What do you do when being strong is the only choice you have? Being a mother had been my dream for as long as I could remember, being the eldest I was constantly surrounded by younger cousins. When people asked what I wanted to be, I would always reply with “a mum”. So, when I got pregnant with my first child I was beyond excited, it was all I could have hoped for. Our second child followed two years later, and we settled into life as a family of four. In January 2019 on New Years Day our life as we knew it was ripped apart, our beautiful four-month-old baby girl had cancer. Her diagnosis was a huge shock to us, we didn’t know how our perfect baby could be so sick. Our only thought was we have to remain strong, what other choice did we have.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – Daisy’s Story
Daisy underwent 3 intense rounds of chemotherapy to help her fight her battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. In these rounds, she was given different cocktails of chemotherapy over four weeks, and then we had to wait for her blood count to recover. Sometimes this happened quickly and others took weeks of just sitting in the hospital hoping for those counts to rise. During this time, we only went home for a total of 6 days. She also had to battle other illnesses that came along with having a weakened immune system like colds, infections, and bronchiolitis. However, she remained strong throughout and it wasn’t until after her third round that things got scary.
Sadly Not the Ony Hurdle She Had To Face
In May 2019 Daisy was very sick, and this was by far the scariest part of our journey. We didn’t know if she was going to pull through this time. She was hooked up to strong narcotics for pain relief 24 hours a day, requiring extra doses when we did nappy changes. She required a small surgery to remove some dead tissue from her labia caused by a serious blood infection called Pseudomonas. We had to apply multiple dressings a day and bathe her in saltwater. This was sadly not the only hurdle she had to face though; she also developed a fungal lung infection. She was fine at the start and then she rapidly declined fast.
I Cried Silently In The Dark
I attended the funeral of another child who we sadly had to say goodbye to far too soon and my husband had stayed with Daisy in hospital, upon my return she was ok but within half an hour she was inconsolable. I sat in a chair and rocked her for the next three hours while she screamed, and I cried silently in the dark. After a sleepless night, I stepped out to take a break when I saw doctors and nurses all rush to our room. I ran to her and saw she was clearly struggling to breathe. ICU was called and I was put on a hospital bed with Daisy on my lap and rushed to theatre. Daisy’s lungs had both collapsed and were fast filling with fluid.
I’ll Never Forget The Fear On Her Face
I held onto my baby girl while they put her to sleep and in those last few seconds, she looked at me, scared and terrified. Ill never ever forget the fear on her face as she gasped for breath. ICU had prepared me that she would need a breathing tube and then would be sent to ICU to recover, something I was terrified of. When I got the call that she was in recovery, I rushed to her. She looked so tiny in a huge bed, surrounded by pillows and blankets and a drain sticking out the side of her tiny chest but she had made it out without a breathing tube which meant we could return to our ward, to the safe and familiar faces of our nurses.
She Is Our Miracle – Daisy’s Story
For weeks we sat by her bedside while she dozed in and out of consciousness, holding her hand, talking, and singing to her. She is our miracle. She fought that infection so hard and when we could finally go home for a couple of days before returning for our last round it was so special. We walked out holding our baby girl.
Returning for round four we knew we would be in for a while; this round went for 3 months and there was no going home. We settled into our old room again and began straight away. They don’t muck around. This round was relatively smooth, we had some nausea and some horrible nappy rash but otherwise, we practiced sitting up and reaching for toys, we read books and watched far too much Nick Jr. Daisy celebrated her first birthday in the hospital with a cake and surrounded by our nurses and doctors who had all become like family. My husband came in to celebrate but unfortunately, our son was unable to come due to Daisy’s low counts.
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