Anna was diagnosed with ALL, January 10, 2011, when she was 4 years old. Over the course of her treatment Anna experienced many side effects, some expected, many were unexpected. She contracted sepsis, was unable to walk for unknown reasons and received a tiny 18" walker, developed heart complications, had pancreatitis, was unable to eat for a week, had a collapsed lung, developed nerve damage, experienced voice changes, had a feeding tube inserted multiple times, received over 40 blood and platelet transfusions and numerous hospitalizations for "common colds."
Through all of this Anna maintained her positive attitude and cheerful smile. She learned to swallow pills about a week after her diagnosis so she wouldn't have taste her medications. Anna would tell us, "No crying. I'm not crying, so you can't cry." The first time Anna cried after her diagnosis was the day we told her she would lose her hair. She sobbed and hid under her blankets, "I won't be pretty anymore."
Anna made many friends throughout her treatment. Some we have lost and mourned, (which is a terrible thing to have to do with your five year old, tell her that her friend with the same disease has just passed away) and is still friends with several others.
She is incredibly strong-willed and worked her way through all of her therapies and treatment and medications without complaining or feeling sorry for herself. She is, literally, our motivation and shows us, constantly, the power of positive thinking.
Anna was 9 months off treatment for cancer when she suddenly developed a brain bleed, a stroke. Doctors performed emergency brain surgery on our, then 7 year old, to remove the clot in her brain. The doctors aren't certain the stroke is related to her treatment, but they aren't sure that it isn't either. A doctor did tell us, during Anna's recovery, "I never say this, but she is a miracle." We think so too.