Meet: Eden, In Active Treatment, Leukemia
“Eden was 3 years old when she was first diagnosed with cancer. It was November 21, 2019. I had noticed about a month before her diagnosis a strange shift in her behavior. Eden started to complain about body pain, she would complain A LOT. I took her to the doctor, and they said it was most likely growing pains. However, shortly after Eden was no longer eating and sleeping all day, only waking up to drink water (LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER!). I was in and out of the doctor’s office with many different complaints on Eden’s behalf, she had blepharitis, and even at one-point jaundice. Finally the doctors took blood work, after I raised concerns about her yellow skin and if she could have jaundice (which she did have) I had also pointed out a bunch of random bruising and spots (later discovered this was petechiae also known as leukemia rash) on her skin. The doctors told me the blood work would return in three to five business days however the next morning the doctors were calling me, asking me to come in IMMEDIATELY. I knew right then something was wrong. I packed a duffle bag and got all three of my children ready. They handed me the results and told me that Eden could possibly have leukemia and that I needed to go to the emergency room so they could run specific tests and labs.
When I got to the hospital the nurses greeted me and said, “We are going to take great care of Eden.” I knew something was wrong. Once Eden was settled into her hospital bed, they brought the hematologists into the room and broke the news to me. I was broken. Being a single mother is hard, life just got harder. I used to cry to my mother about how hard it was to be a single mom of three young children, all whom are close in age. (3,4 and 6). No help from the paternal side at all, just me and my kids, doing the best I could. I would get up at six am every day to make breakfast for the kids and get them ready for school/daycare and then head off to school/work myself. It was tough! And now Eden being diagnosed I felt like the universe was playing a cruel joke on me. I pray for life to get easier and instead it got harder.
One of the hardest parts was that for a month I had to be away from my other two children, and they had resented me for it. They did not understand where I had gone, they did not understand cancer and how it was affecting Eden’s body. They just were so hurt, and it broke me to my core. In one bed my girl Eden hurting and another side of town my other two kids hurting as well. I could not have peace. Forever Eden had always been “the runt of my litter” so to speak (haha)! Very sensitive and fragile, the wind could knock her down!!! So, when she was diagnosed, I was like omg the most fragile and weakest of all my children, why God why??(not that I would have wanted it to happen to any of my children!) However, Eden proved me WRONG; she would take her medication without any problem, she would do her blood work and be brave and strong, she really showed me how she was courageous child and not to be underestimated! She drew so much attention to her at the hospital with all her bubbly laughs and smiles. We even got to leave one week early.
One of the challenges I do have to say is Eden’s hair falling out, we threw her a hair cutting ceremony and cut out hair with her so she wouldn’t feel bad but it was hard because I felt like I couldn’t recognize my girl. But now after a few months the kids have gotten accustomed to Eden’s treatment and they are so caring and understanding! We are making it work! Taking it day by day! It is still hard! I cry all of the time, but then Eden will burst out with her “Lalalalala Be BRAVE, BE BRAVE!” song, and I know that things are going to be better than okay. Eden is strong, and her strength brings out a strength in me I did not even know I had. I used to think why did this happen to us but now I know it happened FOR us! For us to be the strongest we have ever been, the closest to one another we have ever been and the most appreciative we have ever been. I used to feel alone and now I have support that I had yearned for. Organizations like Wings for Ewing Sarcoma bring happiness to my daughters’ day when they bless her with a little toy that brightens her day and her stays at the hospital. Thank you for reading our story!”