Xuané… a Reason to Smile Part 7

xuane ...a Reason to Smile

 Xuané Niewenhuis
17 August 2006 – 24 October 2014
Forever ^8^


a Reason to Smile


Theresa Botha Nieuwenhuis

2009 – 2013 (continued)

The doctor wanted to operate as soon as possible, and the operation was scheduled for 26th November 2010. I was very scared this time; the loneliness got to me, and I can remember that the only thing I could think of was that I wanted my husband with me. Even though we had problems, he had a way of making me feel relaxed and see the funny little things and make me laugh. I phoned him with the news and he said that he would be there. That evening he phoned to tell me he could not get a flight but that he was about to get into his car to drive up from the Cape.

The next morning Xuané was pushed into theatre. I hugged her and she did not want to let go, but the sisters again told me that she was in good hands and that they would take good care of her. Even though every part of me wanted to hold on and it took every ounce of strength, I had to let her go… and for the second time in my life I felt completely powerless.

Treatment June 2010 - the longgggggggg passage

Once again I walked that lonely path out of the theatre and the doors slammed behind me like a bomb. I just looked at my mother and once again started crying uncontrollably. We decided that to just sit there and wait would not make the hours go past any quicker, so took a walk down to the cafeteria to have breakfast and a cup of coffee.

As we walked down the passage, my husband came running from the other direction. I told him that Xuané was already in theatre, and I could see the heartache in his eyes, but he remained stoic.

After 5 hours in theatre Xuané was eventually wheeled out and straight to intensive care. Once again we had to wait before we were allowed to see her, but the doctor immediately came to speak to us in the waiting room. I have never seen an expression in someone’s eyes like the one I saw in his eyes that day; all he could say was that he had never seen anything like that before.

WHAT MUST I DO WITH THIS?” I thought, “What did he see?”

The doctor explained to us that the tumour was much denser than he had expected and that he was not able to get all of it out; he could only remove 50% of it and was unsure of whether any nerves had been damaged during the process. I told him that I would watch her.

surgery to remove tumour

surgery to remove tumour

We went to her room and this time there was a long drainage tube in her back and a drip in her neck. Once again she looked like a little angel, and I could not help thinking about what would happen next. She woke up in the evening and looked at me and all that I could see were the questions in her eyes. I had no answers; all that I could tell her was that Mommy loved her very much and would stand by her no matter what, and would be by her side through every little thing that might follow. She became rebellious because I could not sleep with her but the lady who was caring for her reassured her that everything would be okay. We went home to relax a bit after a long hard day and returned again in the morning.

Xuané was discharged from ICU on 30th November after we were given a photo taken by the sister, showing her standing upright with no tubes and a broad smile. She was transferred to the Paediatric Oncology ward for the rest of her recuperation. The professor visited her there and asked her how she was feeling and she said she thought she was ready to go home, at which he laughed and said that in that case he would discharge her. Doctor Charmaine said they would contact me at a later stage with all the details of the treatment that Xuané would be receiving, but that for now she needed to recuperate from the operation.

Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to extend a huge thank you to the Niewenhuis family for allowing us to share Xuané’s story and photos, and hope that it will bring Awareness regarding Childhood Cancer to the public in general so that they can get a bit of an idea what battling Childhood Cancer is like – why the Little Fighters Cancer Trust does what it does, why creating Awareness around Childhood Cancer is so important, and enlightenment to other parents.

We will continue with Part 8 of Xuané… a Reason to Smile tomorrow…


About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 7 September, 2015, in Blog, Onco Parents and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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