Elaina was always a happy child. She was a full time job, and always busy. She loved her older twin brother and sister, Colin and Keara, and also her younger twin brothers Wyatt and Elias. She was also very stubborn on who she let into her life, which was part of her charm. Medically, she never had an serious illnesses prior to her diagnoses… until she was 2 months shy of her 2nd birthday.
In late March of 2016, Elaina had a head cold. After the cold subsided, Kyle (Dad) and Elizabeth (Mom) noticed that Elaina’s left eye continued to drain. It was never itchy or red and resembled that of an allergy, as it was getting to be allergy season.
Fast forward to April 29th, 2016. Elaina showed swelling under her eye and her left nostril. At bath time, Kyle noticed a rash on Elaina, but it wasn’t bothersome, and could have been dozens of things.
The following Monday, Elizabeth contacted Elaina’s primary care physician. At the appointment, Elaina was diagnosed with a sinus infection, and was given a ten-day antibiotic to get rid of it. After day 5, the swelling had gotten worse and the rash had turned to bruising, and the medication did not seem to be helping anything. Elizabeth followed her gut instinct and took her to the hospital for further examination. A CTscan showed a mass under her eye and Elaina was referred to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist. Elizabeth, again following her gut, asked if it was cancerous. They then responded, “That’s what we’re trying to rule out.”
3 days of emotional torture went by and Kyle and Elizabeth were finally able to get Elaina in to see the specialist. The specialist said Elaina should have an MRI done and they could probably get to it “sometime this week”. Elizabeth was enraged and demanded an MRI that day. Kyle and Elizabeth had endured 3 days of worry and fear and could not wait another day. The specialist understood the parents’ concern and lack of patience and got Elaina an MRI scheduled within a two hours.
A very stressful and difficult evening it turned out to be. As Kyle, Elizabeth, and Elaina were packing up to head home, a phone call came from the Hematologist on duty. “It’s definitely a cancerous mass, and we are waiting on some results from her blood cultures to diagnose what it is. Plan to come in tomorrow afternoon.”
Elizabeth was called early the next morning, May 11th, and was told the final results were in and to come in as soon as possible with Elaina and an overnight bag. The parents and Elaina were brought in immediately, and informed Elaina had Leukemia. Acute Myeloid Leukemia, to be exact.
Kyle and Elizabeth, both in tears and fearing for their sweet baby girl, were reassured that they did nothing wrong and it could not be prevented. They were told it is curable. They were told “it is just bad luck”.