By Laura Cruz
Armando & Laura had an active life before Yaretzi was diagnosed with Leukemia. Every weekend the family of four would go hiking, camping, fishing, or a trip to the beach. Their lives turned upside down in October 2018. Mom Laura quit her job to care for Yaretzi. The new routine included hospital treatments 4 x’s/week for 6 months 8 am – 7 pm. Dad Armando would focus on work as the financial burden mounted. Thankfully, they have family and friends that are a great support. Even so… Laura felt so alone.
Yaretzi’s big brown eyes resemble those of a doe, dimples form when she smiles, a face of sweet perfection. Her little body has become weak. Food doesn’t appeal to her, her sense of taste gone, a side effect of medication. Recently, Yaretzi collapsed, 911 responded. As the paramedics prepared her for another ride to the hospital Laura ran to get younger brother Diego.
“I found him in his room kneeling on the floor, his body shaking, his hands folded together. He was praying for his sister, praying hard”. Laura fears her family is scarred forever.
Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer Warrior Family activities were always a highlight for the families battling cancer. A trip to the ballpark, a Legends game, lunch with other families was special for the whole family. Parents met other parents going through the same nightmare. Conversations include a comparison of treatment protocols. Complex names of drugs are heard in every conversation, resembling a medical conference. Treatment varies with cancer type, gender, and age. All fear the side effects.
Due to COVID-19, Yaretzi and her family haven’t left the house since March 13th – the risk is too great. Medications affect her sleep, she doesn’t eat much, her body has become extremely sensitive to medications, but she maintains a good attitude.
Laura worries constantly. What’s next? Will Yaretzi have a relapse?