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On the 20th November 2015, Cian started
complaining about tummy pains in the form of stomach cramps and pains / itching
at the top of his legs.
As he was just recovering from a cold we, as well as the medical professionals (GP and A&E) put this down to probable abdominal migraines.
But as the days went on and the pain got worse, we (but especially mummy) got increasingly concerned and wouldn’t accept that there was nothing more medically wrong with our baby. As a result, he was admitted to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital on 25th November for investigations to take place. It wasn’t until the 27th November when Cian began to lose the use of his legs that it was recognised that these symptoms presented a much more serious issue.
Cian was subjected to a number of tests and scans, until much to our horror and disbelief, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan uncovered a tumour that was growing on his spine.
He was immediately rushed to the University Hospital of Wales Hospital (UHW), where he underwent an emergency operation to safely remove as much of the tumour as possible. Although we were told that the procedure went as smoothly as these kind of invasive surgeries could, there is always unavoidable damage and trauma to the spinal cord, on which the tumour was situated.
This meant that Cian had lost all feeling from below the waist; and although he has regained some sensation and twitching movements in his feet and legs, the consultants are somewhat pessimistic over his long term mobility.
He was then admitted to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital, newly opened annex to UHW that has great facilities to look after sick and injured children.
On the 7th December we were delivered the devastating news that the tumour is cancerous, although we had enough hints and indications to prepare us for that diagnosis. This was made worse by being informed that ‘seeds’ of the cancer had impregnated the brain.
As the cancer has affected his entire Central Nervous System, Cian is in constant pain from headaches; and nerve pains in the back, tummy and legs. This is being controlled as much as possible by a concoction of different medication.
We have been told to expect 6-8 months of intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy to improve Cian’s symptoms and hopefully rid him of the disease.
The form of cancer Cian has is Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour (AT/RT). This is a rare and extremely aggressive condition commonly diagnosed in childhood. I will leave it to you guys to conduct further research if you want, as it doesn’t make very pleasant reading!
We are using this blog to update everyone on Cian’s progress, as this is the easiest way to communicate to as many people as possible, as we are overwhelmed by the interest shown by family, friends and strangers alike.
Any charitable / fundraising activities will also be posted here, as so many of you have wanted to get involved and contribute in lots of different ways. We will then also be able to tell you how any monies raised will be distributed / spent.
Hopefully, this blog will also raise the awareness of this form of cancer and encourage future research that could possibly result in new treatments or cures.
For this blog to be successful, we encourage you to leave sensible and appropriate comments; and although we won’t have the time to respond to every submission we will take the time to read them all.