Xray

X-rays, a type of electromagnetic radiation, provide the doctor with a quick and simple method of viewing organs and structures inside your childs body. Pictures are taken and then displayed on a film or a computer screen. X-rays are performed for many reasons during a childs treatment for leukemia. Some of the most common reasons for taking x-rays are:

• Needed before operations.

• Needed after your childs central venous catheter is placed to confirm that it is in the proper location.

• Used as part of a workup for fever to determine whether your child may have pneumonia.

Your child is positioned by the technologist in a manner that will make it easiest to get the images that are needed. For chest x-rays, your child may be asked to breathe in, hold her breath, and remain perfectly still for a few seconds. The technologist leaves the room during the time that the x-rays are taken. If you are planning to stay with your child, you need to wear a lead apron to protect you from radiation. Your child may also have to wear a lead apron or lead shield to protect specific areas of her body. Pregnant women should not be present in the room when x-rays are taken.

Meagan is scheduled to go off therapy this May. She's doing well and is very happy. A father at our support group was advising a new set of parents to remember to view life from the child's perspective. He said that, especially with the little ones, parents sometimes agonized more than the child. He told us that at the end of the first year of treatment, he and his wife were reflecting on how much misery their child had endured, and then she piped up and said, "This has been a great year for me!" Meagan is the same. When I have bad days and get preoccupied with the uncertain future, I see Meagan skipping along and saying as she frequently does, "I'm such a happy girl!"

CHAPTER 4

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