We knew something was wrong
In the few months prior to Suki’s diagnosis we were desperately concerned about her health. The more the GP turned us away, telling us it was ‘just a virus’, the more we looked into things ourselves and looked back at signs of when she started deteriorating.
Not knowing what to do and feeling utterly helpless, I rang our hospital in desperation. They agreed to see us the next day. When the paediatrician uttered the words “I’m sorry, it’s not good news, your daughter has leukaemia”, my response was “I know”. I was so completely convinced what was wrong I had bags packed in the car in preparation we would be admitted.
Intense treatment begins
No one ever dreams of being told the terrifying words, your child has cancer. However, strangely that day there was a form of relief knowing that someone was finally listening to us and offering to help our very poorly little girl.
The first eight months were particularly tough, with regular high dose chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions, contracting viruses and infections; there were many admissions and hospital stays. Suki suffered numerous side effects from the various stages of treatment and due to her suppressed immunity she could face a hospital admission at any time.
Her size and shape drastically changed as a direct result of her chemotherapy treatment. Her steroid medication caused her weight to balloon, yet the daily chemotherapy meant she experienced constant nausea and has suffered from much vomiting as a result of all the treatment, which at times caused rapid weight loss. She lost all her hair and her skin became pale and sensitive.
Maintenance treatment hasn’t been without complications
She reached the maintenance stage of treatment at the end of the Summer 2017, this felt like a huge milestone. But the next few years haven’t been without drama, including spending Christmas and birthdays in hospital. Suki continued to suffer with daily nausea, had problems with her eyesight and multiple verrucae all over her feet, all of which required additional forms of treatment.
Despite a particularly hard few years, Suki remains so positive and full of life. She officially finished her treatment last month, and while there are still regular check ups and medication to take it has been another huge milestone to reach.
Suki has taught us to never take life for granted
It is incredible to see her gaining strength week on week now. To see her enjoying herself; happier, stronger, more colour in her cheeks and an appetite returning. It is heart warming to see the child you remember shining through more and more. It’s been a tough road and one thing is for sure we will never take anything for granted again, for no-one truly knows what tomorrow holds.
Rachel, June 2019
Update: July 2020
Suki continues to gain physical strength and from the outside she looks really well, something we are so thankful for. However, this often means it is easy to forget all that she has been through. Mentally and emotionally she still really struggles with so many effects of everything she’s experienced.
We feel so thankful to have reached this point, being exposed to a world of childhood cancer gives you a very different perspective on life, and we never take anything for granted any more.
If you want to stay up to date with Suki’s story, visit Rachel’s blog.
are placed into hospitals for children and adults with cancer to ring after their gruelling treatment.