Health

8-year-old boy’s battle with bone cancer


peacefulHaving late-stage bone cancer, many rounds of chemotherapy and having to amputate a leg caused Dinh Trung Tien to suffer a lot of pain.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuy carried her son back to the motel room to rest, after the 10th round of chemotherapy at K Hospital (Hanoi). At this time, the baby is weak, vomiting a lot, almost can’t eat anything. Resting for a week, Tien continued the second surgery to cut the bone head.

“The series of difficult days never ends, the shock of amputation of the whole leg has not yet subsided, but now it continues on the operating table. I wish I could bear this pain on my behalf,” the mother said, June 27. .

In September 2021, Thuy took her child to a hospital near her home to be checked for pain and swelling in the instep but could not find the disease. In November, the doctors of Thai Binh Provincial General Hospital discovered that the baby had bone cancer and suggested that he be transferred to a higher-level hospital for treatment.

The day she learned that her child was ill, Thuy’s limbs were weak, her throat was tight. Compressed pain, she asked the doctor “is the disease severe”, “can it be cured”, even “how much time do you have left”. She blamed herself for not knowing whether her child was sick due to genes or eating. After nearly a year of treatment, the mother still has not accepted the fact that her child has a terminal illness.

“Looking at my child in pain, I feel like I’m breaking each part of my intestines, but I can only rub my hands, rub my feet, and then encourage my child to relieve the pain,” Thuy said.

Since Tien got sick, Thuy and her husband have been looking for ways to earn money to cover treatment costs. Truong, her husband, is a helper while Thuy works in the fields, sometimes picking up ticks, with a total income of three to five million per month. Currently, Mr. Truong has become the main source of income, but once suffered a mild stroke, the pain kept coming back, so he just worked diligently.

From the day her son got sick, Thuy spent all of her time taking care of her children, and the family economy relied on her husband. Image: Family provided

There are two types of bone cancer: osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma of the bone (rare). The main cause is due to genetic disorders related to cell division with mutated genes. Some other causes include ionizing radiation during radiation therapy, trauma…

In the early stages, bone cancer has no symptoms or is not obvious. At a later stage, the disease has symptoms of pain, swelling, lumps, bone dysfunction, fractures, body weakness… In which, the most prominent symptom of bone cancer is pain. Patients in the final stage often have problems such as fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea… Besides, when the tumor metastasizes to other parts, such as the lungs, it will cause a condition. persistent cough, shortness of breath, pleural effusion. Tumor metastasis to the liver causes jaundice, yellow eyes, enlarged liver, dark urine.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Thuy, Department of Internal Medicine, K Hospital, said that Tien’s disease is in a severe stage and is undergoing chemotherapy. Currently, the baby has received 10 transfusions, the total duration of treatment is 29 weeks.

At first, Tien was not aware of the disease, only asked “why my leg hurts and I can’t walk”. After each infusion, I had a high fever, lethargy, and had a convulsion once.

In April, the tumor was deeply ingrained, the doctor prescribed a leg amputation surgery. This is the most crisis period for Thuy’s family because the surgery took place at the time when the Covid epidemic broke out. She was both worried about her child’s illness, and feared that her child would get sick and endanger her life. The day I entered the operating room, she was almost exhausted, and Tien cried and asked: “After this operation, can you go home?”.

After surgery, Tien was exhausted, almost lying in bed. Seeing that he was not healthy, the boy was shocked, he did not stop crying, his body was motionless and he lost feeling. To facilitate commuting, the mother and daughter rented an inn near the hospital. The room is less than 12 m2, just enough to put the bed, now it becomes large because Tien only lies in one place, all activities rely on his mother. In order for her child not to be depressed, Thuy repeatedly hid her illness from the boy.

Currently, Tien weighs only 15-17 kg, thin, blue skin. After each chemotherapy, her health was weaker, the treatment process was interrupted by Covid, which also affected her recovery. The family debt is increasing, the treatment alone is more than 200 million. Fortunately, Tien is a smart and understanding baby, so he encouraged his mother many times: “In the future, I will be healthy, I will earn money to support my mother, not get married”.

With tears in her eyes, Ms. Thuy said her biggest dream is to wish her child to be healthy again, “to live like normal people, not to be tangled up in pain like now”.

With the goal of igniting the faith of children with cancer, the Hope Foundation cooperates with the Mr. Sun program to launch the Sun of Hope program. One more community’s cooperation is another ray of light sent to the future generations of the country.

Readers can view information about the program here.

Minh An

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