DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

Leukemia, A Trip


Medical Author: Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP, FACMG
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

May 13, 2002 -- On February 15 the diagnosis of APL, a type of acute leukemia, was made in our beloved 16-year-old granddaughter Tania. I told about first learning of the diagnosis and then a little of my feelings in Leukemia in the Family and promised then "to let you know how Tania is doing by providing you with updates on her progress. I will try to let you know, too, how we (and perhaps others in the family) are coping with Tania's illness."

In partial fulfillment of this promise to keep you current on the situation, I provided what might be considered a prologue to this Doctor's View, It was called Coping with a Bad Disease - Community Counts. I incorporated words written by son Rick Hecht (Tania's dad). He has had to cope, as do all parents of children with cancer, on a daily basis with it.

Now I wish to give you a further look at the situation as it is evolving. I will again quote amply from Rick. This time the words come from a "Tania Update" letter I received yesterday from him. I hope that you may find this of interest.


Rick's letter

Last week I suggested that we should try to figure out a way to celebrate the end of Tania's intravenous chemotherapy and the beginning of her recovery from the nadir (rock bottom) period of low cell counts. My suggestion of a family dinner at a restaurant was quickly dismissed. When Tania thought of what she wanted to do to celebrate, the plan was quite different. Two months ago she was told that not only would it be unlikely she could work this summer at the wilderness camp where she has been a counselor, but she might be too sick to go up to camp at all. She was heartbroken about this. Camp is one of the things she lives for. Now that she was recovering ahead of schedule, she wanted to go to the Sierras to see the camp and the mountains she loves. Tania proposed that I should drive up with her that night. The voice of reason (otherwise known as her stodgy parents) persuaded her to wait till the morning so we could pack and sleep.