Our Princess Hally; which is what we have called her for as long as I can remember is 7 years old and has always been a happy; healthy, beautiful little girl. Her passions are singing, writing, and playing dress up as she considers herself quite the fashionista! She also enjoys cuddling with her Bull-mastiff dog named Tank! She has always been the perfect combination of smart and determined mixed with sweet and shy. In November, of last year, she started a new school in the second grade and just started gaining new friends and really getting comfortable when she started having stomach aches. After the 3rd trip to the pediatrician on March 1st and ruling out several other possibilities she was sent for an ultrasound and x-rays. The ultrasound technician instantly saw there was something wrong and we were immediately sent to The Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at University Hospital. My head was spinning; my daughter did not belong there!!! We were instantly evaluated by an oncologist, referred to a pediatric surgeon, and planning for surgery in just 3 days for a biopsy and port placement.
The biopsy confirmed our worst nightmares, the tumor inside our princess was indeed cancer; a Wilm’s tumor to be exact. My husband and I were shocked, devastated, horrified and every other emotion you can possibly imagine. Hally immediately starting receiving chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, while we planned the surgery that would remove the tumor along with her right kidney. She had quite a few trips to the hospital during this time battling fevers and needing several blood transfusions, but she really took chemotherapy like a champ. Her father and I were proud and amazed at how bravely and gracefully our little girl was handling all of these new challenges presented to her. After weeks of chemo, she had a CT scan and the tumor had grown bigger instead of smaller as we had hoped. This made her surgery quite a bit harder but was still doable. On May 1st, the tumor and kidney were taken out during a very long 7 hour surgery, but also a very successful one. Her originally planned 5-7 days recovery time turned into 3 days due to her strength and perseverance. She fought harder than most adults could to get home! Her father and I have now found a new hero in her.
Hally is now undergoing a pretty aggressive schedule of radiation and chemotherapy and we are just awaiting the day that we can proclaim our little princess cancer free.