Hello friends and family- Thanks for visiting Mia's website. But more importantly thanks for all the prayers and support coming Mia's way. Mia's leukemia diagnosis sent us in a torrent of emotion and chaos. But in the past few days, we have felt our friends and family rally around us in agreement for Mia's speedy recovery. Thanks so much. God's grace has been shown through you.
Mia has always been healthy and quite resilient. If you know her, you can attest to her character as being head-strong and decisive (ok, sometimes bossy). She loves ballet and all things Disney princess, just look in her room. She lacks no self-confidence and has no qualms performing random Christmas Carols, Disney songs and (don't tell Daddy) I'm a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie World.
We first noticed Mia was ill, Tuesday January 5th. She had a low grade fever and said her back hurt, but 20 minutes later she was running around with brother Sebastian. So no further concerns. When the fever didn't go away by Friday, mom and dad took her into the doctor. He checked her urine and found no problems there, told Em and Jaime to bring her in if she didn't improve. Sunday night we had family night, Mia was tired, had fever of 101 F, but looked ok and had no other symptoms. We were a little concerned, we prayed and Em vowed to take her back to the doctor the next day. Then, Monday happened. Mia was very lethergic, fever remained the same, and her eyes were puffy. A quick blood result at the doctor showed white blood cells off the chart (a marker for leukemia) and extremely low hemaglobin (sign of anemia). Her liver and spleen were enlarged and distending her abdomen. They were pretty sure it was leukemia, but wouldn't know 100% until a bone marrow biopsy told us for sure. We tried to believe it was just a bad infection (maybe just a virus, they said) but when an ambulance showed up to rush Mia to Driscoll, Corpus Christi, it was omenous. Sure enough, Monday night we were assured it was leukemia. Chemotherapy would start the next day. With that shock under our belts, we couldnt imagine anything being worse. But Tuesday escorted us into the ICU when Mia developed respiratory distress. 6 hours after her first chemo treatment, her breaths became fast and shallow, her blood pressure plummeted. She became combative and confused "You are not my friend!!! Only Sebastian, and Sinai!". The rapid break down of the cancer cells sent toxins through the blood and caused Mia to go into septic shock, a dangerous downward spiral of low blood pressure, decreased oxygen to all organs, and a fast heart rate. Immediate intubation was done (breathing tube), Mia was sedated, and multiple drugs began infusing to help her body excrete the toxins. Her kidneys working overtime, her heart enlarging due to massive work of pumping the extra fluid, her parents by her side every minute watching over their precious baby while she struggles to fight cancer.
Happy New Year!! We spent two weeks back home in Texas and then returned to freezing weather- our Texas blood still isn't used to this climate. I have a quick update and prayer request. In early December Mia went two straight weeks without any headaches! She also went 2 months without any seizures which is a first since they began back in 2010. It was incredible and we quickly watched her rebound into the girl we knew- signing all the time (mostly Les Miserables soundtrack- her favorite!), bouncing around, making up skits and talking nonstop. It was so wonderful to see her in this state it was hard to get annoyed by her constant chatter. But on Christmas Day she had a partial seizure (saw "rainbow balls") and by the evening headaches came back. She then proceeded to have headaches for the next week- some more at migraine level then others. IT WAS SO FRUSTRATING!!! She had another seizure on New Years Day and of course a bit harsher headaches for two days. GRRRR. What are the triggers?? We don't know but here are a list of our suspicions: fatigue (we now keep her on a strict sleeping schedule), chocolate (her addiction which we curb as much as we can), weather changes (how the heck do we avoid this?) and maybe barometric pressure changes (seriously, I don't even know how to explain that but I see headaches when it goes up). My heart grew heavier too as I read up on how to treat headaches/migraines in kids. The common answer was you can't- they can not have the heavy duty pain killers because it damages their liver. You just try to avoid the triggers. Not good. She is a little kid- she needs to go outside, go skiing, ice skate and have fun! On Sunday she had a migraine and she put herself to bed immediately after church and never got up till the next morning. Luckily the last few days the headaches come in the evening so she is fine at school (another prayer request- that she begins to catch up!) For all the parents out there you know how it pains you to see your kid in pain…but when it is constant and daily, the pain you feel can turn to frustration and anger. Jaime and I are working hard not to get there. But it is not easy- seeing her struggle since June like this, then get a glimpse of relief and then back to daily pain just grieves our heart for her. Tomorrow she will undergo a functional MRI. She is awake and they will be mapping where language is coming from in her brain. That normal area is damaged and is most likely where the seizures originate from. Because Mia was so young when she had all the brain trauma from chemo they believe she has rewired her language to a different area of the brain. They want to know where- in the event they want to operate and remove the damaged area. It is possible as long as her language and other critical functions aren't coming from that area. So here are my prayer requests: 1) that Mia do well in tomorrow's MRI; she has to be awake in the MRI tomb and listen to some creepy sounds. Pray she is able to be brave (her greatest quality) and still for the entire procedure. 2) Pray God deliver her from headaches. He has delivered her from cancer- she is a living miracle of His power and grace on her life. Now it is time for the complete healing- please pray it in! Still, with all the pain she lives in- the minute the headache lifts she is silly, friendly, carefree and a lover of life. Truly, God has great plans for this Princess Warrior. Thank you for praying- it has changed our lives for the better!