Her regimen had a combination of nine different chemotherapy drugs given in many different ways

“Alice was 2 years old when she was diagnosed with leukaemia, and didn’t finish treatment until she was 5. The treatment had an 85% success rate but she had to have chemotherapy almost every single day to have that chance of survival. Her regimen had a combination of nine different chemotherapy drugs given in many different ways; intravenous, intramuscular, orally, and injected into her spinal fluid. It was gruelling. We had to stay strong around her, but often it was extremely hard to control our emotions. I used to go down the corridor to a small little bathroom and cry there a lot. The bathroom smelt of hibiscrub, a pink liquid antibacterial soap.  Whenever I smell it now it throws me back to that time.  I’d then come back to her room and lie down on the floor beside her bed, awake all night with fear and worry. I’m sure that smell is a trigger for a lot of the parents who spent their nights on that floor too.”
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 “The chemotherapy itself often wipes out the healthy cells as it seeks to destroy the cancerous ones, which is why so many patients lose their hair.  Alice lost all of hers twice. She also constantly needed red cells and platelets during treatment. I remember one of her first blood transfusions so well. We were inpatients for a couple of weeks for an infection, and she had become a rag doll; just this tiny slip of a thing. So frail from her ordeal. Her red cells had taken a hammering, so she needed a bag of blood to literally save her life. She was almost as pale as the sheets she lay on. As the blood was slowly dripping from the bag and down into the permanent port in her chest, it struck me what an extraordinary gift she had been given. A complete stranger’s blood had been donated to save my little girl. That person will never know what they did, who they saved and how grateful we are. I don’t think people realise how often patients need blood and the difference it can make. I will be forever grateful to that person who helped save my daughter’s life.”
This story was highlighted by the Childhood Cancer Foundation (6/7) #LetsDoThisTogether
Humans of Dublin partnered up with Childhood Cancer Foundation, a volunteer parent led charity founded by families of children with cancer.  The charity aims to raise awareness of the devastating impact childhood cancer has on the families.  CCF tries to ease the burden on children in treatment for cancer by funding services at St John’s Ward at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin where 1200 children affected by cancer are treated each year. The charity also advocates for these children and families and supports education and research projects concerning childhood cancer. For more information see www.childhoodcancer.ie

You can also follow CCF on Lightitupgold Childhood Cancer Foundation

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