“It was Sunday morning and we were going to lunch to celebrate Brooke’s nana and papa’s ruby wedding anniversary. I was getting Brooke ready when I noticed some purple spots on her belly which I thought could be a rash or sun spots from our holiday. Kenny and I called the NHS out of hours helpline who advised us to take her to A&E. The doctor examined Brooke. He said her spleen was enlarged and she had bruises on her back. She also had bruises on her legs, which we had put down to playing in the waterpark on holiday and running around with her brother like all normal three year olds do.
We were taken to the out of hours department in the children’s ward where Brooke had a blood test. I burst out crying and asked the doctor if she was going to die. I had researched the rash online and I just knew it was going to be leukaemia. When the results came back, the doctor told me the words any parent would dread “I’m very sorry, it looks like it’s leukaemia”. Kenny and Kaycee were devastated too.
I made the dreaded call to my mum and dad and I will never forget the scream my mum made when I told her. They came to the hospital to pick up Kaycee, and the rest of us slept in a family room that night. Life was never going to be the same again.
When we arrived at the hospital, Brooke was taken up to the oncology ward on a stretcher. I was crying and people were looking at me with sympathy. I kept thinking ‘I shouldn't be here’ and just wanted to grab Brooke and run home with her.
She had a bone marrow test to confirm that she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and had surgery to insert the port where she would receive her chemotherapy treatment. Then it all started.
Our princess was going to lose her beautiful hair that she had never even had cut. It was down to her bottom. I was distraught.
We are always on edge worrying about Brooke. I check her temperature all the time as I get so worried I’ll miss it. This means I don’t get much sleep because I’m awake until 3am checking up on her.
This whole journey has been incredibly hard emotionally and financially. While this was all going on, I had to take time off work and I knew I wouldn't be able to go back for the foreseeable future. I was also doing a university course which I couldn’t give up or delay if I wanted to finish the course before Brooke started full time school. We had to figure out how to survive financially.
I had a company car that I had to hand back when I stopped earning. This has made it very difficult to get to appointments as the hospital is two bus journeys away and Brooke isn’t supposed to go out because of the risk of infection. I rely heavily on my dad to help out and Kenny takes us when he can, but it’s difficult now that he is back at work.
Brooke is now waiting to start her 3rd phase of treatment which will last for nine weeks. Once this phase has started, the treatment will last around two more years. Phase 4 is the really intensive part so we expect to spend more time in hospital when that starts.
We were recently told that Brooke is on the A regime for treatment which is the best one we could hope for. I know deep down that my little princess and my family are going to come through this horrible situation and that we’ll be just fine at the end. Brooke is an amazing, strong little girl and we’re so proud of her.”