Home > Patient Blogs > Blogs about my daughter, Vega > There were signs – Vega’s diagnosis

About this blog


About this blog

Vega was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 2012. By June 2014 she had completed intensive treatment followed by maintenance treatment. Vega's mum, Kathi, blogs about the experience. Blog written by: Kathi, Vega's mum

  • Patient Name: Vega
  • Cancer Type: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
  • Age when diagnosed: 3

There were signs – Vega’s diagnosis

16th January 2020

There were signs

I am not sure I ever really wrote much about how Vega was diagnosed. I guess in retrospect, after hearing other parents’ stories about their children’s diagnoses, we found out relatively quickly. We took Vega to Kings A&E twice for foot pain, a month apart, and were sent away with ibuprofen.

I had a weird dream about leukaemia, and I guess it was my mother’s intuition and persistence that something was not right that meant I insisted we went back to A&E again. We were then diagnosed.

Looking back at the six months leading up to Vega’s diagnosis, there were signs, but they were so small and seemed totally unrelated. Unless you would know what you are looking for, it’s difficult to use them as clues for diagnosis.

Girl sitting on sofa

Did we catch it early enough?

The day they told us that Vega was likely to have some sort of blood cancer, a leukaemia of some kind, I felt totally numb. My eyes were so puffy from all the crying I could barely see the consultant who sat us down to discuss what would happen next.

I remember asking if Vega would be okay – “did we catch it early enough?” The consultant said to us not catching leukaemia early enough means the child would be dead and the cancer would be discovered post-mortem. So yes, we caught it early enough.

Leukaemia does not have stages, as tumorous cancers have, because the cancer affects all of the blood and it is not localised. The cancerous blood cells multiply, affecting the production of all other blood cells, taking space from the red cells and the platelets. Untreated it is fatal in a relatively short space of time.

vega at zippos circus

Awareness really does save lives

I have since met many parents and many courageous children, all battling some sort of childhood cancer. Every one of them has a different diagnosis story to tell, but most could have benefited from an earlier diagnosis.

I have linked to Be Child Cancer Aware as they have published an awareness card, outlining the most common signs and symptoms and work tirelessly to distribute these, in paper and as an online version.

Awareness really does save lives and I for one am so so so grateful that Vega’s life was not lost to leukaemia; it goes without saying.

Girls at halloween