Today was the day that changed our lives forever. The day that turned our world upside down. The day that our beautiful little Geneva was faced with an enormous challenge that no child should have to face. We started our day at Disneyland. Sienna turned 10 on February 24th so our family decided to celebrate with her at Disneyland, We got there bright and early at 8am…probably the earliest we have EVER arrived. It was the four of us plus one of Sienna’s little friends. Geneva was not herself. She was pale, lethargic and complained of being sore. She was not able to walk like her normal self. Disneyland is not the place to be if you can’t walk. I clearly remember us going up that spiral building right next to Autopia. It was the Heroes/Star Wars exhibit. I looked back and saw her holding her hips like she was in so much pain. She couldn’t keep up with us and seemed just plain miserable. By 11am Adolfo took her home and the three of us remained at Disneyland to continue celebrating Sienna’s birthday. Adolfo said that she fell asleep in the car on the way home and slept for many hours after they got there. At 6:55 pm, I got the call…the call that informed me that Geneva’s blood work results came out critical and that she needed to be taken to the hospital immediately with no time to waste. After calling my husband about twenty times, he finally answered and I told him the news. He had taken our car with Geneva earlier that day and therefore, I was stuck at Disneyland with two 10-year olds and no car. I was so desperate, I could barely breathe. I felt like I was going to explode. Thank goodness, family picked us up and dropped me off at the CHOC ER. That night they took out more blood and re-assessed. They soon told us that it appeared to be Leukemia and she would have to be admitted into the hospital. And just like that our two and a half year journey with Leukemia began.
SOOO many people were showing up to visit and support us. I was completely overwhelmed. At one point, my cousin texted me that she was in the lobby. I went down to visit and fill her in. When we were saying our goodbyes, I was giving her a hug and when I looked up, I saw another set of family members entering the lobby. All of that support got us through that first full day. It was a day full of fear, anger, resentment, confusion, and sadness. How could this be happening to Geneva? What did we do wrong? It has to be a mistake? Why us?
Most of the day was waiting to confirm the diagnosis of leukemia and then waiting again to find out what type. Geneva was receiving fluids all day and started to get blood transfusions to bring her white blood cells down. She also received blood platelets to make sure her blood would clot in the procedures to come.
The oncologists were fairly certain it was the ALL type but nevertheless we had to wait for the lab results. At this point we began to learn more about this horrible ailment by talking to the amazing nurses and doctors here at CHOC. We learned that there are several types of leukemia and there is one type that has a very high success rate for treatment. Obviously that is the one we were hoping for — not that anyone would ever really hope for this. Regardless, the first oncologist we spoke to assured us that modern medicine has come a long way to being able to treat and cure any type of leukemia. There are treatments in place for every type. He was very optimistic about Geneva’s chances based on the fact that she was still very healthy and strong. The disease despite being in her blood, had not affected her vital organs. As they put it, we’re not starting this fight in the ICU like many other leukemia patients. During these talks with the doctors, you get a sense of hope and moments of strength. But when you’re in that hospital room and it’s just you and your thoughts … That’s when you break down. The severity and immensity of the situation weighs down on you and you break … You break because it’s your little girl that has to endure all of it. It breaks your heart to see her suffer … physically and emotionally. Her school year as she knew it was now over. She wouldn’t see her friends like before. Her season with color guard team was over after just one competition. NOT FAIR!! She does not deserve any of this!! But that’s when that support from family and friends lifts you back up a little bit. And you are determined to be strong for your daughter. It truly is a roller coaster ride … One you never want to be on.
One of Geneva’s best friends was visiting CHOC to get an MRI done. Her mother had texted me that they were going to be in our neck of the woods and wondered of they could visit G. Although there are no visitors allowed on the floor where Geneva is residing, they did allow her to come down to the 2nd floor lobby and hang out with her friend for a little. She got to be a normal 12 year old girl again..something that was taken away from her when she was admitted and told the news that will alter her life. She was COMPLETELY spoiled and her little friend brought endless smiles to her face. I was so happy to see her enjoy her friend. It gave her hope that her world was not completely over.
The effects of her first chemo treatment started kicking in. Lots & lots of nausea and WAY more vomiting than any 12 year old should ever have to endure in a day. She was feeling pretty down and our hearts were breaking. “Mommy, where is God? I felt him before but I don’t feel him around me now. I want him to come back. God, where are you? Where are you? I need you.” were her exact words. She was in pain and feeling defeated. How do I tell her she is okay? She is not okay…at least not at that exact moment? How do I tell her she is fine? She is not fine…her body is sore from the invasive procedures and she cannot even hold down a cracker. My poor little baby. Please, Please, Please pray for God to give Geneva the mental and physical strength she needs to get through these first rounds of chemotherapy. Her body and her mind are in absolute and complete shock. All the while, the chemotherapy treatment is working and we are seeing amazing results.
We tried a new nausea medicine and we are hoping this is the one that will be her “go to” whenever she has her treatments. She had such a hard time understanding why the first one didn’t work. I explained that it was like if you were looking for a special dress to wear to a dance. I tried to explain that finding the right nausea medication is kind of like shopping for the perfect dress. Instead of shopping for dresses, we were “shopping around” for the right nausea medications. I think it helped a little. In the end, the second option seemed to work and she was able to take some of her other meds without throwing them back up (which had been a problem all day long yesterday). She is being so brave…completely blowing us all out of the water. Please pray for Geneva to find the right medications to make her feel better and ease some of her discomfort. Please pray that God lessens or all together takes away some of the heavy side effects so that she will not be so miserable.
On another AMAZING, positive note, some of the kids at G’s school are all writing #TeamGG on their wrists and arms with markers (I hope they are not poisonous!) in honor of Geneva. These middle school kids are displaying such compassion and concern for my daughter. It is heart warming. Last night, as she lay sleeping, her phone was buzzing off the hook. I finally decided to turn it off, however I just couldn’t help but to sneak a peak. I mean, come on! What was all this commotion about that was blowing up her phone? They were messages of love, concern, support and friendship from all her peers. It just melted my heart.
We had many amazingly generous and loving friends visit today. They all brought love, cheer and a deep sense of tranquility to us. Along with their love, cheer and tranquility, some brought huge boxes of goodies and bags (covering every possible item in the category of the word “goodies” under the sun). Others brought large manila envelopes full of cards, gift cards, well wishes, gift baskets and donations. We were astonished….in pure disbelief of the generosity demonstrated to our family and towards our sweet little Geneva. The Gomez Family overwhelmingly, definitely, completely feels the enormous amounts of love and support pouring out to us. We are ever grateful…no words will ever express the emotions we are encountering. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you
Thank you for all the prayers, positive energy, love and concern you have all demonstrated. I sincerely do not think we would be able to make it without the overwhelming support we are receiving. We will not fight this fight alone. We have an enormous team of warriors fighting along our side. Thank you loved ones, for being our WARRIORS.
If you choose to help Geneva and her family you can visit and donate on her Go Fund Me.