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Starla’s Story

On September 13, 2011, Starla was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. This page will serve as a connection to family, friends, and others who may be going through similar fights.

A lot of people wonder, were there signs, how did you know to take her to the hospital. Well, there were signs, but there were signs that most
 people would have overlooked. Less than a month ago Starla started K-2, this was her first time not being in my care as I was a stay at home momsince she turned 1, I was nervous, but I know that we had picked a GREAT school for her, and that she would love the interaction with others her age. A week after school started I noticed a bruise on her arm(itmimicked that of an ant bite, but there was something underneath it). I asked her teacher to notify me if Starla hurt herself at play or if she
 and the other kids get into a little quarrel, she assured me that she
 would, and I knew that I could trust them to do just that. as that same> week went on, I noticed little marks on her legs, but those werent as bad as the one on her arm. My mother had given me a Home Remedies book for Kids when Starla was first born,
 that i'd somehow manage to keep up with in between all of the moving we'd done. One night I grabbed it from the book shelf to look up bruising...it read "kids are subject to bruises, because they may play rough with each other and not say anything, we may never know where the bruises occured, continue to monitor the bruising, and if they do not disappear in a matter of days, please consult you childs pediatrician, as bruising WITHOUT cause is usually a sign of leukemia...." It stirred me for a few days, but the bruising began to go away..."Whew, I thought, that wouldhave been scary." The following week, the teachers at her school informed me that Starla wasn't her usual active self, she was sleepy all day atschool, and she didnt have much of an appetite. I didn't get worried because she's a kid, and they do that right? That same Friday wasgrandparents day at her preschool and after the program Starla begged to go home with her 'Nanny.' on the way to
  the car, she broke out into what I thought was a tantrum, but later found that it was far from one. "My legs are hurting me and I wanna go to sleep!!!!" She kept yelling over and over again. Something in the pit of
 my stomach told me that this is Not good. She stayed the night with Nannythat night, and returned home the following day, only to have another leg episode...this time it was Far worse, to the point of almost her blacking out...so straight to the E.R. we went. They ran a multitude of tests,from x-rays to blood work, all the while I knew, something isnt right!!!! They asked the same questions over and over again it seemed "Do you have a family history of sickle cell??? A family history of childhood cancer???" I just wanted to yell out "Why!?! What are you trying to tell us?" After all of the testing, they informed us that her platelette count was dangerously low, and that she needed to be sent by ambulance to the nearest womens and
  childrens hospital for more testing. What a long night ahead. We got there only to get asked the same questions that made me literally sick at this point, but dont panick they assured us, it could be a number of
things causing her low platelettes....I calmed down, but only a little.
 The next day we learned that her counts had dropped even lower, and in order to rule out anything SERIOUS, they would do a particular procedure that would raise her platelette count. My husband and I were so relieved, and began making plans to leave the hospital....but there were other plans. The doctor came in and informed us that the procedure didntwork at all, not only did it not work, but he is now worried about her having leukemia........I died inside!!!!! How could this be? LEUKEMIA!?!?! not our baby. He imediately wanted to do a bone marrow sample to either confirm and exclude the diagnosis....later that day hetook us to a room and broke the news that rocked our
 world, not only was it leukemia, but it was a rare form..AML, the chances of you getting it were the same as standing outside and being hit by lightening. We are on this journey with God leading us. Prayer,
 encouragement, and family are what is getting us through day by day. The day before she went foer her first chemo treatment she told us to 'Just trust', and thats exactly what we are doing!!!!

Latest Journal Update

It's a new Season...

What a blessing it is to write to you all in a brand new year....2014!!!! Yes, God is yet blessed us! Starla is still doing great. We are halfway through her first year of pre-k at the 'BIG' school, she is in her 2nd year of dance and has grown beautifully right before our eyes. I was taking a break from my facebook account for a few days, and I checked my email a few minutes ago to find an alert from caringbridge that showed recent activity on this page, so I took that as a sign that there may be some people who are interested in how we are doing as a family :)
KJ turned a year old on December 13, 2013...so we are now proud parents of a very active 1 year old and 5 year old, and we are absolutely amazed at the love they have for one another, even when they are screaming at one another which they occasionally do ;)
We have a very exciting year ahead of us. Korey and I will be leaving for Miami on the 24th of this month for our first cruise.Our first ever real getaway since we've been married. it is a 5 day K-Love family and friends music cruise to Ocho Rios Jamaica and Grand Cayman Islands. Korey and I are beyond excited. The best part?!?! It is an all expense paid getaway because we were invited to be special guests of one of the artists that are scheduled to minister through song during the cruise. This will be the first time that we've left both kiddies for a lengthy time. I will have to leave grandma all of the instructions for administering Starla's meds (I should probably get started writing them now.)
This year, we are also working hard on the production of "Just Trust:The Movie". One thing we have learned during the whole movie process is that it's a LOT of hurry up and wait. Hurry up and turn this in and WAIT.....this was just purchased by this person, now we WAIT.....we have this person on board as a promoter, now we WAIT lol But there is a blessing in waiting <3
Starla's next oncology appointment is in March, this will also mark her 2 year off treatment milestone. Her oncology visits have graduated to every 4 months....next stop, every 6 months!!!!
Thank you all for continuing to pray for us and support us, we still feel your prayers.

The Chapman Family