Adeline Jean was born on the 4th of July and is our little firecracker. Adeline was named after her great-grandmothers. Adeline was Charles' grandmother's middle name and Jean was Jessica's grandmother's middle name. Our grandmothers were inspirational, strong, driven, sincere women. They are the type of person that we strive to be and the type of woman that we hope our daughter will be. Adeline is a sweet, easy going baby. She is always happy, smiling and laughing. She has proven to be a tough cookie and we know that Adeline has two amazing guardian angels looking out for her.
The day after Christmas we noticed that Adeline's jaw looked a little swollen. I brought her in to her pediatrician the next morning. They said something was definitely going on and sent her to get an ultrasound and scheduled a follow up appointment for Thursday. The pediatrician attempted to get Adeline seen by both an ENT and an Oral Surgeon. After receiving the run around from both offices, the pediatrician recommended we bring Adeline to the ER at Golisano Children's Hospital in Fort Myers. We arrived at the ER in the evening of Thursday, December 29th and the doctor's decided to admit Adeline since they wanted to do an MRI in the morning. After having an MRI and CT Scan on Friday, the doctor informed us that the mass was a tumor and they would be taking her in for surgery before the end of the day in order to biopsy it to determine the type of cancer. The next day, New Year's Eve, we received the diagnosis of AML Leukemia.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a type of cancer involving blood-forming cells called myeloid cells. Myeloid cells include certain types of white blood cells, called granulocytes and monocytes, as well as red blood cells and platelets. AML begins when a single young blood-forming cell, called a myeloblast, develops a series of mistakes or mutations that transform it into a leukemia cell. The leukemia cell multiplies uncontrollably, crowding out healthy cells in the bone marrow. The leukemia cells can also spill out into the bloodstream, and spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and other organs. Leukemia cells can also spread to the spinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord). These cells can be detected by looking at the spinal fluid through a microscpoe after doing a lumbar puncture (sometimes called a spinal tap). Occasionally the leukemia cells can form a lump, called a chloroma, that can occur anywhere in the body. There are many different subtypes of AML. Some of the subtypes of AML are myeloblastic, promyelocytic, and monocytic leukemia. Knowing the type of AML can be important in guiding treatment. About one out of every five children who have leukemia will have AML.
The hospital doctors and staff did not waste any time in lining up treatments and explaining the process. Adeline started year 2017 with a surgical procedure to put in a port, do a spinal tap (lumbar puncture), test the bone marrow and administer her first dose of chemo therapy. To make things more interesting, Adeline was coming down with a cold during the day on New Year's Eve. Due in large part to her cold, after the surgery Adeline remained on a respirator until Thursday, January 5th in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Adeline had significant delays and set backs from being on the respirator for so many days but the doctors assured us that with time she should get back to normal. Adeline continued to improve so on Friday, January 6th we were able to move back to the Pediatric Oncology floor. That night she even removed her own feeding tube and on Saturday pulled off her oxygen.
Adeline's treatment plan calls for four different chemo medications and will receive four rounds of chemo over the course of about six months. We will get to go home for a week or two between each round of chemo for a break but we will essentially be living in the hospital through the course of her treatments.
Adeline finished her treatment for the first round of chemo on Monday, January 16th. We have to wait for her numbers (white blood cells and ANC) to come up so that we can go home for a short break before the next round of chemo. The doctors believe that we will be able to go home at the end of the month.