Taylor was born in June 2005 a beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde-haired baby girl. Days before Christmas 2006 we knew something was terribly wrong, we were directed to the ER where for the first time we heard the words “cancer” and “Taylor” in the same sentence. On December 12, 2006 our 18 month old baby girl was hospitalized and diagnosed with stage IV, high risk neuroblastoma a deadly childhood cancer with no known cure.
A diagnosis of neuroblastoma led Taylor down a treatment path that included high dose chemotherapies, surgeries, clinical trials, IV radiation, direct beam radiation, endless transfusions and weeks/months in hospitals. Taylor’s infectious spirit carried us through many dark days and nights, and after 3 years of treatments Taylor was considered NED, No Evidence of Disease.
Cancer treatments are both a blessing and a cure. The very treatments that helped Taylor kill off the neuroblastoma also caused a secondary cancer; MDS, chemo induced leukemia. All the treatments she had received to fight off the deadly neuroblastoma were now wreaking havoc. Within weeks Taylor was inpatient for more chemotherapy, a bone marrow donor had been matched and on August 13, 2010 Taylor received a whole new immune system with a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor. Taylor spent 70+ days in the hospital, literally fighting for her life, again. And Taylor won that battle.
Side effects to cancer treatments can be outrageous, difficult and even deadly. Taylor has navigated her fair share of side effects and will continue to be confronted with side effects for the rest of her life. Taylor has gone into kidney failure on 3 occasions; the first time she ended up in the ICU and required dialysis. Taylor’s kidneys continue to be problematic, her endocrine system has taken a hit, and the growth in her upper pallet is minimal due to radiation. We continue to monitor her blood pressure, manage her suppressed immune system and constantly must keep a close eye on her health and day to day activities.
Here we are approaching 9 years since diagnosis. Taylor just turned 10 and despite all she has been though she is happy, active and full of energy. Taylor will enter 5th grade this year, and one would never know what she has been through. Taylor is a very blessed child, we are very fortunate to have her in our lives.
Taylor Love, age 10