Cy-Fair, Texas ( July 23, 2015)
Cy-Fair’s Meldrum family shares how their daughter’s devastating diagnosis has become a journey of hope. Faye Meldrum was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare type of cancer. Her parents, Nick and Stacey, say the support of the Cy-Fair community has helped their family throughout Faye’s treatment process.
Written by Nick and Stacey Meldrum | Photography by Anetrius Wallace
Four years ago, when we were expecting our third child, our 3-year-old daughter Faye often complained of leg pain. Doctors chalked it up to growing pains, but Faye’s pain increased. She often had fevers, and eventually she didn’t want to leave bed. The only comfort she could find was us continually rubbing her knees.
More Than Growing Pains
A few days after her brother Nixon was born, Faye tagged along with us to his newborn checkup. We wanted answers because we knew what Faye was going through was not just growing pains. The pediatrician scheduled her for X-rays and blood tests. We headed home, and first thing the next morning we got a call from the hospital in College Station, where we were living at the time, to bring her to the emergency room right away. They said based on her blood levels, she shouldn’t even be able to move. Hours later we were in an ambulance heading to Texas Children’s Hospital where Faye would stay for the next five months to receive chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia, a rare type of leukemia that is difficult to treat. The doctors told us a bone marrow transplant was an option, and Faye’s new brother Nixon was her bone marrow match. After much debate with the doctors, we all decided against the transplant. The complications of a bone marrow transplant put Faye at much more of a risk.
Season of Remission
She spent the next three years in remission and enjoyed all the things normal little girls enjoy: going to school, playing softball, and spending time with her brothers. She has taken the name “Mini Mommy” upon herself and is incredibly helpful with youngest baby brother, now 18 months old. When she began complaining of leg pain again, we were scared to death. But her blood work looked great, and we told ourselves her prior chemo could have longrange effects on her body. As the leg pain continued, we wanted definite answers and asked for an MRI, which showed abnormalities in her bone marrow. After a biopsy, our worst fears were confirmed. Faye’s cancer was back, and this time a bone marrow transplant was the best option.
Faye spent September in the oncology ward of Texas Children’s Hospital receiving chemo to bring a second remission. We were blessed to achieve remission after one round of chemo. She was then admitted to the bone marrow transplant floor. She immediately started more chemo to completely wipe out her bone marrow. Nixon’s marrow was harvested, and Faye received her transplant on October 17. She came home on November 19. Routine checkups show Faye progressing well. May marks seven months since she received her transplant. Although it is sometimes hard for her to deal with the medication, doctor’s visits, and having to be isolated from her school and friends, she is a strong girl and handles everything really well. Faye continues to get stronger.
Family and Faith
As crazy as the news is that your child has cancer, we know we would not have been able to handle this without the love, support, and help from family, friends, and this community. Our faith has played a huge part in how we have been able to handle all of this. As scared as we were at times, we never lost sight of the knowledge that everything was going to be okay. Not that everything was going to work out the way we wanted, but that no matter the outcome, we were going to be watched over. As soon as we received the news that we would be starting this process again, it only took a few hours before friends from our church stepped up and took care of child care, meals, and fundraising. It was all of those things that we were hesitant to receive help with, but we knew it was necessary. We are incredibly grateful to live in this community where so many people have stepped up to help us. We cannot even begin to describe or express the amount of gratitude we have for wonderful people in this world. We hope that as life goes on, we will be able to pay it forward. We know first-hand how love and support make a difference. You wouldn’t think something like this happening to your family would be considered a good experience, and while we don’t wish it upon anyone, if it had to happen, we are grateful we are living in Cy-Fair. CFM
EDITOR’S NOTE: Cy-Fair Magazine would like to thank the Meldrum family for sharing their story of perseverance, hope, and faith. We wish Super Faye a complete recovery
Follow Faye’s Fighters fayesfight.blogspot.com/ & facebook.com/fayesfighters