Today Adelaine had her visit at the clinic. Her ANC was at 900, not great, but not too bad and good enough to carry on as usual! This Wednesday, her “every third month” protocol will have rolled around. I’m slowly getting my act together so hopefully in three more months this date won’t come as such a surprise. So, along with having Vinchristine (Chemo) injected into her blood stream via her port, and beginning five days of steroids, she will also spend the day at All Children’s Hospital being put to sleep and having Methotrexate (Chemo) injected into her spine. The procedure is scheduled at 12:45, which means that she will spend half the day starving, (she can’t eat or drink past midnight the night before). Please remember her in your prayers. Having her put to sleep always involves some risk, not to mention inserting a needle into her spine, not to mention all the poisons going into her system. You get the picture!!!!!!

Life can be so unfair. I didn’t realize until Adelaine was diagnosed with Leukemia, but often time’s children with Down’s syndrome are diagnosed with Leukemia also. Such was the case for a little girl we met at the Clinic today. While we were in the waiting room, in came this mother and daughter. The little girl looked to be about 2 ½ or maybe a little older. She was crying and seemed very upset. In fact, her mother carried her over to the trash can where she begins throwing up profusely. My first reaction was that I had to get Adelaine out of there before she catches something awful. Jen, one of Adelaine’s nurses explained that the little girl begins throwing up at the sight of THEM!!! My heart was ripped apart as I thought about that poor little girl. She probably isn’t able to begin to understand why in the world her mother brings her to this place week after week, so these horrible people can invade her space, force her to do things that she doesn’t want to do, and finally torture her with needles! What about her poor mother, subjecting her daughter to all this, hoping that it is for her own good? What helplessness she must feel, what guilt she must carry, what stress she must be under. The saddest part is that this is not an isolated case. We have met family after family caring this same burden.

People believe that Pediatric Cancer is rare, but really, it’s not that unusual. 1 in 650 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. These figures are not decreasing either. Please remember all these families. Many cities, even large ones, do not have a place like the Children’s Cancer Center where families going through similar situations can meet with one another, support each other, and have a place to come to where they can receive the support they need to cope. The Children’s Cancer Center here in Tampa has made such an impact on our lives. In fact, we are on our way out the door now to go eat dinner there tonight! It truly is the highlight of Adelaine’s week, and ours. Focusing on all the positives, we live five miles from All Children’s Hospital, we have the Children’s Cancer Center close by, Doug has really good medical insurance, and Adelaine is able to understand and cope with her cancer diagnosis (with typical three year old limitations, of course)!

Angela

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