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The summer of 2016 is when we began to notice Sami's symptoms. She was extremely fatigued, very little appetite and just not her normal self. I noticed her lack of interest in her normal fun activities, such as riding her scooter and going on walks with the family. All of the sudden she started complaining of pains in her leg! Then bruises started appearing on her legs, which was odd because she didn't recall falling down or bumping into anything. September 8th I reached out to her pediatrician, I explained her symptoms and that is when she urged me to take her to the E.R. Immediately! September 9th we arrived at Anne Arundel medical center. At this point Sami could barely walk, the pain in her leg was unbearable, she was weak, tired and very pale. They ran her blood (labs) numerous times. It kept coming back the same, her hemoglobin was extremely low (4.6). After hours of blood work and X-rays they advised us that Sami would have to be transported to Children's National. Once in the E.R. At children's they confirmed that her blood work revealed a dangerously low hemoglobin and we would need to be admitted right away for further testing and a blood transfusion. Around 3 am September 10th Sami had her first bag of blood which would be the first of quite a few blood and platelet transfusions. As we were admitted on a Friday we were told it probably wouldn't be until Monday that we got more answers. Dr. Greenberg was the hematologist/oncologist working that weekend. He kept us well informed and explained to us that this looks like it could be aplastic anemia. After doing further research I quickly realized a cancer diagnosis would probably be better than aplastic anemia! On Monday, September 12, 2016 Sami was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). My husband and I were asked into a small room, surrounded by a group of doctors and a child life specialist. Once Dr. Greenberg introduced us to Dr. Dave and he said "oncologist ", I immediately lost it! I screamed! NO!! This can't be!! My kid does not have cancer! I was in complete denial! After that moment I honestly can't recall much. Everything for the next hour or so is a complete blur. Our whole lives changed! Just a few days ago i thought I had a healthy 4 year old girl! She just started preschool, she was going to grow, learn and thrive so much this year (I thought)! Once I calmed down (a little) I realized action needed to be taken. The oncologists informed us that chemotherapy (treatment) needed to start immediately. They would need to take lots of blood for labs to determine if she has favorable DNA etc. on September 14th she had surgery for her mediport, spinal tap and bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. This was the beginning of our journey, the beginning of our new life, the beginning of our battle against cancer!
We are now 5 months into our journey. We've had so many ups and so many downs! We've cried, we've laughed, we've fought, but most importantly we've learned to be strong and we've learned that love conquers all!
I will be using Caring Bridge as a blog and as a tool to keep our family and friends updated throughout our battle.
We thank you for joining us, praying with us and supporting us.