Meet Cayla Rose. She’s a vivacious five year old, who loves to dance and watch Disney Princess movies, especially those featuring Rapunzel, Ariel, Elsa and Anna. She has a soft spot for all animals, enjoys coloring, and likes to make others laugh with her goofy expressions and genuine silliness.
She has a gift of bringing joy to the lives of others. Just spend a few minutes with this precious girl and before you know it, she’ll have wrapped herself around your heart.
On Tuesday, May 19th 2015, Cayla was diagnosed with Pre B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
In just a few days of being diagnosed, she had x-rays, two blood transfusions, three platelet transfusions, a bone marrow biopsy and a spinal tap. She is a fighter, this little one, and was very brave throughout all the procedures.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is the most common of childhood cancers, and treatment results have been good. Cayla is considered a high-risk case as she is very sensitive to chemo.
We created the #CaylaStrong website in honor of not only Cayla’s fight against leukemia, but for all the young cancer warriors. The hashtag symbolizes the amazing strength, determination and courage they all have as they battle for their lives.
Cayla’s journey towards survivorship is at the halfway point. She is now in what is called maintenance. As with most Leukemia patients, Cayla was plagued with illnesses before diagnosis. In her case, it was months of chronic ear infections, allergist appointments and even a surgery planned for the week after she was diagnosed to remove her tonsils and adenoids and insert ear tubes. All of this was thrown to the wayside upon the utterance of “Leukemia “.
It’s been a rough, emotionally charged year and a half. My aunt termed it “Cayla’s Marathon.” I can not think of a more accurate label. Leukemia treatment can vary in length of years due to factors such as age, gender, or risk level among others. Cayla’s is 2.5 years. As of today, we are 10.85 miles into her marathon. That means only 15.37 miles left and it is all downhill from here, hopefully.
I welcome you to partake in the remaining portion with her as I try to create a voice for us parents. My goal is to share and show, unfiltered, what childhood cancer is and express the horrific experience we never dreamed possible. No one fights alone! Your support is very much appreciated and helps in more ways than you realize.
UPDATED ON APRIL 28TH, 2016.