There are two ways that Isita’s treatment might progress over the coming weeks. If the platelet level in her blood stabilises within the next fortnight, her consultant Giuseppe will put in a request for surgery. If her platelets are still too low and the surgeon won’t do the operation, Giuseppe will consider going straight on with immunotherapy.
The excellent news we got last week does not mean we can afford to give up on treatment. Children who have most of their tumours removed do much better, on average, than those who don’t. The doctors will operate as soon as it is safe to do so.
Immunotherapy normally comes right at the end to treat any remaining microscopic disease. However, it can be effective against primary tumours. Incidentally, the MRI from a couple of weeks ago showed that Isita’s main tumour shrank slightly, a welcome outcome that was not expected. We thought a lot of it would die, but its volume wouldn’t change much.
While we wait, we are focused on getting Isita’s digestive system working again. Both Marta and I feel she is more comfortable and more cheerful than she has been for a while. We hope this is a sign her gut might be tolerating the tiny drips of formula we are giving her.
On Friday, she will have a colonoscopy and endoscopy with biopsies to investigate further what is happening to her insides. This could lead to a change in diagnosis and the introduction of different treatments. At the same time, she is being slowly weaned off intravenous pain relief, and doing regular physiotherapy. The possibility of being home for Christmas has crept back on to the agenda, although obviously not if Isita has an operation.