Mothers have an uncanny ability to sense trouble when it comes to their children. I often find myself jolt awake just a few minutes before Wyatt or Olivia would wake up like I could sense that they were going to need me momentarily.
This amazing intuition was even more prominent when it came to Olivia’s health. I knew months before we found her tumor that something was not right with my little girl. I called her doctor nearly every day with new questions or concerns. And each time her symptoms could be attributed to something related to her premature birth or to reflux. In fact, I probably seemed like a pretty crazy first-time mom that was being overly paranoid.
There were many warning signs with Olivia that she had a tumor in her brain. She started to slide back developmentally. Where she was once ahead of her brother in many skills, he suddenly began to overtake her. Then her eyes began to bounce around in her head (nystagmus). We also began to notice that she seemed to be blind. She wasn’t playing with toys and couldn’t find me by anything other than my voice. And finally, she began to sleep a lot and eventually started having seizures. It wasn’t until I insisted on taking her in and she had a seizure in front of her doctor that my concerns became much more real. That day she was life-flighted to Denver to a Children’s Hospital where we found the first image of the monster in her brain on a CT scan. And thus began our cancer nightmare.
If you have concerns about your child’s health or development, you need to be their advocate! Fight to have your concerns heard because you know your child better than anyone in the world. And if you say something is wrong, it very well could be. Here is a link to a great article about some of the warning signs of childhood cancer: http://www.ped-onc.org/diseases/SOCC.html
Be aware! Learn the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer and educate yourself. Early detection saves lives.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a pending 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting our website.