Breaking through barriers for workers
who have children with special needs

A.L.L. Leukemia Is The Most Treatable Cancer

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We would very much like to thank you for your kind words, thoughts and support.

In October of 2007 our 3 year old son Felix was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. We were devastated, I was 7 months pregnant already on a sick leave carrying my third child. Earlier in the year I had just transferred from FT Letter Carrier to PT Clerk. Felix was a very normal active and happy child before all this happened.

He did not show any obvious signs or symptoms and normally would only go to the doctor for immunization shots. I took him to see the physician because he seemed "off" to me, his appetite had changed and there was something not right.

The doctor looked at him and then while examining him said that his liver and spleen were enlarged and we needed to do some blood work. I went home thinking nothing of it, really it was just a little blood test. I received a phone call from our Family doctor the very next afternoon. I could tell by the tone in his voice it was not good news especially since he himself called back so quickly. He said there was bad news and immediately I was asking how bad is bad.

All I could manage to remember was that I had to go to Sick Kids Hospital right away and that there was something wrong with his bone marrow. After Felix was admitted in emerge they confirmed 90% that he had cancer. More precise tests needed to be done to confirm the diagnosis. He did not cope well. The first few blood tests he tolerated but he began to feel like a caged animal and blamed us for letting the doctors hurt him. There were so many blood tests that his veins were collapsing and they had to keep finding new ones.

By the next several day's he was in treatment. He had a port installed in his chest. "Bone marrow aspirate" and "spinal tap" had become common words for all of us.

In all of the shock and the dream like state we were in we still had to function. I called the CUPW Special Needs project, our oldest son had been diagnosed with ADHD years ago and we've been receiving help with his tutoring bills. Felix need's a lot of help in a lot of different areas and the response from the Special Needs project was very comforting and very much appreciated.

Our third son Ollie (Oliver) was born 3 day's before Christmas and helped focus
every one's attention on something new and exciting. Felix has been responding to all of his treatments well, but not to all the side effects from the chemo and steroids.

It is very difficult to watch your child suffer from pain, exhaustion and all that comes with cancer of the blood. He has a very long and difficult road ahead of him.

We are in the very worst part of his treatment right now but keep hope that everything will be fine in the end. ALL Leukemia is the most treatable cancer with a very high success rate of total recovery. As we struggle it has been a huge comfort to us to have all kinds of support from family, friends and the hospital. We would once again like to thank the project for their help and send our best wishes to all the families dealing with their own trials and tribulations.

Sincerely,
PO-4
Brampton, ON

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