Tuesday, May 18, 2004

last 3 weeks

Ethan has been going through a bit lately. Here's a summary...

Mon 3/5/04 - We visited Monash Medical Centre to have follow up scans on Ethan's kidneys. (He was diagnosed with kidney reflux at about 9 months of age while an inpatient at Royal Childrens Hospital). These scans (ultrasound, DTPA and DMSA) were to check to see if there was any scarring caused by the reflux. During the ultrasound a lump was found in the left kidney. Ethan's peadiatrician quickly organised further tests.

Wed 5/5/04 Ethan had a CT scan under General Anaesthetic. This was to determine the nature of the lump. That afternoon, post CT scan, the childrens oncologist told us that the lump was very likely a tumor (probably a wilms tumor) and would have to be removed (probably the whole kidney) and he would need 10 weeks of chemotherapy. Pretty bad news.

Fri 7/5/04 Admission at Monash today was to have pre operation blood and urine tests. Bloody long day in hospital waiting for a doctor to tell us more about what was going to happen. The surgical registrar (who had looked at the CT results) told us that he thought it was unlikely to be a tumor. He said it didn't appear to be vascular. Jo and I were feeling pretty good about things at this stage but pissed off we had been told he probably had a tumor.

Thu 13/5/04 We were asked to come in for admission again. On arrival no one knew why we were there. Ethan had been fasting in case a procedure was done. By lunch we were told Ethan can now eat and we were to have a meeting with the surgeon at 2pm. At the informal meeting on the ward, we met Ethan's surgeon who told us it was some type of vascular tumor! Talk about differing opinions, but we certainly believed what we were hearing. The surgeon then filled us in on a plan to do a biopsy on the lump so that they knew exactly what it was and how to treat it.

Fri 14/5/04 Today we came in for Ethan to have a CT guided biopsy. Ethan had another GA and with the help of the CT a needle was inserted through his lower back to take a sample of the lump. The biopsy was needed to confirm the exact nature of the tumor so the right decision regarding surgery and treatment could be made. We had to wait until monday to find out what the lump truly was.

Mon 17/5/04 After thinking during the day "hopefully they can just take the lump, not the kidney" we visited the surgeon's rooms in Malvern. There we were told the lump was not a wilms tumor, but a rarer type, seen in melbourne once every few years. A wilms tumor would be preferable to this one as the prognosis is better. The Surgeon also confirmed that he couldn't take just the lump, but had to remove the whole kidney. This is to reduce the chance of cancer cells being left behind. He mentioned that Ethan may not have to have chemo as taking the kidney in one go could avoid the need. The final results of the biopsy would be known the next day.

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