Tell us about your child -Maizie is an extremely determined kid and is full of energy. If she puts her mind to something there is no stopping her. She loves her little sisters so much and is the “second” mom in our house. She enjoys helping others, playing outside, and spending time with her family and friends.
Maizie had Stage 3, Burkitts Lymphoma. It is the fastest growing cancer of human tumors.
Over the span of two weeks I started to notice that Maizie’s stomach was starting to look bloated. Day by day it got larger and she started to complain of a small stomach ache. The night of her 6th birthday I was feeling her abdomen and felt a large, 6 inch mass. The next morning I immediately took her to see her pediatrician and he told us to head straight to Primary Children’s Hospital for a ultrasound of her tummy. That night she went in for emergency surgery on her intestines, they were filled with tumors, and the doctors confirmed it was cancer.
Maizie finished treatment at the end of August 2016. We go in once a month to check for relapse.
My greatest hope is that Maizie will NEVER have cancer again and can live a long, healthy life!!!
What advice would give other parents –
I would tell other parents to not be afraid to accept help from others. I would also suggest sharing their journey with others. I feel like the more you share, the more you realize you are not alone!
When Maizie came out of her 1st major abdominal surgery to remove the largest tumor she blew the doctors away with her determination to do things herself. She kept telling them “I can do it”, and she did. We also love the saying “I (We) can do hard things”!
Our life now is similar than before cancer but also different. We have normal school and family activities but every four weeks we hold our breath as Maizie goes in for her checkups. Also, if Maizie ever gets a upset stomach we all tend to panic and pray that it’s nothing. Thankfully, Maizie has been able to jump right back into normal life and doesn’t seem to have any residual effects from her treatment but we are constantly on the lookout. Cancer steals your sense of security.
I wish people understood that just because you child is no longer in active treatment doesn’t mean their journey with cancer is over. Monthly checkups are a constant reminder of what you have overcome and also what the future might hold. Families still need support and words of encouragement as your wait for each month to pass in hopes that all is well.
Maizie has always been an extremely caring child but her empathy for others has grown because of her cancer. I am so proud of her determination to move forward and her desire to help those around her.