Until June 7, 2012, my biggest fear as a parent was getting cancer and leaving my wife and twin daughters. That was the day we got news no parent ever wants to hear, your daughter has cancer. Sadie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and the lives of my family were forever changed. At just 23 months old, Sadie hadn’t had much more than a cold. She was very energetic and vibrant along with her twin Layla. It was improbable to think she had a disease we thought of as a death sentence.
Sadie was scheduled for emergency surgery to insert a port under her skin to receive chemotherapy. We learned about spinal taps, chemotherapy, clinics, oncology, hematology, ports and potions. The words seemed to run in one ear and out the other, we were all in a fog of disbelief. All I knew was I had to find a way to make sense of this all to myself and to my daughter. I had to find a way to make her comfortable with something I could never be comfortable with. We were still swallowing this nightmare, when we were released to go home and begin the long road to recovery.
“Sadie gave me the best treatment, she gave me hope. She showed me that she’s got more living to do and nothing was going to stop her.”
Suddenly, the nightmare got worse; her port got infected with 5 separate infections. After only a few days at home, we were back in Golisano Children’s Hospital for a month. We were consumed with the dire situation Sadie was in. It was hard to deal with possibilities that were getting frightfully close to reality. There was a near-constant train of doctors and nurses in and out of our room trying to help my baby. For a while, Sadie would cry anytime a person came in her hospital room and put on those blue gloves.
Then, one day, we realized something; Sadie became comfortable. She stopped crying whenever someone entered the room to the contrary, the doctors, nurses and staff became her friends. They became a second family; taking care of us as much as her. However, Sadie gave me the best treatment, she gave me hope. She showed me that she’s got more living to do and nothing was going to stop her.
As our time went on, we learned more about Sadie’s condition and we found our new normal. As parents, my wife and I have seen our daughters grow up in a unique way because of our circumstances. Sadie handles all her treatments and procedures with more poise than most adults could. Her sister Layla has become Sadie’s best and most caring nurse. At an age where kids are supposed to look up to their parents, I’m finding that my daughters are my heroes.
An Important Update
So much has changed since last year’s (2013) Butterfly Run. Miss Sadie has hair, good color in her chubby cheeks and her smile has returned. She is now in maintenance therapy and will officially be done with treatment in October 2014. She still takes chemo every single night before bed, steroids one week every month and is at the hospital every month for chemotherapy and or a spinal tap. We can’t wait until she is done!