Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Life changes the moment you become a parent. Many parents describe leaving the hospital with their first child with hesitations, as if surely they were not going to let them leave with this tiny little human. The reality however is that with the arrival of that perfect bundle of perfection comes this tool that is often under-estimated, and as new mothers we are hesitant to take it out of the box and trust in its power…Mother’s instinct.
On Elsa’s second birthday she did not want to play, choosing to cuddle in her loved one’s laps. Mom, Anna, had already taken her to the doctor twice, knowing in her heart that something was wrong. An ear infection would not heal. Bruises started to appear on her stomach, inner thighs, and forehead and were not fading. She looked pale and her abdomen was bloated. It would be her next doctor’s visit before he could no longer deny something was wrong. Elsa could not stand due to the pain that had developed in her legs. Although Anna wanted nothing more than to be wrong, later that day they would be told that Elsa had B cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Just over two years after being diagnosed, with a smile that would light up any room, Elsa would ring the bell letting the world know that she was cancer free.
According to Cancer Care Alberta there are 1700 children diagnosed with cancer each year in Canada, and over 30 000 Canadian childhood cancer survivors. Survivors often struggle with late term effects of treatment, so although September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Childhood cancer impacts the lives of many families in our community every day of the year.
Our hearts go out to the families in our community that have lost a child to the monster that is cancer.
By Kim Vander Schelde, Mama Warriors