Aliyah Tatyana Angela is my miracle baby, weighing 5 lbs 4 oz. She was born early at 35 weeks, after attempts to go full term with a cerclage and bed rest for the entire pregnancy. I previously had 2 devastating losses in childbirth of her brother and sister, both delivered early before their 6 month gestation. But, she came out scratching and fighting.
She was a mild mannered, well behaved and truly loved baby and child. No illnesses, no accidents and no incidents until she hurt her leg and sprained her ankle at 14. The pain would come and go, but finally she couldn’t take it anymore and had a terrible fever and the area was inflamed. On Feb 20th, I decided to take her to The Children’s Healthcare Urgent Care center. That is when they informed us she had a mass. Clueless to what that meant, I assumed it was just something to have drained…never in my wildest dream did I think it would be Cancer… Bone Cancer… Osteosarcoma!! Within a few days, MRI, Biopsies and Ports were placed…chemotherapy begins and surgery is discussed. Within that time, we visit her grandpa, my dad, since he had cancer before and a port. He told her about it and cheered her on and how she can do this! The next day while she was in surgery, I get the call that my father never woke up that morning. On Feb. 23rd, At 75, I believe he chose to be with the Lord and go be Aliyah’s guardian angel, since he felt powerless here on earth.
The chemotherapy was arduous and she lost an extreme amount of weight. She wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t socialize and basically slept through the many rounds of chemo. On May 19th, I kissed Aliyah and her pretty little leg and she went into surgery hopeful for a limb salvage procedure, but God had other plans. Dr Jorge Fabregas returned to our waiting room to inform that the tumor was more involved than thought and that it was now a life or limb situation. I asked him as I cried, “Would you amputate if this were your child?” and he said “Yes”. Then we all cried, even Dr Fab. I then consented to the amputation. We cried all the way to her room….until we were all cried out. Then Aliyah arrives from recovery, she woke up and I told her that her leg was gone. She says, “ I knew it, I already prepared myself for it”… No tears?? Not even for the pain or the loss. The next day, she was fitted for her prosthesis…and if you could see the video…. She became my hero!! She has had 4 lung thoracotomies over the following 2 years and a recent lung collapse and a relapse. But, she has rarely cried or felt sorry for herself. She may not have the life she wants, but she is strong and determined to be as close to a normal teenager as she can. She wants to graduate next year, go to college, learn to drive and travel.
She has decided not to have any further surgical or chemotherapy at this time. We all support her decision and pray God will give me another miracle and that is for Aliyah to be healed and live a long life, even if it is living with cancer.
This is her story for now….. The rest …as she would say from her favorite song is still… “Unwritten”