I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
It all started in June 2012 when I got Bell’s Palsy in the right side of my face, the doctors hadn’t seen it in a teenager before and were worried because of my age. I had various hospital visits to ENT and my local doctor’s surgery when they decided to do a blood test for glandular fever, throughout the week we waited I kept deteriorating and getting worse. I wasn’t eating yet my stomach was distending and I was going jaundice and dehydrated.
The results came back negative so we went to a different doctor who sent us straight to the Royal Alex Children’s Hospital. I had various blood tests and was put on a drip to hydrate me and we were all told in the early hours of the morning that it could be as serious as Leukaemia. We were rushed up to St George’s hospital where I was officially diagnosed and chemotherapy begun. I spent four nights in ICU before we got moved to the Royal Marsden, I spent two – three weeks at the Marsden before we came home. Not long after being diagnosed for a month, my PICC line was removed due to a clot. This only to be one of the 11 admittance’s to a hospital in less than 8 months. I reached Maintenance in March 2013, which (fingers crossed) has ended the long hospital stays for various infections and reactions to chemotherapy!
We were put into contact with the Children With Cancer Fund while we were at the Marsden the first time, we heard about the work they did and we were grateful to receive the help with the car parking at the Marsden and the Tesco’s vouchers we were sent, it was comforting to know that there was help out there for us.
We were asked by the CWCF to choose a ‘wish’, we asked for a Freeview+ Box, so we could record television programs etc. This was helpful, especially for me on the long days I spent at home unable to go out to school!
CWCF have arranged many opportunities for us to meet other families throughout my treatment which we have so far not been able to attend many, but we spent the best part of a week in the Isle of Wight with CWCF and other families, it was great to meet families in similar situations and get away on holiday for a break.
CWCF have always been very keen to help out our family in any way they can, and they managed to arrange a car for my Prom (11th July) in short notice, I was very grateful to have the Mercedes for my prom car, and there were ribbons on the door handles to match my dress which was very sweet and a lovely touch. Also Sam the chauffeur had a matching blue tie!
As a family we are thankful to be in contact with CWCF, they have made our journey easier, and are amazing people!
Lauren, Mary, Nigel & Emma. xx