Hannah – Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Today we are sharing Hannah’s story by her Mum, Allison.

Hannah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at 11 months old, on 23rd March 2016. She was in and out of hospital during the 9 months of intensive chemotherapy, she is now 9 months into maintenance treatment, thankfully she’s coping quite well and we’re hoping this can continue until end of treatment.

Was it quite easy to get a diagnosis or were there delays?

It was 13 days, between going to the doctors and getting a diagnosis. Her symptoms were bumps on her head and bruising all over, they did thorough scans, blood tests and a biopsy. This was an urgent matter, to rule us out as the cause. Her blood results didn’t show anything sinister, but the biopsy did.

That was very quick. It is not always the case though is it? It sounds like such an awful time for you. It is good that Hannah was dealt with so quickly though!

No, I’ve heard some parents have had to go back and forth with doctors for five months or more, although it hurt they thought it could be us (they thankfully put it low on the list of reasons, but had to check), I’m glad it meant they took her symptoms seriously.

I am thankful that although [the lumps] look really bad, they didn’t seem to cause her any pain. When they had to touch them to examine her, she didn’t flinch at all.

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We are very grateful to Allison for telling us all about Hannah and letting us share her story to help raise awareness. We send her and her family our very best wishes, and hope that Hannah continues to progress well with her treatment.

If you would like to add a message for the family then you may do so below, or use our contact form, and we will pass it on.

If you have a childhood cancer story to share then please do get in touch via the form below and we will add you to our pages.

Thank you for reading,

Ziggy Zoo and Betty Too

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Steven – Rhabdomyosarcoma AND Osteosarcoma

Our son was first diagnosed with Rhabdomysarcoma in 2006. He was six years old. Up to that point he had been a healthy child and so the doctors initially thought he had tonsillitis. Rhabdomyosarcoma is very aggressive soft tissue cancer and was allowed to grow in his sinus cavity, unchecked, for many months. Eventually his symptoms of nasal discharge and breathing problems became so severe that he had a CT scan at our local hospital. The scan showed the “mass” attached to his soft palate. He then went to Great Ormond Street Hospital for further tests and a biopsy, and that confirmed Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Following that diagnosis he started treatment immediately, and after 12 months of chemotherapy and six weeks radiotherapy he was in remission.

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Steven during radiotherapy

In 2014 however, he had a painful lump develop on his cheek. He was still having regular checks at Great Ormond Street and being monitored for late side effects. In view of his past history, there was no delay in organising a scan. The doctors had already warned us that it was likely he had another tumour. He had a biopsy and was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Steven needed more chemotherapy and many hours of surgery before he went into remission again.

The Osteosarcoma was caused by the radiotherapy he had for the first tumour.

This is just a brief outline of our son’s story. We shall look at it in more detail later.

If you would tell us about your child’s cancer, or you are a childhood cancer survivor, please get in touch and we would be very happy to give you a feature on our blog and later on the radio channel.

Best wishes

Ziggy Zoo and Betty Too