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Cannadad posted a blog entry in Cannadad's BlogWhere is she? Where's Mykayla? There she is! rolling in the green grass, giggling away, up and running, she's off to adventure... twinkling sapphire eyes, hazel toned mahogany hair, and a leopards pelt worth of creamy umber freckles... that's our baby girl right there... full of life, independent, determined, stubborn, curious, imaginative, spirited, enthusiastic, intelligent, artistic, an amazing big sister and so full of life that she is always bubbling over with happiness... our daughter has this flair about her, she lives life to the fullest. She is so special to us; she is her sister Ryleigh's special best friend in life... One day she woke up tired... she didn't feel like playing much. She was just a little tired. We noticed she was coughing a little bit... so we let her sit around and watch movies for the day. She wasn't too hungry, she just wanted to snack. We thought she had a bug, so off to urgent care we went. Strep throat was what we were told it was. Awesome strep is not that bad, antibiotics and rest, maybe some salt water gargle here or there, standard treatment for strep... Two weeks or so pass, she still has this lingering cough... it sounds very much like an allergic cough, and given the season it fit. Well that cough and the random sneezes. Then the stomach aches. Daddy, mommy, I hurt, it’s my belly. Strange. So we called a pediatrician and set up an appointment. After a few selective questions and a relatively quick appointment we were hustled out the door with the advice to discontinue milk and dairy in her diet. OK doc, you bet. Sorry Sweetheart no more cheese, butter, milk, mac and cheese, yogurt, you know the drill... buy the almond milk and alternative cheeses, replacement comfort foods and put your foot down when she gets to missing all the old foods. such a struggle to eat. Two weeks go by, the cough is still there, even more apparent however. louder, more forceful, and a raspy. The dietary changes led to no more bed wetting but the stomach pains did not subside. Now they were constant. Added to that were the complaints of back and joint pain. She was tired all the time. We noticed she was short of breathe... what is going on? She hasn't ever had allergies before. She is our healthy daughter. Time to go to the doctor again. What was he thinking? Lactose intolerance? Then came the night sweats and the labored breathing. Every night became a decision to go to the ER or not. Finally the appointment. The doctor listened, he ran some tests. A lot of people came to see the results... who are all these people? Why are they looking at us this way? We found a large mass. Then came the Whirlwind... extra tests, children's hospital called, sent home, pack pack pack, time to go to Portland... drive drive drive, check in, go over the stories time and time again, what has Mykayla been like? Any exposures? Poke prod, touch, listen, question, wonder, be scared... wait stop! What is going on? Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia... A cancer of the blood and bone-marrow. A tumor literally the size of a basketball in her chest. Not Strep, not lactose intolerance, not allergies nor a cold... cancer. For some reason this little angel's life path has brought a journey of this magnitude into her life. It is terrifying. It is strengthening, it is sad... we have heavy hearts and melancholy minds...no parent should have to watch their child go through this. Children are innocent. They are not deserving of a disease such as this... Mykayla has a treatment plan in place for chemotherapy. She is receiving a multitude of chemotherapy drugs both intravenously and through intramuscular injections. She has to undergo treatment for the next three years. Until she is 10. she will lose her hair, feel nausea, pain and depression. She wont feel like a child. She wont feel like herself. but it always gets worse before it gets better. She will have to pull from the deepest within herself to fight this off. She will have to be determined, resilient, strong and unyielding... good thing our little girl is all of these things. B. This was written before Cannabis Therapy... A little prologue to Brave Mykayla. The picture is one of Mykayla before diagnosis...