On July 22, Peyton's family received the news that her cancer had relapsed and their lives were once again turned upside down.
Since her last battle with leukemia, she had been getting stronger and more mobile every single day. She was also doing incredibly well with potty training. She was looking forward to starting the 3rd grade with all her friends. She asks about them and about going to school all the time.
Peyton's specific diagnosis is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). This is a relapse from her 2014 diagnosis and she has been in remission for two years. As you may know, Peyton has Downs syndrome and is also on the Autism spectrum. This makes treatment more complicated in terms of her weaker immune system and more difficult in terms of her (lack of) understanding of what’s going on, as well as her inability to communicate what she needs.
Since receiving the news of her condition in July, Peyton has had a 3-week stay at Beaumont, starting July 30, while receiving chemo which zapped her strength and mobility. It also affected her interest in eating & drinking (which is why she was admitted) as well as her speech, as the chemo can make your jaw very sore. When she was feeling well, she’d speak in 3-4 word sentences and other days she’d just cry.
She was discharged from Beaumont on August 21 and did a month of clinic visits for chemo drips, as well as at home chemo pills and shots while they prepared her cells for harvesting at U of M Mott. She lost her hair at this point from all the chemo.
She went to Mott on, what would’ve been, her first day of school and stayed overnight for the T-cell extraction the next day. Then she was admitted on October 9th. When she arrived, she received more chemo, had surgery to get another device implanted in her chest that would help with the infusion, and finally got the T-cell transplant.
Her family has been sitting inpatient ever since and watching the bad symptoms from the transplant start to appear. The side effects have ranged from 104.5º fevers, to significant changes in blood pressure, and little to no interest in eating & drinking. (Fortunately, she did not experience the common seizure and stroke-like symptoms that could have landed her in the ICU.)
When she’s finally well enough to go home, she will still have several bone marrow draws (under anesthesia every time), as well as weekly trips to Mott for blood draws and meetings with her doctor to ensure she’s staying in remission. The earliest she can go back to school, depending on when we get discharged from Mott, is the end of January or first of February.
I set up this page because of the generous offers of friends and family to help. Your donations will help with expenses related to Jimmy's deductible & out-of-pocket costs from both Peyton’s treatment & necessary supplies (e.g., extra large diapers due to losing her potty training abilities), travel expenses for caretakers going back & forth to Ann Arbor, any physical, occupational, and speech therapies not covered by insurance that she’ll require after treatment, etc.
Also, as Peyton cannot return to school for at least three months, she will need all-day care while Jimmy is at work. These funds will help pay for that care on the days she’s at Dad’s.
Finally, since Jimmy is fairly new to his job, he hasn’t accrued PTO yet. Therefore, the funds will also be used to supplement his paycheck for any work missed during and after treatment.
We know not everyone can give financially, so your gifts of love through words of encouragement and prayers for complete healing with minimal side effects mean so much as well.
With Jimmy's help, we will try to keep everyone updated as Peyton's treatment progresses. Thank you so much for keeping her in your thoughts.