Maya The Dragon | Passion Project | Reno Family Photographer | Kristi Gayton Photography
At three years old in February 2016 Maya was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and began treatment. When I received an email about Maya and her beautifully family nominating them for a Passion Project session I knew that I had to meet this brave little dragon. Here is a recent blog post written by her fierce Mommy dragon:
One night, as I tucked my children into bed, Maya needed to talk. There was a tone in her voice that made me feel like this was something that really needed to happen. Not just the typical chatter that children do to stall bedtime. We have talked about her condition many times. But as we all know, children need repetition in order to learn. As much as my heart ached during this discussion, and my stomach twinged while my palms sweat….I’m very happy I took the time to talk.
Maya: Mommy, I have to talk to you. I need to know how many times we have been to clinic.
Mommy: Oh wow….Im not really sure.
Maya: Well I need to know.
Mommy: Okay, well I could probably come up with a pretty good estimate some day. Will that due?
Maya: How did I need chemo? Cuz….not all kids need chemo. Why?
Mommy: Oh. Ummm…well you need chemo because your white blood cells mutated into leukemia. Part of your blood changed and the chemo helps change your blood back to normal and keeps leukemia away.
Maya: What’s leukemia?
Mommy: it’s a form of cancer that makes it so your blood doesn’t work all that well.
Maya: cancer….do other people have cancer?
Mommy: Yes. Sadly, many other people have cancer.
Maya: What happens if you have cancer for very long.
Mommy: You get really sick.
Maya: How sick?
Mommy: Really really sick.
Maya: Do people die from cancer?
Mommy: Yeah….they do, baby. But NOT you.
Maya: Why not me?
Mommy: Because the doctor and nurses and a whole lotta scientists are saving your life. And you’re a dragon. You are so very strong.
Maya: Cancer. *sigh*….Cancer. Hmmmm…cancer. Will I need chemo forever?
Mommy: No baby, not forever. We are almost to the end. Only a few more months of taking your 6mp.
Maya: Okay. I believe you.
Mommy: I love you with all my heart, infinity.
Dear universe and all the Gods….Please make it so. Please, please make this so.
1 more lumbar puncture with intrathecal methotrexate, 3 infusions of vincristine, 3 more weeks of steroid pulses, 12 more doses of oral methotrexate, 88 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 18…17…16…15 seconds till her last dose of chemo.
Love is Life.
To follow Maya's journey visit her website Maya The Dragon.