'Many have asked us about how we discovered that Eleanor had Leukemia.  Here is our story.....

After Christmas, we enjoyed a great vacation in Disney World celebrating New Years and returning home on January 3rd. About a week or two after returning, Eleanor developed a slight cold.  She recovered from it, but during this time I noticed that she had numerous bruises on her legs, back, and arms.  At first I thought they could be a result of active play during P.E., combined with some occasional clumsiness, or maybe wrestling with Daddy.  We watched this for about a week or so, not really thinking much of it, considering she had not displayed any other concerning symptoms. During this time both my mom and sister also noticed and questioned the bruises.

 On Wednesday, January 21st, Eleanor dressed up like a little old lady to celebrate the 100th day of school.  During the day she experienced a nosebleed during recess.  When I came to pick her up, I was in shock at her appearance. She was extremely pale with dark circles under her eyes, dried blood at her nose from the nosebleed, and little tiny red dots under her eyes and on her neck.  I remember joking with one of the secretaries that she looked like we had beat her!  Later that day when Chris was home I pointed out her questionable appearance.  He became as concerned as I and I remember in that moment looking at him and us both saying that we were afraid of what this could be, both of us thinking it could possibly be symptoms of leukemia, but neither of us speaking it.

We decided to call a friend who is a physician and get her opinion of what could be going on.  She suggested visiting our pediatrician for some blood work citing that Eleanor could possibly be anemic. On Thursday, January 22nd, I went to work and called Eleanor's pediatricians office for an appointment, thinking all that could be going on was anemia.  Chris decided to take Eleanor to her 2:30 appointment, later telling me he did not have a good feeling about what it could be. The deal was for him to take her and I would call him once I left work to come pick her up so he could get back to work. 

 I didn't know the full story until later, but once he met with Dr. Mays he told her that he thought Eleanor had leukemia.  She looked puzzled and reassured him that it was possible that something else was going on, given her symptoms.  After blood work was complete Chris saw the lab tech bring Dr. Mays the results crying.  Chris watched across the hall as she gave the results to Dr. Mays and both shed tears in her office.  He knew then it was leukemia. Dr. Mays walked in and without saying a word both she and Chris burst into tears.  The results detected an increase in white blood cells and a decrease in hemoglobin and platelets. 

called him as I left work, as planned, but when I heard his voice I immediately knew something was wrong. His voice was broken and I could tell he was fighting tears as he told me, " it's not good news". I drove to St. Vincent's in a fog crying and praying the whole way. I just remember crying out to God to heal my baby. Please Lord heal my baby. As I cried and prayed I missed a call from Chris telling me they were on their way to Children's Hospital. I met them there in the ER.

They repeated the labs and confirmed that leukemia cells were in her blood. The hematologist also suggested there could possibly be two different kinds of leukemia cells. At this point all I heard over and over in my head was ELEANOR has LEUKEMIA..... ELEANOR has LEUKEMIA......over and over.  Chris and I just stared at each other in disbelief.

After putting in Eleanor's IV, we were escorted to the eighth floor, Hematology/Oncology floor.  It literally took my breath away to walk down that hall realizing why we were here. I kept thinking this must be a mistake. This is a mistake. This has GOT to be a mistake. Friendly nurses welcomed us, Frozen was already playing on the tv, gifts from the Child Life Specialists filled the side table. Eleanor never looked scared. She is so strong. I remember constant crying from both Chris and I as we settled in, while Eleanor was distracted with the tv, goodies, and sweet nurses. We all fell asleep the first night listening to Kari Jobe on Pandora on my phone, Chris and I both crying and praying ourselves to sleep.

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