Friday, 24 February 2012

Things continue to improve, but nerve-wracking times...

You all know what an AWFUL weekend Oscar (and us) had last weekend, it's amazing how quickly things can change for oncology patients!  He has continued to improve this week, slowly but surely, and we are hopeful that this will continue.  His temperatures have almost stabilised, his tummy is getting better, and he is asking for food and eating it!  It has been months since Oscar has ate a full plate of food, you cannot imagine the joy we feel to see him doing this now.

Yesterday and this morning he had his MIBG scans - he is injected with a radioactive dye which attaches itself to the neuroblastoma cells, then they are detected by the scanner.  We were watching the image form on the screen as the scanner moved over his body, obviously we cannot interpret these ourselves, but there certainly were large areas showing up around his stomach area.  His legs didn't seem to be showing up, which hopefully means his bones are no longer affected!  Stressful times now, waiting for all the tests from this week to be interpreted, and a plan for Oscar's next stage of care drawn up.  We are keeping ourselves distracted by trying to spend some time away from the hospital environment - Stephen out with his friends from QUB tonight, I'm hitting the town with my sisters tomorrow night!  Anything to make these days pass a bit quicker so we know where we stand.

On Monday/Tuesday, we hope that Oscar will have his stem cells harvested.  This is another invasive procedure for the poor little man, a large tube will be inserted in a vein in his groin (under anaesthetic in theatre), his blood taken out and the stem cells removed, and the blood pumped back into him again.  These stem cells are bone marrow cells (which should now be cancer free) and will be used to populate his own bone marrow after he receives his high dose chemo further down the line.  I suppose it is an alternative to a bone marrow transplant as we know it, the aim of this being to transplant his own marrow back to him once he needs it.

Oscar's hair has also started to grow again, cannot believe how quickly this happens!  Just fine little blonde hairs appearing all over.  You can see the shadow in this photo...!
Yesterday Oscar attempted to walk - he hasn't stood up for weeks now, so he found it really difficult, his legs kept buckling beneath him.  We were trying to help him by supporting his weight, but he got really angry and insisted he wanted to do it himself!  This stubborness and sheer determination is what we are hoping will carry him through this challenging treatment, and happily out the other side.  He really is a little fighter.  As we start to see signs of getting our little boy back (see pic below), it is difficult to imagine starting him on more chemotherapy - everyone keep everything crossed that this won't be necessary, and we can move straight to surgery!
Keep it up Oscar, you are doing GREAT!! xxx


  1. So happy to see Oscar looking 'relaxed' and without all those machines! Got EVERYTHING crossed and praying that all goes well next week. Lots of love to u all. Sarah & Aidan xx

  2. Go on Oscar, you can do it, show it who's boss.. u are a real wee trooper, and an inspiration to everyone.. keep it up little man.. thoughts an prayer are with u all.. enjoy your weekend, u's deserve it :D

  3. Great to see Oscar fighting back - you can do it.
    Will enjoy my pint or 2 tonight!
    Granny & I are thinking of you all the time.Izzie
    is in great form as usual - comedian like Oscar.
    Kick the s--- out of it wee man!!

  4. Hey mr o, glad to see your gettin a little bit better and looking at that last photo it sure is a mans world!! Keep on fighting we cant wait to see you back home again! All our luvs and kisses, kenny,cathy and ur mate Noah xxoo

  5. Keep fighting can do it. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Take Care Martina .