Honouring Ryan Nel – RhabdomyoSarcoma (Part 1)
September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and apart from our normal posts, LFCT will also be bringing you some stories and poems from our Little Fighters and their Families through the course of the month.
Today we would like to bring you Part 1 of an edited version of the life-story of Ryan Nel, as written by his mother, Michelle.
The Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to sincerely thank Michelle for sharing her family’s heartbreaking story with us in the hope that it can help other parents who have children that are ill but are not sure what the problem is, and to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness so that earlier diagnosis can be done.
We will publish the full story entitled “Our Road with Cancer – an Ode to my Son” at a later stage when there is more time to translate it in full.
Diagnosis and Prognosis
In early May 2014, 10-year old Ryan had a lump in his throat which was diagnosed as an abscess on his tonsil, and he was given a 5-day course of antibiotics and sent home. Michelle was not happy and the swelling did not go down so back they went to the doctor a few days later – another course of antibiotics!
An appointment was then made with a specialist who could only see Ryan later that month, so the family, who were extremely worried that the lump was not subsiding, sought a second opinion – again they are told that it is an abscess on the tonsil – then the doctor drew tons of blood out of Ryan’s nose and immediately consulted another specialist by phone and told them to phone him the next day for an appointment only to be told “sorry he is not on duty.”
13th of May and eventually the day Ryan gets to see the specialist who says it is no abscess but a Tumour, and Ryan is operated on the same day. The tumour was the size of a golf ball, and Ryan’s adenoids and tonsils were removed during the same operation – now they know this is not something small… Ryan is given a sinus-rinse and grommets in both ears and moved to ICU.
On the 19th of May life resumed with the family returning to work and school and Ryan started recuperating well. In the meantime the tumour had been sent away for analysis and although family life went on, stress levels were very high.
On the 25th May, Ryan went to the Dora Nginza state hospital, where he was diagnosed with Grade 4 Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Without treatment Ryan basically had 3 weeks left to live; no guarantees that treatment would work but he would receive the best care there was… now they understand the months of migraines and hallucinations that nobody could account for…
How do you tell a 10-year old whose life has just begun that he has Cancer?
Posted on 5 September, 2016, in Blog, Onco Parents and tagged Child Cancer Awareness, childhood cancer, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Children with Cancer, LFCT, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Ryan, south africa. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.