Leukemia Is Not The “Good Type of Cancer”

I’ve heard it a million times…

“Leukemia is the best kind of cancer for a child to get”


Does that sit well with you? That we’ve become so desensitized or unaware as a society that we try and bargain that if a child gets cancer, at least it’s “the good kind”? Let me tell you, leukemia, like all other cancers, is AWFUL. The treatment (outdated 30+years) is devastating. While certain types of leukemia have a cure rate of 95%, there is nothing that “the good type of cancer” doesn’t try to steal, kill and destroy. It STEALS childhoods. It DESTROYS families and it KILLS children!

It breaks my heart to hear people talk about leukemia in a positive light. I’ve seen some really really really awful things that leukemia has done to children. I’ve seen some really unfair side effects that the treatment options leave children looking like. I’ve seen children miss out on entire years of school because the treatment is SO long, ranging from 2-3 years. I’ve witnessed teenagers develop anxiety over having to overcome what their peers may or may not think. While me and my coworkers tend to think the kids we have the privilege of taking care of are the most amazing humans we know, the outside world doesn’t always think that way. And as a first hand witness, these kids know it, feel it and sense it.

I’d be willing to bet 10 times out of 10 that when a parent of a child got their diagnosis of childhood leukemia, their first thought was not “oh the good kind, this will be easy!” So please, stop minimizing a devastating disease that children should not be getting. It’s offensive and unfair.

Leukemia stole my tiny best friend and left a void I never knew possible, there’s nothing “good”about it.

10 thoughts on “Leukemia Is Not The “Good Type of Cancer”

  1. Thank you for sharing just how a parent feels. I know we appreciate the love, care and support of everyone on the Oncology floor. Your words are so true, and we too understand the void in your Heart.

  2. No cancer is good. My son was diagnosed with DIPG, survival is less than 1%. The standard of care hasn’t changed in 57 years for this type of cancer. The day he was diagnosed is the same day we were told he would not survive this disease.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that. You’re right, there is absolutely no good cancer. It’s unfair in every single aspect.

  3. Thank you for this! I met Karly when she was nine, had already been battling leukemia for a year, she is now almost ready to ring her bell. At 11 years old, she knows the score, chemo might be done for now, but it’s not over. I Love her, and she calls me Grandma! These children just want/need LOVE and a CURE! We’ll keep fighting and helping families!

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