In Part 1 of this series we explained that this series of articles is not meant to be medical advice, but a guide that may help you as a parent of a newly diagnosed child with cancer cope just a bit better. Information is knowledge, and never more so than when you are dealing with childhood cancer!
These articles are meant to help you be the key part of your child’s treatment that you will need to be. Take what works for you according to your situation and your child’s temperament, personality, fears, strengths, and how they deal with adversity, and leave what does not pertain to your situation.
Part 5 deals with Different Types of Treatment and Possible Side-Effects of that treatment. As this is quite a long section, it has been split it into 5(i) Surgery 5(ii) Chemotherapy 5(iii) Radiation Therapy 5(iv) Immunotherapy and 5(v) Bone Marrow & Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplants.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatment (CAM) is very involved and will contain a lot of information, so that will be dealt with separately in Part 6 of this series of articles.
The handsome young lad in this photo is Muhammad Hussain, a gentle 6-year-old with a love for KFC Pops, Spiderman and extremely loud music ~ his pride and joy is his HotWheels collection.
While Muhammad may look like any other six-year old at first glance, albeit one with a really short haircut, nothing could be further from the truth! Muhammad is a Little Fighter who has been battling for his life since the tender age of 6 months, and who knows more about Lumbar Punctures, Blood Counts, Biopsies, Chemotherapy Treatments and Hospital Wards than schoolwork.
Muhammad Ebrahim Hussein was born on 15/09/09. From the age of 6 months his parents began noticing that he was not always that well, and after numerous visits to the paediatrician he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in August 2010, and spent his first birthday in hospital. HLH is a very rare life-threatening blood disease and immune system disorder.
Just a little note to let you know that although the blog posts have been few recently, I have not forgotten about you… I have been very busy adding new pages to the blog…
Please have a read through our new pages regarding Cancer Treatments and side effects of some of those treatments:
Conventional Medical Treatments
Conventional medicine is the sort of medicine and treatment your doctor would usually use to treat your cancer. You may also hear this called orthodox medical treatment.
The following are general descriptions of treatments that may be used as part of a child’s treatment plan.
Surgery is the removal of the tumour, either cancerous or noncancerous, and surrounding tissue during an operation. Many children with a tumour will need surgery at some point during their treatment. A surgical oncologist is a doctor who specialises in treating a tumour using surgery.
With today being #NationalBandanaDay2015, we thought it an apt day to appeal to everyone to become a Bone Marrow Donor, and to get tested to see whether you are possibly a match for our Little Fighter Muhammad who desperately needs a Bone Marrow Transplant after relapsing after 3+ years last month.
Muhammad Ebrahim Hussein was born on 15/09/09. From the age of 6 months his parents began noticing that he was not always that well, and after numerous visits to the paediatrician he was diagnosed with Haemophycotic Syndrome and admitted to hospital for 4 months.
Muhammad did well for the next 18 months, but was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in March 2012. Eventually, after a hard-fought battle and extensive chemotherapy treatment, Muhammad went into remission.
Unfortunately, after 3.5 years, Muhammad relapsed and the family were informed that he will require a bone marrow transplant. He is currently receiving aggressive chemo and is expected to be in hospital for a minimum of five months.
The chance for a bone marrow match is 1/100 000, and the entire South African Bone Marrow Registry currently has less than 100 000 bone marrow donors. One of the biggest problems in South Africa especially is that bone marrow matches are not cross-cultural.
It is Muhamad Hussein’s birthday today, which should be a joyous occasion, but a few days ago Muhammad and his family received the news that nobody wants to get after 3+ years…
Muhamad Ebrahim Hussein was born on 15/09/09. From the age of 6 months his parents began noticing that he was not always that well, and after numerous visits to the paediatrician he was diagnosed with Haemophycotic Syndrome and admitted to hospital for 4 months.
Muhamad did well for the next 18 months, but was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in March 2012.
Being based in Port Elizabeth but having to travel to the Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town often for treatment, Muhamad’s father, a qualified Pharmacist, made the decision to give up his job to become a full-time carer for his son so that his wife could complete her nursing studies as she was close to qualifying at that time.
The family went through huge battles and great financial strain but hung in there and eventually, after extensive chemotherapy treatment, Muhamad went into remission.
Unfortunately, after 3.5 years, the family were informed over the weekend that Muhamad has relapsed; He was admitted to hospital on Saturday night and received two blood transfusions and platelets. His counts were extremely low, and he needed to go from the Eastern Cape to Cape Town as soon as possible for intensive chemo.
His daddy’s words were, “I almost died when they gave me the news.”