As many know, sophomore Sarah Hickman was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on Jan 31. Hickman recently gave the McNicholas Milestone an update, describing her treatments and what comes next.
Hickman was released early from the hospital on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Although she is not finished with treatment, she gets to spend a little time back at home. Hickman has currently undergone three different types of chemotherapy, two lumbar punctures, and three bone marrow aspirations. The chemotherapy works to fight and kill the cancer cells, while the lumbar punctures and bone marrow aspirations are both used to judge how widely-spread the cancer is.
The next step for Hickman will occur on Monday, Mar. 12, when she is admitted back to the hospital for a port placement. This means that a small plastic plate will be placed in her chest to act as a more permanent IV, allowing her to receive chemo treatments at home. However, plans can change depending on how testing goes. “Our schedule is only worked out to the middle of April, but this is a long, tough process,” Hickman said.
As for returning to McNick full-time, Hickman believes that will have to wait until next year.
“I may visit every once and a while to meet with my teachers or to see my friends, but I most likely will not be fully returning to school until next year,” Hickman said. “As for work, right now teachers are just emailing me assignments and having me complete them as I can. I try to get my work done when I feel well, and sometimes it serves as a good distraction if I’m not feeling well. We are still trying to set up an at-home tutor to come a few times a week, so hopefully that’ll be set up soon. “
The McNicholas community has been adamant about supporting Hickman, selling bracelets and t-shirts for fundraisers and offering up its prayers. Students still interested in getting involved can join the Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer research, or simply contact Hickman and offer their support.