Treatment for leukaemia
On the evening of the 13th May 2012, we were blue lighted down to the Royal Marsden Hospital to have the bone marrow aspirate and begin intensive treatment.
Strangely it wasn’t until we arrived at the Royal Marsden that reality hit me – Esme was desperately sick and our family life was about to be turned upside down.
On the 16th May 2012 Esme was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and treatment was well underway.
The big milestones hit us. The loss of hair was heart breaking, more for us than her. Vacuuming it off her pillow and sheets in the mornings really brought it home to us.
Esme was so unwell that she couldn’t attend pre-school or take part in the Christmas Nativity play – the normal things that every child should have the right to.
Explaining to our eldest daughter, Freya, that her sister was very sick – and that sadly a spoonful of paracetamol wouldn’t make her better and that Freya would be nine years old before her treatment finished – was very difficult.
Esme is still on treatment and it has been a roller coaster so far:
- Weekly visits from the community nurses.
- Scheduled hospital appointments as well as unscheduled hospital stays.
- Medication challenges and the many side effects that they cause.
- Mobility challenges – the weakening of her leg muscles.
- The effect that the monthly chemotherapy and steroid treatment have on her which affects all the family in different ways.
- Juggling work and raising three children. (When Esme falls sick and is hospitalised I go with her and it falls to Dad to juggle his job and our two other daughters whilst trying to keep life as normal as possible.)