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Sunshine and Rainy Days: My Daughter Has Cancer

Tell everyone who is discouraged, be strong and don't be afraid.

God is coming to your rescue! Isaiah 35:4

Monique (left) and Me (Carmen)

It was the summer of ’90. I had just landed a job at Head Start and was able to enroll my little girl in the program as well. Life was going great. Who could complain?

I finally had a good job as a teacher’s aid. I was going to be able to see my daughter, Monique, all day while I was at work. She was going to be in an environment where she could learn and play with kids her own age. Life was finally going in the right direction for us.

Monique at Head Start School

I took Monique in to get all of the necessary health requirements done and get all the paperwork in order with the school. Her blood results came back indicating a low blood count. I informed the school and they told me that my daughter could be anemic and I should follow up with my daughter’s doctor to get a complete blood work done on her.

The blood work came back again with a low blood count and I had to take my daughter to Rady Children's Hospital for a possible bad infection. Could it be more serious? On Halloween the bone marrow test came back positive. My suspicions where confirmed. My little girl had leukemia.

They immediately did a blood transfusion and what had started as a welcome new beginning filled with a career with possibilities was short lived by two years of chemo treatments for my sweet angel. The doctor also told me there was a high possibility my daughter would never be able to have kids. I was shocked by the news of my daughter’s diagnosis. It felt so surreal to hear that she would never be able to have children of her own.

I thought my daughter had anemia, not cancer. She had been tired, nothing crazy; certainly not cancer. I called the nurse line to get more information on the diagnosis and what to expect. All of the research I did indicated my daughter would die of leukemia. How can that be? One day we’re in school, the next day we’re rushing her to Rady Children’s Hospital.

I was a young mom of 22 watching my daughter’s hair fall off with a tube in her chest and taking her for cancer treatments three days a week for the next two years. What parent is prepared for this? It was just a bad dream I was having. I’m sure. I’ll wake up and she’ll be fine.

After two years, my daughter was now in remission. There were still the follow up check-ups and chemo treatments. I wonder how much of this hit her at four years old. For me, it was more than any parent could bear.

Our family: Monique (far left), Me/Carmen (far right)

I look back at my life almost 33 years later, five children, and two grandchildren and I count my blessings. The Lord brought us through this difficult season. My daughter now has two daughters of her own.

In my distress I called upon the LORD and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for His help reached His ears. Psalm 18:6


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