Bella-Rose was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was three years old. After over a year of treatment Bella has suffered a relapse. Her mum, Abbie, tells their story:
“I am writing our story whilst sitting in our hospital room. I have been here for a month with my four year old girl, Bella-Rose.
Bella was being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and has relapsed. She had a year left of treatment. She was doing so well at nursery and had just started to really enjoy life again when we were given this devastating news.
We had just started to enjoy the little things again
It broke me to my soul. But she came through it and our lives started again.Bella was extremely unwell when first diagnosed. In fact she was so poorly that she nearly ended up in intensive care. Our lives had stopped. I held my little girl in my arms for days, while trying to come to terms with the fact my three-year-old had cancer.
It tore us all apart. It broke me to my soul. But she came through it and our lives started again. We could enjoy the little things like trying to spot birds on the way to nursery, playing with our sausage dog, or just being at home together.
Now back to intense chemo and its side effects...
We are now back in hospital and have signed forms for a relapse protocol involving the most intense chemo. It’s an illuminous blue and so strong that all her beautiful red hair, that had just grown back, is falling out again.
In a matter of seconds our lives have been snatched away from us again. The holidays we had booked have had to be cancelled since Bella cannot now leave the country for a year. I won’t be able to watch my friend getting married abroad and once again my life, and everything I had fought to build up over the past year, is gone.
Here we are again, at her bedside, watching handfuls of hair falling out and the side effects of the chemo slowly taking over her body. She has been in such pain – unable to eat, drink or even speak for over a week. Her mouth swelling is so bad that the nurses thought she was having an allergic reaction to something.
As before, I sit in the chapel here at the hospital crying so much my tears flood the floors. I wake up during the nights crying. And Bella's consultant has told me that if she was to have a transplant she would have an 80 per cent chance of relapsing again.
Running and running to help children with cancer
I run with purpose. I run with a lot of tears and a broken heart. I run and run and keep on running.During all of this I am still training for the marathon. It gives me a purpose to what feels like a hopeless existence.
Running the marathon was always on my bucket list of things to achieve. I signed up to run for Children with Cancer UK because they provide vital research and funding to help find better treatments for childhood cancers.
I run with purpose. I run with a lot of tears and a broken heart. I run and run and keep on running.”
Abbie, March 2016
Read more: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia | Side effects of treatment
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