Superhero Alex

Alex, our 4 year old son, was diagnosed with ALL which stands for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on August 20th, 2017. A day that marked and impacted our lives for the good and the bad. It is a 3-4 year treatment which is determined on how fast he passes each phase. Right now he is barely in the first phase called Induction and it is 29 days. We are praying that he undergoes remission after induction so he can jump onto the next stages of the treatment.
How did we find out? (Please watch for signs and symptoms in your little ones!) Low grade fever of 99-100 for 13 continuous days accompanied by very heavy night sweats, gradual and more intense leg pain, red dots (petechiae) and little purplish bruises all over his body, horrible headaches, a swollen testicle and 4 swollen and hardened lymph nodes. He was taken 3 times to the urgent care, 3 times to the doctor and 2 times to the ER. He was under antibiotic for 10 days but fever and night sweats were not going away.

What has he gone through so far? He was transferred by ambulance from Valley Regional in Brownsville to Edinburg's Reinassance Oncology Pediatric and PICU floor where he underwent xrays, electrocardiograms, lots of blood work, a 2 hour general anesthesia procedure for bone marrow aspiration, lumbar puncture for first chemo to attack any bad cells in the brain and to get a biopsy and he got a port inserted in his chest connected to a vein close to the heart. The port is used to inject IV, meds and chemo but without poking his veins everytime. He also got his first intraveneous chemo "Vincristine". All these, just on Monday Aug 21st. On thursday, Aug 24th, he got his first platelets transfusion and a very strong chemo called Pegaspargase that threw him off causing a very strong fever of 103. We were discharged that same day, but had to return to hospital within minutes because of the high fever. He was then hospitalized for 4 more days. On Saturday, Aug 26th, he got a red blood cells transfusion and on Monday Aug 28th he got another platelets transfusion, a lumbar puncture for biopsy purposes and to insert chemo and another iv Vincristine chemo. He has to take 10 dexamethasone pills (steroids), colace for constipation and zantac for gastritis caused by meds every day. He takes antiobiotic Fri-Sun to help his body fight infections. Today, Tuesday Sept 5th, he went to Vannie Cook for the first time, which is the place that he will be attending for treatment. He got another Vincristine chemo through his port and his Complete Blood Count improved. He will gain weight because the steroids are causing this eating disorder in which the brain sends a signal to be eating all day. He cant sleep comfortable because of hunger. We can't be feeding him all day because then he will get diabetes and high blood pressure so he has been extremely fussy, irritated, mad, aggressive and crying all the time.

Just like doctors have told us "Live day by day" because his body is changing gradually and it is trying to come back to normal. This means that we don't know how long this journey will take and therefore how many expenses we will have due to medication, hospitalizations and treatment.

You will never know the face of cancer until it is close to somebody you love. Any amount will help!

Thank you in advance to family, friends and all of our community that is getting together to beat this with Alex!


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Karen Bartnicki 
Brownsville, TX
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