Mother doesn't want her son to have radiotherapy after having brain tumour removed.

(186 Posts)
OscarPistoriusBitontheside Fri 07-Dec-12 14:49:11

Can't make the link work but it's on sky news.

Long story short a mother wants to deny her son radiotherapy treatment after his having ha a brain tumour removed because she is worried it will affect his long term health. Doctors have said he had a better chance of survival if he has it. Then estranged (according to the press) father agrees with the doctor.

Personally I think she's crazy. I know two small children who died of brain tumours in the last year and I can only imagine their parents would have given anything to even have had the chance of a discussion about radiotherapy with their doctors.

Radiotherapy is truly horrific. What a decision to make sad

LoopsInHoops Sat 08-Dec-12 13:38:09

Surprisingly sensitive article from Daily Mail.

From reading the various newspaper articles about this case, it seems she has a point. Now though, the very worst thing that the authorities can do is keep the little boy from his mum. That is simply cruel IMO.

Xenia Sat 08-Dec-12 13:50:45

It sounds like some hospitals would not give the radiotherapy so not as cut and dried as the press present it and as ever police and social worker total over kill and child snatching by the state - plus ca change.

mercibucket Sat 08-Dec-12 14:04:14

Is the little boy in care? If so, how awful

I read that the father is now saying he supports whatever the mother's decision is

So so hard and so so sad. No rights and wrongs, and no guarantees either. It is the parents who will have to live with the consequences of any decision they take, not the doctors. I'm so glad I am not in their shoes. We have had to make decisions about chemo treatment for our son, in a much different and easier context, and it is so appallingly hard to have to make decisions you know could impact their whole life. I really feel for them

No, I don't think he is in care.

Here's what makes me angry. The mother has some very real concerns about radiotherapy and whether it's the right course of treatment for her son.

The media report it as if she is some negligent mother who is on the run from the law. In the emergency hearing this morning the judge reserved judgment for 10 days, obviously to consider the complex facts of the case, but also shows that the boy isn't going to die in days as was inferred by the hospital trust.

Pancakeflipper Sat 08-Dec-12 14:19:43

I was actually impressed that the mother has questionned the treatment for her son. I don't know if she is right or wrong, but impressed she has challenged it. She's not doing it to be awkward, she must be petrified.

So often it all happens so fast, so unexpected that you put blind faith into something you know nothing about. The trust is with consultants etc. To really question and challenge isn't easy and saying no is very tough. For Neon it doesn't seem so clear cut on what is the best.

LoopsInHoops Sat 08-Dec-12 14:24:14

The doctor referred to the radiotherapy as 'frying' his brain. She understandably freaked out and looked into alternatives.
Other hospitals don't automatically radiate, and she has a friend who refused radiotherapy for their child, who is now doing well.
The surgery was successful and no signs of cancer atm.

Makes sense for all options to be considered if there is time to do so.

Poor woman. sad

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Dec-12 15:08:42

He was removed and put into emergency care for a very short while.
He was then taken to his father.
There never seemed to be a great animosity between the parents anyway.

Poor family. its just awful.

None of know the true implications and outcome if said treatment was given.
For all we know, it could be life-prolonging care rather than life-savingsad
I'm sure the mother has reasons for delaying or witholding treatment.
Sometimes chemo & radiotherapy are given purely just to add a few weeks/months on to ones life, maybe she didn't want to add more suffering to the pain he's already going through and wants his last days as normal as possible....we don't know so people shouldn't speculate, this lady will be going through hell & so will her little boysad

Thanks MrsDV - I'm glad to read he's with his father. The last thing I heard he was in foster care after he and his mum were found and that just seemed so unnecessarily traumatic for everybody.

Xenia Sat 08-Dec-12 16:45:41

These social workers like to go out of their way to cause as much trauma as possbile and move children straight to care in case like this even if there are abotu 10 suitable aother relatives like the father and other relatives available. It seems to be the way they operate with no concern for child psychology.

CoteDAzur Sat 08-Dec-12 17:03:53

Radiotherapy: Near-certainty that her boy will never have "normal" cognitive functions.

No radiotherapy: Reasonable chance that her boy will survive & have normal cognitive functions.

Tough choice to make, but her choice does not sound so unreasonable. Am I misunderstanding something?

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Dec-12 17:13:48

The boy went to his father Xenia.

Social workers would not have instigated this process and they would have very much been guided by the medical advice.

Cote - I think medical opinion would be that the side effects of radiotherapy are possible but not certain and may or may not be serious - I've read for example of a small drop in IQ points. However in this child's case there may be factors which make more serious consequences more likely? The statements made in court certainly seemed to suggest Neon's doctors felt there wasn't a 'reasonable' chance of survival without radiotherapy. POssibly that opinions been revised though?

Chandon Sat 08-Dec-12 19:22:45

Just feel dreadfully sorry forher.

In her shoes, I would be out of my mind. Literally.

Xenia Sat 08-Dec-12 19:22:54

He did not go right to his father. He was taken by social workers and put with foster parents over night and only returned to his father at 9[m at night which is very late for alittle boy. There was no need for that.

imaginethat Sat 08-Dec-12 19:23:24

I think she comes across as an intelligent and devoted mother who has and is faced with an unimaginably difficult situation. If she was here in NZ where she grew up, she would have had more choice.

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Dec-12 20:58:28

I didn't say he went right to his father. I said he went to his father. Further up thread I had already said he spent a short time with FC.

I have no idea why. It is not usual. Children will generally go straight to willing family members if they are identified and waiting. For one thing, it saves a hell of a lot of money and work if they do.

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Dec-12 21:04:06

Radio and surgery on the brain can cause a lot more than a dropping a few IQ points.

ADHD, ASD type behaviour, Learning difficulties from mild to profound, hemiplegia, deafness, blindness, seizures (which in turn can cause the already listed issues).

Very few children come through cancer treatment without sequela (including the increased risk of cancer later on in life).

There are parallels with very prem babies. A common view is that as long as they survive, all is well. This is not the case. As with childhood cancer the reality is far more complex.

IME people are not interested in that. They just want the 'miracle' feel good stuff.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sat 08-Dec-12 21:36:50

The more I think about this, the more I think I'd probably have done the exact same thing as this mum did in her shoes. Whether it was done in a calm, calculated way taking the risks and benefits into account, or just the fear of what that treatment would do to my child, I honestly think I'd do the same thing. Whatever happens, I wish the boy well, and my thoughts are with his family.

GlitterySparklyBaublesOfDoom Sat 08-Dec-12 22:12:19

I'm sorry but where are you getting all this bullshit info from? My DS had a malignant brain tumour aged 8 and had 33 days of radiotherapy to his head after neurosurgery and the only problems he had were short term memory loss and forms of dyslexia and dyscalcula that he overcame in about 2 years.

He graduated from Uni last year and has absolutely normal cognitive funtions and has had from about a year after he stopped treatment. Unless you could see the scar down the back of his head you wouldn't have a fecking clue that he'd had a brain tumour or radiotherapy.

How many of you posting all this scary shite on this thread have actually had a DC who has had radiotherapy to the head and spine after a brain tumour and know what it means in reality?

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Dec-12 22:18:28

My dd died from cancer
I work with children post radio therapy.

I am glad you child got better.

GlitterySparklyBaublesOfDoom Sat 08-Dec-12 22:22:40

And you know what? We were warned that it was likely that his tumour could grow back and kill him without radiotherapy as they hadn't been able to remove it all. We opted for radiotherapy rather than risk that. And it worked. We're 17 years on and no more cancer. Shoot me now - we fried his brain. And like I believe any doctor ever said that!

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Sat 08-Dec-12 22:28:28

MrsDV x

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Dec-12 22:29:08

As I said.
I am really glad your child survived and he graduated uni.

My daughter made it to the first year in secondary.

I don't get why you are being so hostile towards me. No one is criticizing parents who chose to go ahead with radiotherapy or any other kind of treatment.

We are trying to explain the reasons why a parent might not want to go ahead.

But thanks for your bullshit comments and hostility. They have really topped my day off a treat.

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