Posted on: 7 April 2016
When you are a parent of a young child, you would never think that they could develop cancer. However, sometimes this does happen. If your toddler has recently been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (also known as AML), then you may be wondering what you can expect from treatments and what you can do to help your child handle the situation and recover from the AML successfully. Get to know more about what to expect when your toddler has AML so that you can prepare yourself and your child for what is to come.
Once The Diagnosis Is Made, Expect More Tests
While you may think that once you know your child has AML that the testing phase of the cancer treatment process is over, this is not the case. AML is a subtype of leukemia. However, there are also different genetic markers and specific cell mutations in AML that make your child's cancer unique to them.
Your child's oncologists will want to have as much information as possible about the cancer cells in your child's blood stream as possible. This means there will be several different blood tests as well as at least one bone marrow biopsy from the spine to see if the cancer has spread into the bone marrow. All of these tests, while frustrating for you and your child, will give your child the best chance at fighting their cancer. And, of course , throughout treatment more tests will be performed to ensure that the treatment is working and to adjust if it is not.
Your Child Will Be An Inpatient At The Treatment Center A Lot
Leukemia is one of the cancers that is often treated through inpatient rather than outpatient treatments. This is because leukemia is a cancer in the blood and the blood cells serve such an important part in the immune system of the body. White blood cell counts can dip incredibly low during the intense chemotherapy treatments for AML that your child will receive.
Very low white blood cell counts will leave your child very vulnerable to infection. As such, your child may remain in the hospital or oncology treatment center for months on end during the course of their rounds of chemo for AML. And because contact with the outside world will be very dangerous when they are going through chemotherapy with low immune defenses, visitors will need to be kept to a minimum (other than yourself and their other parent).
To make the inpatient treatment process easier for your child, try to make the room feel more like home. Bring them some of their favorite toys, have a computer or tablet there to watch movies and television shows on through streaming services (or have digital copies downloaded onto it), and bring them some of their books or other items from home. This will help them adjust and feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Now that you know a little more about the treatment process for AML and what you can expect and do for your child, you can prepare yourself for what is to come and give your child the support that they need going forward with their cancer treatment.Share