When you become a parent, it's hard to worry about all the things that could go wrong. We don't want to focus on the bad things that can happen, but these are our babies! We worry about them getting sick, getting hurt, not being happy or feeling secure. So we do everything in our power to make sure they're OK. Unfortunately, there are some things we just can't control. Learning that your child is sick, we mean REALLY sick, is something no parents wants to face. But as parents, we know when something isn't right, and that intuition should never be ignored.
That intuition could mean the difference between life and death, as the parents of 2-year-old McKenna Shea Xydias discovered. Their little girl wasn't feeling well, and they just couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Their insistence on figuring it out, along with McKenna's strength, are why she's still with them today after being diagnosed with a very rare form of ovarian cancer.
Mike and Meagan Xydias were alerted by McKenna's daycare that the toddler had a fever. Not unusual for a kiddo in daycare! But then a month later, McKenna began experiencing stomach bloating and seemed to be uncomfortable. Her pediatrician thought it was probably just gas, advised her parents to give her gas drops, and to call them if she spiked any more fevers.
The fever stayed away for a few days, but in that time, McKenna had some trouble going to the bathroom. Then daycare called again: McKenna had a fever of 103. They took her back to the doctor that day, and an ultrasound revealed a mass located around her ovaries. McKenna had an ovarian yolk sac tumor, a very rare form of ovarian cancer.
Just four months after her diagnosis, McKenna was given a clean bill of health by Dr. Katie Sutton, a pediatric oncologist for the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She tolerated her treatment well without any serious side effects other than the occasional blood transfusion.
And her parents credit her feisty spirit for that. Says Mike, "She is a ball of energy and a stereotypical 2-year-old. She’s the youngest child, where she is the boss and she’s extremely stubborn, which a great character trait in going to fight cancer. She doesn’t let anything stop her."
We're so happy to hear that McKenna is going to be OK, and we're glad her parents trusted their gut when they knew something was wrong with their little girl.