Why I Wrote this Book

A Nurse Practitioner’s View of Childhood Cancer

Getting to Know Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Treatment Up Close and Personal

Just the word cancer evokes fear. When that word is applied to someone you love, fear turns to terror.

My vibrant, healthy, athletic eleven-year-old daughter had a series of seemingly unrelated health problems in the spring of 2002.  After five weeks of being seen by various doctors and a diagnosis of benign fibrous dysplasia, to explain a lump on her jaw, she developed more severe pain in her back and was barely able to stand. Frustrated with not knowing what was wrong, I looked at her with Nurse Practitioner instead of Mom eyes and insisted on blood work and X-rays.

I got my results within a few hours, but wanted to go back to not knowing when the doctor said, “Your daughter has cancer. Where do you want to go for treatment?”

My journey into childhood cancer treatment, first and foremost as a mom, but also as a Nurse Practitioner, had begun. This book is a memoir of those months of chemotherapy, complications, and hospitalization at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, as seen from the patient/family view by a health care provider.

It is my desire that this story will bring hope to parents of children battling to survive cancer, and a better understanding of what that struggle is to nurses and doctors, or those wanting to be nurses or doctors.