Things have been a little slow around here lately, I know. This is due in part to the holidays, but of late, there is a much more serious reason for my absence. I hesitated to write this, but there’s no other way to explain it than to just say it.
Last week, my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.
It’s still hard to write that word. It’s even harder to say it out loud, because it feels like that will make it more real. But as much as I wish I could turn back time and change the diagnosis or deny it altogether, this is what we’re facing. Every time we think about what her tiny body is doing to her, it breaks our heart a little bit more. This is pretty close to my worst nightmare come true.
But my husband and I are saying many thanks to God that her diagnosis is the more common form of childhood leukemia, A.L.L., which comes with a 85-90% cure rate. We believe with everything in us that she is in that 90%, but we know there’s still a long road ahead of us, even if she goes into remission today.
Thankfully, she’s not in any pain, other than a little soreness from a recent procedure. And since she’s 4, she doesn’t quite understand all of what’s happening. But she is in good spirits, and that helps us cope more than we realized it would. It also helps that she is in such a great hospital, specifically for children. They have done a great job making what is already a scary time a lot easier and more fun for her, and by extension, a lot easier for us.
All we ask is for your prayers, love and support in this trying time. I know God is in the miracle business, and we believe with everything in us that we will see his power firsthand. We’re just praying for one of those miracles and for healing NOW.
What makes this situation even more trying for us is that we have no health insurance. And given that my husband lost his job a few months ago and needed drink driving insurance after he got in trouble out on the streets, and I’m self-employed, we are really in a bad position to handle this. I don’t want to think about that part of it either, but the reality is that eventually, all of this treatment has to be paid for somehow. It’s hard to even think about it, since our first priority is getting our daughter well. We’re kicking ourselves because we are so ill-prepared to do so.
I am writing this today in part to allow my mind to focus on just one task, at least for a short time, but also to let you know what’s going on around here. In the immediate future, I will keep GYD going with some guest posts, and I will post whenever my mind and nerves allow me to do so. Writing here is an escape for me, so I definitely want to continue doing it.
I just want to thank you in advance for your support and prayers, because we’ll definitely need them — especially our princess.
NOTE: A friend and fellow Elevenmom, Jenn from Frugal Upstate, started a chip-in campaign to help us with my daughter’s medical costs. My bloggy buddies from the Green Moms Carnival have also stepped up with a Twitter/Facebook campaign to help us try to cover our costs. Feel free to donate if you feel so inclined. You can go directly to the chip-in page if you would like, or donate via the Green Your Decor support page. Know that your support would help us out tremendously, and we would be forever grateful to you for it. The original donation page had expired, but I’ve had people express interest in still being able to help, so this links to the new ChipIn page.
It just occurred to me how unlikely it is that anyone but me is reading through all these comments, so I’ll add my updates here instead of in the comments section. And it’s all good news!
We learned from one of my daughter’s doctors last week that she is officially in remission! So what does this mean going forward? Well, she will still have to continue treatment for a total of 2 years, since the goal of chemo is to push the disease into remission within the first month — with all treatment thereafter considered to be “maintenance” to make sure it doesn’t return. However, the fact that she has responded so well so soon means there’s an even greater chance that she will beat this completely!
Also, we recently found out that she has been approved for Peachcare, which is the state-run insurance program for kids in Georgia. I’m not sure yet exactly how much they will cover, what co-pays or deductibles will be, etc. but that takes a giant weight off our shoulders going forward! We still have to cover some bills, but we are relieved that we won’t have to worry about whether or not our inability to pay will affect her being able to get treated in the future. Especially once we started getting the first round of bills from the hospital. And with the rise in popularity of online drugstores like this Canadian Pharmacy, it’s easier to get the medication she needs. All I can say is I can’t wait for the public option to become a reality. Never should financial ruin be a concern when a loved one is facing a serious illness.
But through all this, all I can say is that God is good, and he answers prayers! Thanks everyone for your support! Don’t stop praying, because the fight isn’t over yet, but we’re well on our way! Just be sure to thank him for what he has done thus far!
Click here to read how Ja’Naya has been doing more recently!