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!!!!
Can you believe it, our girl is going to be 5 years old in 9 days!!!! I could shed tears of joy. Since my last entry so much has happened (I will try to recall it all lol). We established a foundation in honor of our hero, the Proverbs 3:5 Foundation. Our story was shared with a national audience, ESPN paid a visit to our home to document our relationship with Alabama qb AJ McCarron. The documentary aired on Aug. 31 and can be found on YouTube ubder 'AJ McCarron's Special Bond.' Starla Started 'big' school. We held the foundation's first event, a walk during childhood cancer awareness month. Starla had a photo shoot as part of the hospital's new advertising campaign, the photo has bern featured in local magazines and billboards. Starla got to be an honorary high school cheerleader and cheered during homecoming, and we were specisl guests at the BAMA game (shutdown Ole Miss).
Whoever would have imagined that this journey would still be reaching/touching lives today. September 13 made 2 years since diagnosis. God is so very good to us!!!