Birth Date - January 8, 2016
Diagnosis - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Theme: Disney Princesses
Due Date: October 1, 2019
When I picked Keegan up from daycare, the Preschool Director mentioned that she had been favoring her arm again. I decided it would be best to take her to a local hospital that has a pediatric wing. Looking back this was her 18th visit to a doctor in a years time!!! Between visits with her primary care physician, on-call doctors in the same office on weekends or late nights, a minor med visit and one other trip to the pediatric wing at the local hospital, I'd done my research. Keegan had complained of pain in her left leg and hand/arm quite often and each time, it seemed as though the pain lasted longer and longer. Pain so bad at times she couldn't stand or walk. It was heartbreaking. How do you help a 1 year old with this level of pain? How do you remain sane through the few hours of sleep at night and the ear piercing screams of your baby?
This time we were seen by Dr. O'Connor. Immediately, I felt a sigh of relief. This time we might get answers. The look on his face of pure worry and heartbreak for a mother and child he'd never met before was unfathomable. He explained that my worries were completely rational. He ordered blood work, and said we would get answers. The next time I saw him, he didn't even have to say anything. I already knew. My perfect, red-headed, beautiful, blue-eyed sugar had cancer! Dr. O'Connor had already spoken with an oncologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Keegan was being admitted to the main pediatric hospital downtown that night, and a team from St. Jude would meet us in her room the next morning.
The next morning more blood work was done to confirm the diagnosis. Keegan was transferred to St. Jude that very night. After 8 days, multiple chemo treatments, a subcutaneous port placement, and more tears than I care to admit, Keegan was discharged.
So far Keegan has endured hundreds of finger pricks, countless blood and platelet transfusions, 90 three-quarter inch needles to access her port in her chest, more than a handful of nasogastric tubes, 3 ambulance rides, well over 200 doses of chemotherapy, hundreds of steroids, 20 procedures, 14 in-patient admissions, and 2 birthdays spent at the hospital. She's missed out on family celebrations, church, holidays, and life as a toddler due to her compromised immune system. Through all of this, Keegan never lost her feisty nature, and St. Jude has made sure she enjoys every moment at the hospital.
"Keegan absoutely LOVES the quilt!!!"