There's nothing quite so devastating to a parent than being told your child has leukemia. That happened to some friends of mine a few years ago. Their younger daughter was diagnosed and life changed for the whole family.
The only good news was that hers was a type that over 90 percent survive. Forty years ago, the numbers weren't nearly in her favor.
The bad news was all the crap their beautiful little girl had to go through. That included powerful chemo that was so strong she had a stroke at one point. Her parents also had to protect her from the dangers of infection. Their whole house became a hepa filter. Ordinary bugs that don't bother you and me can be deadly to a child whose immune system is knocked out. At a young age, she was already a tall, willowy blond just beginning to flirt with her femininity. Then suddenly her hair was falling out in fistfuls. And so it went, on and on. But she survived.
Now she's in high school, rowing on the varsity crew. In a boat that just qualified for the national championships in June. No reason to tell you which girl she is. Because that's not the point. These days she looks and acts like any normal teen her age. Only maybe she's got a leg up when it comes to getting into the school of her choice. Not because she survived such a horrible disease. But because she is clearly thriving.