Erica Kuneki

September 2018

Erica started feeling pain in her leg. It worsened over the next two weeks to the point that she could barely walk. We set up an appointment for an X-ray. When the doctor, whom was a friend, came into the room and gave me a big hug I knew it wasn’t good news. He let me know it could be cancerous but Erica needed an MRI to tell for sure. Dr. Sam let me know that Doernbecher Children’s Hospital would be calling with the results. After a very long and painful two weeks of more X-rays and blood work they told us that Erica had a tumor in her leg. She started chemotherapy right away. We’ve made the long drive from Bingen, WA to Portland, OR so many times as Erica was continuously getting a fever after treatments and I would need to drive her to the hospital at all hours of the night. This has been so difficult as a single parent. There aren’t any programs that help with driving in the middle of the night and weekends. The local hospital couldn’t help her as her Oncology team is in Portland.

Once Erica’s hair started to fall out from the chemo she had me shave the rest for her so she wouldn’t have to see it fall out bits at a time in her hands. This was so heartbreaking for me. We spent a lot of holidays in the hospital. Erica would beg me to please take her home on holidays but it’s kind of hard when her blood levels were so low. I knew the best thing for her was to stay in the hospital. There are a lot of times I have cried for my daughter to take the pain away from her. Seeing your child suffer is not an easy thing to watch. I don’t wish this on anybody. Erica’s spirit never gives up. She wanted to go to school to finish High School. She wanted to walk down the aisle and accept her diploma. She wanted to go to prom. Fortunately Erica was able to make these things happen.

Erica fell down a month ago and hurt her back. We’re currently waiting on more testing to make sure the cancer has not moved to her back. Her body has already been through so much and is having a difficult time recovering from the chemo. We’re hoping for answers soon.