You see the posts as you scroll through Facebook.  Friends, family and strangers praying for children diagnosed with cancer.  Desperate cries for miracles.  Just this week another little princess starting with chemo, notes and prayers posted by her father and grandmother.  Her mommy is too emotional and tired and who could blame her?  The mere thought of her tiny 3-year-old body fighting this disease is enough to break anybody’s heart.

How can we possibly deal with this?  Knowledge.  That is the only thing we have control over, how informed we are.  We will never be able to make sense of children suffering, but we can study the enemy and try to be one step ahead.

Thankfully many cancers in children are found in the early stages, either by parents or doctors. Early symptoms of childhood cancer are often like those caused by much more common illnesses or injuries which can make cancers in children hard to recognize right away. Children often get sick or have bumps or bruises that might mask the early signs of cancer. Regular medical check-ups should be a priority for kids and parents should watch for any unusual signs or symptoms that do not go away.

The following are early signs / symptoms:

An unusual lump or swelling

Unexplained paleness and loss of energy

Easy bruising

An ongoing pain in one area of the body

Limping

Unexplained fever or illness that doesn’t go away

Frequent headaches, often with vomiting

Sudden eye or vision changes

Sudden unexplained weight loss

Eugene Ionesco wrote “The brightest light, the light of Italy, the purest sky of Scandinavia in the month of June is only a half-light when one compares it to the light of childhood. Even the nights were blue.”

By empowering ourselves with knowledge we can effect early diagnosis.  We can help the princess to slay the dragon and live happily ever after…

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