“She had a skin infection. They did a blood test and they found leukemia. We thought it was a joke because how could a skin infection be leukemia. We had to start the treatment right away. We had to make overwhelming decisions quickly. You know, we had to make decisions to give toxic medication to our daughter and then see all those side effects causing her pain, and other side effects that needed other medication to reduce the side effects. It was all very overwhelming and unfathomable to have to agree to put those medications that are for older people to a child. She lost a lot of her childhood in the hospital. Every two months, she would probably be hospitalized for a week. I was numb. I wasn’t feeling, I was just doing because I knew I had no choice.”


“She has bad dreams. She doesn’t really know what the bad dreams are and what they are about. She just has a lot of them and she needs a lot of support in the night to get back to sleep. Going to CHEO to her was like going to a friend’s house. Because she was going there so often. One of the nurses who dealt with us a lot, her name is Jen. And my daughter will call CHEO Jen’s house. So, every time we would go to CHEO, it was that we were going to Jen’s house. As we were going to CHEO very often at the beginning of her treatment, she would scream the minute we would turn onto Smyth. She would say ‘I don’t want to go to Jen’s house, I don’t want to go to Jen’s house’. One time she called me when she was in the washroom, and she was like ‘mommy mommy come here’ and was I like ‘what’s wrong?’, she said ‘my skin is melting’. She has some scaring in certain areas of her body and thought her skin was melting and falling off. So, it was overwhelming to try to explain to her that it was only scar tissue and that she had gotten sick, but’s she’s ok now. Even though some people say that kids won’t remember and it’s better when they’re young, I’m not so sure about that. Right now whenever there is a possibility to give her a piece of her childhood, we say yes. We try to do as much as we can, as often as we can so that she can get back some of the time she lost at the hospital.”

HUMANS OF OTTAWA 

Read More Stories

ccam11
“I kind of have a dual role. The role that we are assigned and the role that I actually do. Here at Child Life If I can put a smile ...
ccam10
“I’m a cancer survivor and I work here at CHEO. I had a soft-tissue tumor in my right cheek when I was 2-years old. I completed the treatment when I ...
ccam09
“He had a bit of a rush with his initial protocol. He’s the one on the right. He was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia – called philadelphia chromosome ...
ccam08
“I look at my son everyday not thinking that anything like this could happen to him. I’m married to my wife, and we have two children and were expecting our ...
ccam07
“I’ve always wanted to become a doctor. I’m an oncologist – the head of oncology here at CHEO. I look after patients with cancer. The biggest areas that I work ...
ccam06
“Seeing a child with cancer is the worst nightmare that a family can have happen to them. Because your job a parent – me being a mom myself - is ...
ccam05
“It sucks - because you can’t do the things that you used to do.” “It’s surreal. When somebody asks you, ‘what’s going on with her’ and you say ‘it’s brain ...
ccam04
“She was 9 weeks old at the time and had a disease called infant Leukemia. It’s one – if not the hardest leukemias to treat. It has a prognosis of ...
ccam03
“She had a skin infection. They did a blood test and they found leukemia. We thought it was a joke because how could a skin infection be leukemia. We had ...
ccam02
"Being a clown is my job. I do this for the kids." So, I’m in the elevator going up to the office. I’m the only one in the elevator standing ...
ccam01
“He lives with a lot of the side effects from the cancer treatments that he received. He was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 5 years old. It’s been ...

Share This