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Leah’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. I am a 43 year old mother of three (Princess Teagan is 5, Sir Wyatt is 3, and Baby Oliver turned 1 on August 14).

5 days after Oliver was born I was diagnosed with widespread breast cancer (lobular carcinoma). It is what they call "treatable but not curable".

Leah Siegel passed away on July 26, 2010.  This site is kept alive to keep her friends informed about Leah's family.

During my pregnancy I had no symptoms or indications that anything was wrong. The symptoms I did have, if any, fit more with pregnancy than 4th stage cancer.. Back pain and fatigue, nothing excruciating... When I went into labor with Oliver (who is fine and beautiful) the doctors took a routine blood sample which showed I had a very low platelet count (mine was 30,000... Normal range is 150,000 - 400,000). After he was born they did everything they could to raise this level. I had 8 platelet transfusions, 4 units of blood, and three plasma exchange sessions in about 5 days. My count dropped more and then stayed around 15,000. I meanwhile went through a battery of tests as doctors tried to figure out why my platelet count was so low; ultrasound, CT scans, MRI, bone marrow biopsy, and blood cultures. The CT scans and MRI showed multiple spots on my liver and bones. The bone marrow tests confirmed breast cancer that had spread.

My husband Eric has been great throughout all of this. The longer I was in the hospital the more responsibilities he had to take on. And he did so with grace and calmness. I would not have made it through that first week or two with out him.

I started chemo just 10 days after Oliver was born. My cancer is currently listed as "stable" and I am in a clinical trial.

I truly believe I will be someone who is "treated" for this disease until a cure is found. If not for me, then for my three kids and my husband.

Latest Journal Update


This is Eric.  It's been a long time (six months!) since I updated.  I apologize.  Lots of busy-ness here.  Teagan is getting older, now 7.  In second grade.  Still the socialite, tons of friends and tons of talking.  Her reading has vastly improved in the past few months, and her scores reflect this.  She had good grades, and now has great grades.  She has always been strong in math, and now her other grades have caught up.

Wyatt is awesome.  He's five.  He is reading smaller words, and loves it.  Very smart.  He loves music, and memorizes songs quickly.  He got a drum set for Christmas, and I hope that he uses it as an instrument more than a toy.  Time will tell!

Oliver is the topic here.  He is now three.  Loving and smiling, always happy.  He is very physical, wearing out shoes, and almost as strong as his older siblings.  He is a quick study on how to do anything, a master mimic of whatever his sibs do.  Bad news, though.  Oliver had a bump on his head that we discovered over the holidays was a cancer.  We are currently in a 85% survivability group, but we will know more in the next week or two.  This does not seem to be related to Leah's cancer.  He did not get it from her.  His cancer is rare (350 cases per year), and Leah's was rare in it's aggressiveness and getting it before menopause.  There is a possibility of a genetic predisposition to these things, but it is not likely.

Anyway, I made a site for him.  I am sure that you all will be interested in Oliver since you cared about Leah.  

We are currently at Children's Medical Center here in Dallas, a great facility, and we will be undergoing a lot of tests in the next few days to determine the current status and the future plan of attack.

I am sure that Leah is looking down from above and steering things in the best possible direction.

Many thanks in advance for your care and concern.  We are in good shape right now, with friends and family close by.  When we need some help, I will be sure to reach out.