11 down, 45 weeks to go

Yes, we are completing the full 56 weeks of treatment.

This morning Wouter and I had a meeting with the paediatric oncologist, the paediatrician, the paediatric surgeon (Dr Daniel Sidler) and the radiologist (Dr Jacobs). What a nice bunch of people! And what a relieved bunch of people following Boeta’s scans.

We were bombarded with info. The CT people claims to see inflammation in the areas where the tumour originated from and has now melted back into. This is very much expected but is so slight that it isn’t visible to the doctors we saw today. So the surgeon is going to have a chat with the CT people.  They will mark the areas on the scans where they see the inflammation to guide him.

As soon as Boeta’s blood counts are OK (I’ll get back to this at the end) he will go for an operation to biopsy any remaining blobs and if necessary, for removal of those blobs. We thought it may be done using cameras but in fact they want to do it the old fashioned way to get a good look at what is going on.   The surgeon will insert clips to mark the point(s) of origin as a guide for the radiation that will follow. At the moment the radiologist doesn’t know where to irradiate because there aren’t any tumours. Can you see me smile?

After Boeta recuperated from the surgery he will start with radiation. This will be daily for at least a month. At the same time he will start with this new type of chemo drug, Irinotecan. This is the very expensive one. According to the oncologist it seems to have severe gastro-intestinal side-effects. There is a full page of what-to-do-as-soon-as-diarrhea-starts in the schedule. As far as Cristina knows, Boeta is the first child to receive this drug in South Africa so we (she) don’t know first-hand what to expect.

According to Gerrit there should be no problem getting medical aid approval for the Irinotecan after Boeta’s excellent response to the treatment so far. This is very good news. I phoned the chemist today to order more anti-nausea meds for Boeta and was told that they couldn’t deliver it – I have to go and pay for it because our medical savings are kaput. We had R8 000-odd at the start of the year. We aren’t even 3 months into the year. Fun times ahead! Fortunately we only have to pay about R2 000 ourselves and after that Discovery pays for everything else. Let me add that we are paying through our noses for our medical cover. But it is worth it when you get shocks like these!

We also saw the paediatric cardiologist today. She was the one who initially picked up that there was a tumour in Boeta’s heart. Today there was nothing, just a beautiful, even, perfect heart. Praise God!

We saw so many hospital staff today who heard about Boeta’s scans from other staff. I never realised how many people in Panorama know about us. And they are all ecstatic about it. Only now are they telling me what Boeta’s chances were originally and it is shocking. One doctor (not ours) reckoned that he had about a month left based on how far his cancer had spread…

Does anyone want to question the power of our Lord?

Finally the blood results. Oh my word. Gerrit phoned tonight and demanded that I sit down before he told me what it was. So far the lowest Woutertjie’s white cell count dropped was 0.3. It is now 0.1. That means that for all intents and purposes he doesn’t have any immunity. Period. And yet he is healthy.

His Hb is 7, which means that he has about half of the oxygen-carrying molecules that he should have and thus only gets about half of what a healthy child would get. And yet he is quite active. Not as much as usual but with permanent nausea and very little oxygen what would you expect?

His platelets are 67. Below 50 bleeding is a risk. So we have to keep him bump and bruise free.

Gerrit actually called his counts life threatening.

So please say a prayer that Boeta’s cells bone marrow starts waking up soon and his counts improve. Surgery can not go ahead if his counts aren’t normal and we want to stick to the schedule as much as possible.

Oh – I saw Tielman, our minister, today while he was having his last session of chemo. He proposed a thanksgiving service for Woutertjie’s miraculous healing. We will let you know when it will be held. It will be for family, friends and strangers who want to get together to give thanks to God. You’d better be there!

Edited to add: I almost forgot to congratulate another pregnant angel in our midst. May you have a fabulous and healthy pregnancy S!

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5 Responses

  1. This is all good news! I just KNEW you would get your miracle.
    May the months ahead be easier than you expect and better than you hope!

  2. Ek het volle vertroue dat alles sal goed gaan in die maande wat voorlê. Mag dit vinnig verby vlieg en ek hoop Woutertjie is een van die gelukkiges met baie min newe effekte.

  3. I am still completely happy for you guys!!! Sorry to hear about the very low counts, hopefully soon they will recover to where they should be.

  4. So glad things are going so well – still so excited about the tumours disappearing!!!

    Big, big hugs – and here’s hoping his blood counts start climbing quickly!!

    xx

  5. and the great news continues! Our God is amazing and He is a God of miracles ! praying for Wouters counts to improve each minute! God Bless Mark Samm Deqlan Logan

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