Anyone who knows me or is friends with me on Facebook, knows about Lauren aka "Lala" and how much I adore this girl. Lauren is the middle daughter of my long time boss and dear friend, Melanie. I remember the pain and agony that came the first time Lauren was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Not only did she have cancer, but she had a very rare form of pediatric cancer. I remember the celebration that followed her beating that cancer. I remember the shock of hearing the cancer had returned at her 3 month check up in March 2009. After several scary months of hard praying Lauren was headed back to college in September 2009 - CANCER FREE! (if you are interested in reading about her entire journey, Dana, her step dad kept an amazing blog. http://dhwilson2.blogspot.com)
Fast forward to April 2011. I still am working for Melanie, just not at American Heart, now at Cancer Care Services. (best decision ever!) It was a seemingly normal day at work, until Melanie asked me to come into Donna's office, where she closed the door behind us. I could see something was wrong as her eyes were red and she was fighting off tears. Lauren hadn't been feeling well and had gone to the clinic at Texas State. They did an x-ray and found a spot. The call Melanie had just received was Lauren asking her to come pick her up in San Marcus to bring her home for a CT Scan. Worse case scenario Lala's cancer was back and this time in her lungs. It broke my heart to see the pain in Melanie's eyes that day, all I could do is cry and pray.
Within days she was in the ICU, they were saying she would never go home, and that they should notify the family. As a last ditch effort they were going to try radiation and chemo, even though it didn't normally work on this type of cancer. Yet when Lauren heard she would lose her hair, she said she would rather die than to be bald. Thank goodness for her sweet Prince Dillon who was able to make her see she was is beautiful no matter if she had hair or not, and she agreed to the treatment. Her breathing kept improving, it was a none stop party in her ICU room with friends and loved ones. And most of all her gorgeous smile never faded. Within a few days she was out of ICU and on the oncology floor. And in less than a week she is discharged from the hospital all together.
Lauren's biggest fear was losing her hair and a dear, sweet friend of mine, Jenna, owner of Halo Salon made an offer to help Lauren through this traumatic experience. Several people shaved or cut their hair to support her, Kipper was one of the first and Lauren was there with us. That same night Lala got a rock star make over and we were so honored to be there to experience it with the family. Jenna, Kellen and Rachel at Halo helped make something so life altering a little fun.
We all know she has a very long battle ahead. I will keep praying and supporting Lala and the family however I can. And when I get scared for her, I remember the words she told to her mom in the ICU. "I've Got This!!!"
To follow Lauren's story you can become a part of her facebook group Lala's Soldiers