Axel’s Fight With Childhood Leukemia
How is someone supposed to deal with the fact that their child was diagnosed with cancer? What do you say? What do you feel? Childhood leukemia affects many families, and knowing that you aren’t in this alone is something valuable to many. Noelle, whose son Axel has childhood leukemia, shared her story as she and her family battle Axel’s cancer. “When we first found out Axel had Leukemia I can vividly remember the young doctor shedding tears and telling us the news in the Emergency Room. The words rang loud and clear, and my husband and I felt a large weight that just crushed us.”
The word cancer comes with the expectation that you’re going to have to fight, and there will be bad days. So, what is one of the toughest battles? How do you deal with it? “I think the hardest thing about watching your child go through cancer is knowing you cannot make the pain go away, you cannot explain to them why they are going through it, especially to a 3-year-old. Staying strong when you also wanted to just fall apart was difficult but you must stay strong in this battle, and be their rock and foundation, or the journey will be even tougher for them, creating more anxiety and stress,” Noelle said.
One of the most important things when fighting these battles is finding a source of comfort and support. Whether it’s friends, family, or both, finding a support system can help uplift you when you need it most. We asked Noelle what her greatest support was during her family’s battle and she said, “Our family is amazing and they have been with us every step of the way. We have other children, and they stepped up to the plate to care for our kids and our home while we spent many nights at the hospital. Good friends who brought us meals and gifts. People who donated to the GiveForward website who know us well and others who we have never met, but they heard or read our story and opened their hearts to us. I think a positive attitude is amazing as well, and you have no other choice but to press forward and show your child that they can too be a superhero.”
Finding a quote to live by during hard times is also a source of inspiration when battling this awful disease. We asked Noelle if she had one and she replied with, “’You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.’ – Cayla Mills.” As Axel, Noelle, and the rest of their family continue their battle against childhood leukemia, Noelle also provided advice for other parents dealing with childhood cancer and illness, “No child should ever go through this and the first things you start to think is “How will this effect their play?” ” How will this effect their development?” ” Will they have a normal childhood?”…etc. Truth be told they are resilient, and they can forgive and forget easily some of the things that they endure (spinal taps, medications, surgeries, shots….) An amazing hospital and nurse staff can really make your experience that much better as well. I encourage anyone who has the means to do so uses a Children’s hospital, we wouldn’t have it any other way. This is never the path you would choose for your child, but rarely does anything in life happen exactly as we plan. Cancer will create sadness, tears, anger, and frustration but somehow it also shines a new light for not only those effected, but those surrounding the patient to show them what truly is important in life and how we really do need to cherish those small moments. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
You can read more about Axel and his battle against childhood leukemia on his GiveForward page here: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/yhq8/axel-s-beat-leukemia-fundraiser