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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Dear Friend's DS with suspected cancerous tumour - advice and support please.

(13 Posts)
joshhollowayspieceofass Mon 22-Sep-08 10:41:58

I'm posting in the hope that there may be someone out there who can shed any light on this terrifying situation. My dear friend's DS, 8 months, has had a lump on his back which GP assumed was just fatty tissue, but they were advised to take him for an MRI scan because of it's size. They now know it is definitly a tumour, and are awaiting biopsy results. They have been told to prepare themselves for the fact that it may be cancer.

What on earth can they expect from hereonin if this worst case scenario turns out to be true? I feel sick to my stomach. We are all in a state of shock. How would they attempt to treat such a tiny child? sad sad sad

masalachameleon Mon 22-Sep-08 10:49:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Febes Mon 22-Sep-08 10:51:09

How awful for your friend and you. sad Childhood cancers have very high survivial rates around 80%. Children also cope well with treatment and being in hospital- much better than adults. Does he have siblings?If it is cancer the family will need a lot of support as one parent will stay in hospital with the little one. Doctors are amazing and can do incredible things and babies/ children are so strong much more than we give them credit for.
I have volunteered with Camp Quality and Canteen for many years which are child cancer charities. Also my cousin fought brain tumours for 11 years from age 5-16 before he died. Survival rates are getting better and better.
Good luck.

joshhollowayspieceofass Mon 22-Sep-08 10:58:24

No, he's their only child. So little. Good to hear those survival rates. I just hope they don't have to wait too long to get the results.

kaylasmum Mon 22-Sep-08 12:38:31

Hi, so sorry to hear about your friends ds. I'm actually going through something very similar at the moment with my ds. I found a small lump on my sons back 3 months ago and he was referred to the paediatrician who did x-rays, which were ok and this morning after 8 weeks of waiting we had an ultrasound done. The doctor says she does'nt think its serious but she'd have to write her report for the consultant. This had been a terrifying time so i can completely understand what your friend is going through. How long has her ds had the lump for and how large is it? I hope so much that it turns out to be benign.

joshhollowayspieceofass Mon 22-Sep-08 13:21:25

Hi Kaylasmum - he's had the lump for about 6 weeks (or at least that's when she first noticed it). They have just found out that it is malignant.

I have decided the only way forward and the most sensible one is to assume he'll make a complete recovery. What else can you do?

Sunshine78 Mon 22-Sep-08 13:37:56

My dd was v ill last year and at one point lukemia was suspected. She has spent some time on a childrens cancer ward - they try to make these places as friendly and happy as they can be. Also children are very well looked after. When I was in hospital with her I needed all the friends I could get so just be there for her as much as you can - a short visit from you if she's stuck in the hospital will mean so much as believe you me it can get very boring and lonely in these places. Also so she doesn't have to keep repeating everything to everyone I just let one person know what was happening each day and they relayed it to others.

I know its hard for you as there isn't much anyone can do but just knowing people are there and care will mean so much to her.

Charlee Mon 22-Sep-08 13:46:01

Oh gosh how sad, childhood illness always seems so much harsher than adult illness somehow, I have a DS with CF which i know is nothing like Cancer in anyway but you would be suprised just how well children cope with medical things my ds has overcome 10x more than i belive i could have, childrencs cancer survival rates are getting higher all the time, i hope your friends DS has a full recovery.

All you can do is be honest with your friend and let her tell you honestly what she would like/ not like you to do, sometimes it will be nothing and sometimes she may need you alot.

I will be thinking of the little lad. x

herbietea Mon 22-Sep-08 13:49:21

Message withdrawn

kaylasmum Mon 22-Sep-08 13:53:45

I'm so sorry to hear the news, how awful for his parents.

I hope things turn out ok.

hsanders Wed 01-Oct-08 01:39:11

Hi joshhollowayspieceofass.

Hope your friend and her DS are coping okay, and als hope you are too as you're obviously going to take some of this stress and worry on being her friend.

As other shave said, childhood cancers are highly treatable these days and things which would have been fatal 10-20 years ago seem to have 80% or better rate of cure / survival (which means at 5 years after end of treatment, the child has survived after the initial treatment).

Children do very well regardless and almost despite of what is going on around them. It sounds really trite to say that at least yr friend's DS is so young - things like taking blood pressure, temperature etc may / tend to be easier than in an older child. My DS is 3 and has cancer with a 50% cure and the first battle was getting him used to having his blood pressure done which can be quite scary for a little boy who feels fine, but whose mummy and daddy have just been told he only has a 50% chance of making his 9th birthday.

Your friend will be referred / introduced to CLIC Sargent who are an awesome charity which help children with cancer and their families.

There's a great book which Macmillan produce entitled What Can I Do to Help? http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Can-Help-Practical-Frontline/dp/1904977391/ref=sr12?ie=UTF8&s=books&q id=1222821096&sr=8-2

Your friend may not know what she needs help with, but from my experience, a cooked homemade dinner which can be put into the freezer is a fantastic thing to do.

One other crucial thing which may help you feel like you're helping your friend and her DS is that from my experience, I could not talk and did not have the energy to speak with every well wisher about my DS and his diagnosis and treatment (and I still can't!) So I kind of nominated little groups where I spoke / texted / emailed one or two people, who then communicated updates to everyone else.

I could go on but two more ways for you to help (when you feel the time is right), offer to drive her to the hospital on the days her DS has day appointments - parking at hospitals is not only expensive but on rainy days like today, it's impossible to find spaces and that adds to the already significant levels of stress and anxiety.

Finally, hug her...alot. She may find some friends and family disappear off the radar - not because they don't care but because they don't know what to say or do, and so it's easier not to do anything at all.

Your friend will meet other parents whose world's have also fallen apart due to their DCs cancer diagnosis and she may find some comfort in their strength.

You obviously care for your dear friend alot..enough to post and ask for fellow MNers for help. And I wish both you and her family well in the coming months and years.

twentyoneagain Wed 01-Oct-08 10:11:12

Josh - I am so sorry to hear about your friend's ds. You are obviously a very caring person and I am sure you will be a tower of strength to your friend and her family in the coming months.

Hsanders I am so sorry too for what you are going through. As a parent there is not much worse than when your child is sick. You cope because you have to, but where the strength comes from is a mystery sometimes.

Sending you both ((((((hugs)))))).

hsanders Wed 01-Oct-08 15:20:32

Thanks twentyoneagain - hug coming straight back at you, and every one else (((((group hug)))))))
You know what...we hear so much cr*p and bad news on the TV and in the papers, but here on MN and out there in the real world, people just care about each other but this never makes the news does it? MN is a prime example of good stuff going on and really helps me get through from one day to the next, and if I can help anyone else along the way, then I will do so.
The blog about my DS's cancer, diagnosis and treatment is at http://leosteam.blogspot.com if you're interested.
Thanks again

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