Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Or A.L.L. for short. Or, as I’ve begun calling it, the beast.

My little world imploded just past noon on the 10th of January, 2020, when I received a phone call from my hematologist.

“The news is not good. You have acute lymphoblastic leukemia.”


This, from a doctor who had said to me during my first hospital stay that he didn’t think it was leukemia. Still, something in the back of my mind was whispering for me to brace for impact. No one in my family had ever been diagnosed with any kind of blood disease and the hematologist’s first guess of aplastic anemia seemed to make more sense, but what did I know?

I picked myself off the floor, struggled to eat my lunch, and waited for Rory to come home early from work. The doctor had reached him first because I had apparently given him the wrong number for my cell. Ugh. Rory arrived about an hour later with the girls in tow (he had pulled them out of school early). I clung to them all, my lifeline, my heart, my joy, my family, and we began discussing when I should be admitted to the hospital for chemotherapy. Since I had received the diagnosis on a Friday, I chose to stay home with my family over the weekend and then present myself to the hospital the following Monday.