My daughter is almost 7 years old. She is a cancer survivor,
having undergone 3 years of chemotherapy for leukemia (ALL), complicated by
first having been misdiagnosed with a ruptured appendix. While she was on
chemotherapy, she also had an ileostomy. This was finally reversed a year after
her completion of chemo.
I was 36 when I had my daughter. I really had no intention of having children.
It seemed such an overwhelming responsibility and I had doubts about what kind
of mother I would be. It was her father, who is no longer in our life, who
simply convinced me "we must have a child." I learned quickly that children are
a gift. She is a joy and so precious to me.
During the years while she was on chemotherapy, I kept her out of daycare,
drop-in centers, and basically away from other children. Chicken pox could be
fatal and her compromised immune system meant she would pick up the flu and
colds very easily. I quit my job and we went on government assistance.
How phenomenal that she is now well and attending school and our life at the
moment seems normal. However she has contracted head lice twice during the past
year. Once during the summer right before we were about to attend camp for
children with cancer. I used a pesticidal treatment on her and it took a long
time to get rid of the lice (2 treatments...lots of nit-picking and laundry).
More recently she brought it home again, … and again I used a pesticidal shampoo
on both of us – beginning to think that there must be a better way!! This led me
to the internet and this web site and Jesse's Story. I felt sick as I read it,
both for them and for us.
I can connect the onset on Ambria's leukemia with a NIX treatment in the months
prior to her diagnosis. I couldn't believe that in all the years of medical
attention for her ALL that it had never come to anybody’s attention (including
mine) that these shampoos contain chemicals that can cause cancer. Bad enough
that I didn’t know any better when I used them on her when she was a toddler,
but how on earth could I have been in a position of such ignorance that I would
use them on her again …after all that she has been through!!
I remember when she was first diagnosed I labored over what had happened to
cause her leukemia. The worry of what may have caused her cancer soon faded to
focusing on her treatment and cure. I accepted that I probably would never know
I live with a fear that she will get it again -- I pray that we will be lucky.