At the age of 5, Abigale was diagnosed with SR B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We were completely shocked, as a parent it is your worst fears becoming reality. You hear of kids battling cancer,but you always think “that won’t happen to our family.” At the time of the diagnosis we didn’t quite know how she would understand cancer, especially telling her that her body is sick without any symptoms of what she understood to be sick like a cough, ora stuffy nose. For the first couple of days we actually avoided telling her that she had cancer until we had a chance to process it ourselves.
Since the initial admission Abigale has been admitted numerous times for different reasons-some planned, some not at all. The unplanned hospital admissions are quite scary. It’s always a waiting game, keeping all your fingers and toes crossed that her blood counts will recover without the aid of blood transfusions, she has received many since the start of her journey. Hoping they find answers for what is causing her fevers. It truly feels like a nightmare.
To us, the hardest part of this whole journey so far has been watching Abi’s hard or bad days. The days when she’s resisting the nurses and the days she’s exhausted or getting sick, that’s really tough to watch. We have learned to take life one day at a time, finding what helps keep her calm, what makes her comfortable and happy. She loves dancing and singing so we try to incorporate that as much as her fighting body will let us. And horses make her the happiest so we try to keep her in her horseback riding lessons as long as she’s in good health and can attend. Also, knowing that she has an incredible team behind her and a very large group of supporters in front of her helps with the hard days.
It is extremely heartbreaking to receive a diagnosis like this when you only ever want the best for your child. Your life will flash before your eyes and you will feel like you’re living a nightmare. For any parents receiving a diagnosis,please take a deep breath, know that your child is stronger than you think and you will have the support you need during this dark time. After all the dark you start to see the world differently.
This will be our fifth year attending Light The Night for LLSC. Before Abigale was diagnosed we were walking in memory of Staci’s (Abigale’s mom) grandfather, George Murphy who lost his battle to AML in 2013. So to say that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada has been important to our family is an understatement. We are so grateful to have this community to fall back on, to meet and get to know this community has meant the world to us.
Abigale is now 7 and currently in Maintenance until July 2022, hopefully then she will ring the bell! She has been so brave throughout this entire journey, we are incredibly proud of her. Abi has proven to be STRONGER THAN STRONG!
Abi is not alone. We are not alone. You are not alone.