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4/17/2017 Latest post:
Bella began having periodic headaches in mid-March. I thought that she had a virus or bug and just as I thought she was over it, a few days later it would come back. We were seen at Urgent Care at Meritas Gashland on the last Monday of March. The fevers had been occurring the two weeks prior to that. The doctor suggested we test for Strep but if that wasn't positive then she recommended that we be sent to Children's Mercy. Well, her test indeed came back negative and we were on our way with referral paperwork. Just as we were leaving the nurse called and said that she re-read the test and it was a weak positive. We were then given a prescription for 5 days of antibiotics. All seem to be well for the first week and a half following the medication but then the fevers returned. On April 6th, I took her back to her primary care physician for re-evaluation. This time along with the headaches, she also presented with symptoms of sore throat and stomach ache. He decided that she may need a longer antibiotic and prescribed 10 days worth. Five days into her regimen, the fevers were not subsiding. Monday, April 10th, I made an appointment for April 11th to take her back to see her doctor. However, that evening Bella looked ghostly white to me with dark circles under her eyes. I knew I couldn't wait until the next day to take her to the doctor, so I took her to Children's Mercy Urgent Care. They performed bloodwork there where she showed low levels of hemaglobin and platelets. We asked the nurse what that could indicate and her honest answer was leukemia. Of course we were in shock. She told us Bella would be admitted to Children's Mercy downtown. We went home quickly, grabbed her favorite pillow, blanket and stuffy and off we went. She had a room waiting. They immediately drew blood and made blood smears. Two oncologists visited with us that evening. They told us there were two types of leukemia ALL and AML. ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) was the lesser of the two evils with a less aggressive treatment and a 95% success rate with treatment. Praise the good Lord, the pathogist confirmed, it was ALL. The night was long. We cried, we prayed, we were in disbelief that this was the direction our life for our precious little girl was taking. The next day, she had an access port surgically placed in her chest. It would be where all her chemotherapy drugs would be administered. She also had her bone marrow tested to see the DNA of the leukocytes and also tested spinal fluid to see if there were any leukocytes residing there. Again, God answered our prayers, and the spinal fluid showed no cells. So there we had it, diagnosis and chemotherapy underway. And so our journey begins...