Sienna's Story

Growing pains

Sienna was diagnosed with suspected leukaemia on 9 December 2022, one day after her 7th birthday. The diagnosis was then confirmed on 12 December as being acute myeloid leukaemia. Her symptoms were simply cold/flu like with the odd complaint of her legs and back hurting which we originally thought were growing pains. She gradually got worse and eventually the school phoned to say she had fallen asleep whilst in a lesson.

Sienna smiling at camera

Suspected strep A

On the Friday morning, I went to her bedroom after I’d dropped her older sister at school and found her gasping for breath. I immediately called an ambulance and the paramedics suggested taking her to the hospital just to be checked over as they suspected strep A. When she was admitted to the children’s hospital, she was extremely poorly, very anaemic and her liver and kidneys were not doing great either. They managed to get her stable and she was transferred up to the children’s oncology/haematology ward.

Sienna and siblings at disneyland

Starting treatment

She started her treatment on Wednesday 14 December 2022 when she had her Hickman line inserted. She had her first bone marrow aspirate and it showed that 90% of her bone marrow was filled with leukaemia and she had infection markers but they couldn’t pin point where it was coming from. After five weeks of isolation and numerous MRI and CT scans, it was confirmed that she had sinusitis. She then had numerous flush and scrapes to clear this and is on anti-fungal medication long term to keep it at bay. She has a NG tube to administer any oral fluids as she quickly became resistant to take them herself, she also has top up feeds if needed for nutrition.

Sienna in sunglasses

Hospital stay

After six and half weeks in her room, she was allowed out onto the ward to walk around and strengthen the muscles in her legs and finally get to the play room. Her highest temperature recorded whilst she had infection markers was 41.9 degrees. We have now just finished her second round of chemotherapy (7 February 2023) and hope that after her five week recovery period we can get her home for a few days. She will be in hospital for a total of around six months from diagnosis which entail seven weeks of treatment/recovery then a stint at home in between. She will have four rounds of this.

Throughout the whole situation she has been absolutely amazing and has taken everything in her stride and is bossing this horrible disease with a great big smile on her face.

Kayleigh, Sienna’s mum, February 2023

How you can help

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