idea, and I couldn't believe that people were praying for me in places like Alaska and China!
But incredibly, through all of that, over time I began to get better and better. The hospital trips became less frequent, the pills I had to take decreased, and I could just feel like I was close to becoming 100%. Now, I'm done with all of my treatment and I don't have to take any pills and only go to the doctor quarterly for checkups, which is amazing! My life has become a testimony; a testimony that I can share with people to give them hope and show that nothing is impossible!