KSON Going Gold for Charley

September 29, 2016

Here is Charley's story from her mom Stefani:

My daughter Charley is 3 1/2.  She was diagnosed June 28, 2016 with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. June 27, we were just a normal san diego family enjoying the first weeks of summer break.  June 28 at 11 pm our world came crashing down.  Charley was a typical normal healthy child, up to this point had never been on antibiotics.  The day before we found out, she woke up with strange bruises on her forearm, nothing too concerning but worthy of taking notice.  She was acting normal, playing, no fevers but had been fighting a small cold/ cough. Nothing out of the ordinary for a 3 year old.  By the afternoon I noticed more strange bruises on the backs of her legs.  They weren’t your typical black and blue marks, they were reddish purple.  They kind of resembled a cluster of bug bites, but completely flat no injection site.  At this point in the afternoon I just called her pediatrician to see what they would say.  Not overly concerned they told me to bring her in tomorrow to check her out.  I brought her in the next day and she still wasn’t overly concerned but did say that she was a little more bruised up than a typical 3 year old.  She waned to do blood work just to be safe.  So 5pm on Tuesday the 28, we walked down to Radys to do routine blood work.

Later that evening, 7:45 to be exact, I received a phone call from a blocked number.  As most people these days, I almost didn’t answer but something told me I should.  It was our doctor calling to say that her platelet count was extremely low 15, to be exact and that she needed to be rushed to the ER to be monitored.  Of course I asked what was going on and she just said we would like to do further testing.  I always wondered how I would react in these situations, I think shock and calm took over as I was trying to not jump to any conclusions.  Lets be honest, at this point I had already googled the endless things this could mean, one of which Leukemia but you just tell your self, cancer in kids is rare (obviously I now know that this is not the case) but common things are common.

After being in the ER with more tests and hours passing, the doctor came into the room.  He asked if we could speak outside the room, Im assuming not to talk in front of Charley, but as he stepped out and starting leading us down the hall to a private room,  I knew it was’t good.  He leads us to this room labeled “social work” but taped on it with white computer paper the sign read “do not disturb”.  I just knew it was cancer.  There was a social worker, nurse and doctor all waiting in the room to talk to us That was the moment our life was forever changed. I can still remember the room, the sounds, smells, looks on the doctors faces. Once the words “Your daughter Charley has Leukemia” were uttered, our lives were forever changed.  I felt like we were living inside a snow globe and someone just keeps shaking and shaking, and once you regain your world right side up, they shake some more.  

You now live inside the “cancer” world. A world where good news, is followed by bad.  A roller coaster where you hold your breath on the upswings because you always know a down swing can be right around the corner.  Charley has ALL, which is the more common, treatable leukemia.  Her course of treatment will last 2 1/2 years. Still doesn’t make it easier to stomach. 

These last 3 months have felt like 6 years.  We live week by week, day by day.  Our world revolves around Charley’s blood numbers.  What they are, what they will be, all of which makes the rest of our world revolve around them also.  Our older daughter Logan, 7, is constantly being told no to playdates, vacations and birthday parties because of her sister.  Our family is now a tag team family, you get one parent to one child.  We don’t get to do “family” things anymore.  Cancer stole our lives away from us.  But what are our options?  You fight, you get educated and you move on with the hopes that one day this will be a distant memory. You just hope that you survive without the rest of your world crumbling down in its wake.  

Mom Stefani shared with us the struggle they have gone through the last few months:

KSON Going Gold for Charley