Hearing the word cancer in any form changes lives forever. It changed ours, but before we heard those devastating words in regards to our 4 year old daughter we had another trial to face.
On August 28, 2009 I delivered my second child by emergency C-section. He arrived into this world 11 weeks too soon. Thankfully Austin was strong and surprisingly big. He weighed a whopping 4 lbs 8 oz.
Austin spent a month in the NICU, a month I will never forget, a month that some days I didn’t think I could physically or emotionally make it through. It was difficult to leave my brand new, tiny, helpless baby in a cold hospital. Of course I knew he was in good hands, but I was his mother. The problem was I needed to be the mother of Amelia as well. She seemed to be struggling with the adjustment of sharing my time. For years it had been just Millie (that’s what I call her) and I during the day while my husband was at work. We were best friends.
Luckily Austin was a fighter and although he came home on oxygen he was able to get out of that dreaded place 31 days after his birth. It was overwhelming to feel like I had passed the most difficult trial in my adult life, but I was so wrong. I had no idea as I held my little man with such pride that a horrible beast had taken hold of my daughter while I wasn’t looking.
My sweet baby girl hadn’t been herself the first few months of being a new big sister. Millie tried to be happy but she just couldn’t be. She was so whiny and tired all the time. She would complain about her legs hurting and told me she needed to be carried. Some days she would just cry for no reason.
I knew something was wrong. I had called her doctor repeatedly but he always had a reasonable explanation for her symptoms. I started to wonder if she was reverting back to baby like behaviors. Really, I didn’t know what to think and I was overwhelmed with being a new mom again.
A few weeks later on December 17, 2009, I insisted Amelia have a blood test. It was painfully obvious at this point that something serious was going on. That afternoon we were sent to Primary Children's emergency room and we sat there terrified at the words we were waiting to hear, "IT'S CANCER". There is nothing more horrific then hearing those words.
At this point Miss Millie began the fight of her life against her Leukemia.
On the very day of Amelia’s diagnosis Austin was at Primary Children’s Hospital as well. He had a double hernia surgery the week before and was there for his follow-up appointment to make sure everything looked good. The day Austin was officially healthy was the day Amelia's health came crumbling down. I couldn't breathe.
Amelia was diagnosed in December of 2009 and she will continue to get daily doses of chemotherapy through 2012. It has been an incredibly stressful journey for so many reason, but there has also been a lot of good to come from it. We are so grateful that Amelia has been responding well to her chemo! There is NOTHING more important and although she has her ups and downs we are incredibly blessed that she is winning her battle.
We are so grateful, excited, and touched by all the love that has been shown to our family. It is really hard to ask for help but we couldn't do this without support.
Sadly conquering cancer is not the only thing you worry about when you're dealing with such a long treatment plan. You also have to worry about the cost involved. I feel guilty even saying that because it sounds so wrong to be worried about money when you're talking about your own child's life or death. The reality of the situation is that, despite the fact that we have insurance coverage, the cost of treatment weighs on us every day. The financial strain is horrendous and I wish it didn't weigh on my mind, but it does. The only thing that helps is knowing Amelia will fight and WIN!
Thank you in advance for taking the time out of your busy lives to read our story and support Amelia in whatever way that may be. It means more then you will ever know.
To read more about Miss Millie and her battle against Leukemia you can visit our blog at: bradyandamanda.blogspot.com
To donate money to help aid Millie and her family with her fight against cancer go here.