Charlotte "Charlie" B. 

Birth Date: November 10, 2015

Diagnosis: Leukemia
Charlie's Story

In the beginning I had spent many nights tossing and turning wondering what was wrong with my little one. To my husband's dismay, I would often stay up until one in the morning researching her symptoms. Much of my research often led to Leukemia. On our many visits to various doctor's offices, I expressed my concerns and suspicions of cancer ... specifically leukemia. During first admission in the hospital, after several tests, scans, MRIs, pokes, and prods, it was determined that Charlie had osteomyelitis in her tibia. This included two infectious abscesses that would need to be removed. I was relieved. I had convinced myself of the worst and this wasn't that bad. We all kept saying , "Hey, at least it isn't cancer.", "It could have been cancer.", "We could be at VCU right now." Osteomyelitis is no joke. It is very painful and can cause damage to growth plates in the leg leading to additional problems, but yes at least it 
wasn't cancer. 

 After about a week home with no issues, Charlie spent almost an entire evening writhing in pain and not sleeping. She complained of pain all over. I had never heard my baby scream like this before. We went to the orthopedist first thing the next morning, and she was admitted once again to the hospital. More testing. Another surgery. Perhaps the antibiotic wasn't working and needed to be changed. This time they did a peripheral smear to identify any cancer cells in the blood. They took a bone marrow sample during another surgery to clean out infection. The blood smear came back inconclusive. The marrow results took a few days.

Friday, October 26th. That was the day that we would get her marrow results back. I was feeling pretty good and relatively confident that the marrow would not show cancer. I mean, non of the other 10,000 tests they did showed anything so why would this? Probably she just needed a different antibiotic regimen.

Then the doctor came in with the results. The pathologist concluded that there were cancerous cells present and Charlie would be transferred to VCU. The doctors took more morrow for the VCU pathologists to determine the type. This is the moment. The before and after moment where everything changed. I felt sick and I felt angry. Our orthopedist called and he was a little bit more forthcoming with what the pathologists said. It was definitely cancer and they were leaning towards Ewing Sarcoma. Ambulance transport took Charlie to VCU where we stayed the next 8 days.  

Pathologists don't work on weekends and we had to wait. After days of speculating, the oncologist overseeing Charlie's care came in our room with a big smile on her face. I honestly thought for a second the pathologists at the other hospital might have been wrong. No ... it was leukemia and the type was very treatable and nothing like what Ewing Sarcoma treatment would be like. The smile on our doctor's face put my heart at ease. She was so happy to give us that news. Yay, Leukemia!  

"Charlie's quilt is soooo beautiful and just really special. Thank you so much."