Caiden was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, on July 13 , 2006 at the age of 3 1/2 years. Caiden has shown an amazing strength and courage that has inspired all those who have met him.
Rob and I are so grateful for all support of our family and friends..
Prior to July 13, 2006, Rob and I thought Caiden was a little boy with nasty allergies, and possible asthma. Caiden had several bruises all over his body, and when he brushed his teeth at night his gums were bleeding a little bit. His apatite had slowed down some, and he'd been fairly low on energy, waking up to eat four bites of toast and then falling asleep on the stairs in the morning.
I took him to the doctor, I talked to Calgary Health Link, I took him to another doctor and then finally saw my family physision. When my family doctor looked at Caiden he suspected that Caiden might have mono, and maybe a touch of pneumonia. So the next day, July 13, Caiden went for blood tests. By 4:30 that afternoon, just before Rob and I were leaving for work and school we got a phone call from my family doctor. Caiden's test results were back and they were not positive for mono, it looked like Caiden had leukemia. My doctor instructed us to head to Alberta Children's Hospital where they were expecting us in emergency.
Rob watched me while I spoke to my doctor and new that the worst had happened. I couldn't even say the word leukemia, I was only able to write the letters "leuk" on a small sheet of white paper before we fell apart. Hastily we notified work, school and the babysitter, I packed up a bag for Caiden and then headed to the hospital.
When we arrived we were ushered to a room, Caiden's blood was taken again, x-rays of his chest were taken at least 3 times. A councilor came to speak with us, the oncology team arrived, it was a blur of people, names and faces. Caiden was given ventalin to help his breathing, Poppa and Beppe (Frank and Wendy) came to the hospital to help support us.
By 11:30 that night we were in a room in Q-cluster. Caiden was to under go a CT scan the next morning and a lumbar puncture, as well as surgery to put in his central line (Broviac). Caiden was amazing, so strong, so tired. His white blood cell count was 136 (normal is between 4-14). We had no idea how sick he was.
Within 48 hours of arriving at the hospital Caiden was in intensive care. He was attached to a breathing machine, his left lung had collapsed due to the enlargement of the lymph nodes in his chest. His lymph nodes were enlarged due to the leukemia. There was a dialysis machine on standby in his room, apparently Caiden was having difficulties with his kidneys.
Caiden spent two weeks in intensive care, the first two attempts at removing his breathing tube failed. It took 1 1/2 weeks to wean Caiden's body from the high doses of sedatives he had been on. He had countless x-rays, too many IV pokes to count. Rob and I put a picture of Caiden on his bed so his nurses would know what he looked like. His little body was so distorted from the complications from the leukemia we wanted people to see the little spit fire boy we loved so much.