This is the link you want to click to read the story of Abby's diagnosis, and early treatment.
Abby was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on March 20th 2006.
She finished treatment May 25th 2008!
Early in March of 2006, Abby started complaining that her wrist hurt. She said she had banged it on the kitchen sink. Eric took her to get it x-rayed, which showed no fractures or breaks. She had a half-cast on for a week to let whatever was wrong heal. She complained of various aches in her body over the next week; and started feeling sick over the weekend of the 17th-19th. I thought perhaps she had an ear infection, as she said her ears hurt; but also that her other wrist was hurting. We brought her in to our family doctor Monday the 20th. He ordered blood work, and an x-ray of the other wrist, although I knew she had not injured in it any way, as she had been very inactive the last few days. That evening, we got a call from the on-call doctor saying the blood work came back with abnormal readings. Her hematocrit was very low, severe anemia; and the white count was elevated. He recommended we bring her in to the emergency room; so we went to Samaritan Hospital. There they started a transfusion, as her hematocrit was less than 4, when it should be around 11. They told us they were preparing to transfer her to Albany Medical Center; so we knew it was more serious than just severe anemia. We were met at Albany Med by Dr.Sills, who is the director of Pediatric Hemotology/Oncology. He sat us down in another room and told us he was 98% sure she had leukemia; they were just waiting results of a smear test. When that came in, they had their diagnosis. Further tests showed that it was the more common ALL type, and that all her sub-types were the kinds that were most treatable. We were given a very postive prognosis: 85-90% chance of recovery. Abby was admitted to the Children's Hospital in Albany Med, where she stayed for the next week. At first, she needed all sorts of meds to aid in ridding her blood of the by-products of the breakdown of all the white cells. She needed two transfusions of red cells, and three of platelets. The first transfusion of platelets caused an allergic reaction, so ones done after that required steroids and benedryl to be given first. Wednesday the 22nd she had surgery to place a sub-cutaneous port-o-cath, and receive a spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy. She got a dose of chemo injected right into the spinal fluid, and her first dose of vincristine, another chemo med into the port. A day or two later, she received a different chemo med injected into her leg muscles. The spinal tap and bone marrow tests were repeated on the 8th day of treatment. We were so happy to hear how well she is responding to treatment. At the time of the first test, there was 95% leukemic cells in the marrow; and on the 8th day there was 5%!! She will not have those tests again until around the 30th day of treatment. Less than 5% is considered remission. The long period of treatment is to ensure that all leukemic cells are destroyed, and do not return.