My Kids’ Doctor Asked to See My Hands – It saved my life

Five years back, during a chilly February, everything seemed normal until it suddenly wasn’t. I was with my three little ones, who were 5, 4, and 2 and a half years old, at the doctor’s office because they had colds. I was sharing their coughs and sniffles with the doctor.

Out of nowhere, she stopped me and asked, “What’s happening with you?”

I was surprised she asked about me. I thought maybe I was getting the same cold my kids had. But she noticed something was off with my color and asked to see my hands. After looking at them, she suggested I get some blood tests.

I went home, not too worried, but my parents convinced me to get those tests. I missed a few calls from my doctor because I was sleeping or busy with the kids. When I finally listened to the voicemails, my heart sank. My doctor wanted me to go to the hospital right away for more tests.

At the hospital, they told me I had leukemia. Our lives flipped upside down. I had to fight really hard against a tough kind of blood cancer with treatments like chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. I spent many days in the hospital, away from my kids, which was super tough.

We decided not to tell the kids the scary details, just that mommy’s blood was sick and I was working on getting better. We kept things simple and positive for them.

Fighting cancer was the hardest thing I’ve done. I wanted to be there for my kids, no matter what. It meant making tough choices, like my husband spending more time at home with the kids while I stayed in the hospital.

But we made it through, thanks to an amazing medical team, support from friends and family, and being near a great hospital. Not everyone is so lucky, which is why we want to help others facing cancer.

After beating cancer, I started a health program called Luminaries to help people rebuild their lives after cancer. It focuses on simple but powerful steps like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating well, and moving your body. It’s not just about surviving cancer but learning how to thrive afterward.

Surviving cancer changes you. It’s confusing and hard at times. But by creating Luminaries, I’m reminded of how fortunate I am and driven to help others find their way after cancer, one step at a time.