End of treatment

Yesterday evening, Isita, Jamie, Marta and I went for a pizza at the Westfield shopping centre, at Isita’s special request, to celebrate – yes – the end of her treatment. Yes! The. End. Of. Her. Treatment. The end of her treatment! Yes, yes, yes! Two years and ten days after the kind doctors at St Mary’s Paddington invited us to sit down in the little room and ensured a box of tissues was on hand and explained that Isita had a neuroblastoma and what it was, the cancer treatment is finished. Finished, finished, finished, finished, finished. Isita received her final dose of radiotherapy yesterday morning. Providing there is no relapse, no more treatment is planned or necessary.

The radiotherapy was extraordinary to see. 14 times, Isita lay completely alone, still as a statue on a hi-tech bed as this vast machine revolved around her like an outsized robotic hand. We and the nurses had to watch her on a screen. Although the experience seemed quite forbidding, she gave every appearance of actually enjoying it – the challenge, the drama, the attention. Lordy, what on earth is she going to do when she grows up?

She still has to go through the end of treatment tests, and for the next few years there will be tests every three months. Pray God it doesn’t come back. We honestly believe it will not, but have to hold back a little bit of something in reserve so that if it does we can deal with it. We also have to get her eating properly and off the TPN intravenous fluids (target – second week in February). We have to get her lines out (target – Easter beach holiday when she will be allowed in the water). We have to deal with what may be long term damage to her kidneys (she still loses a lot of vital salts which means we have to give her supplements). But putting all that aside, our family has reached a point that for a long time Marta and I feared might be beyond us. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our friends. Thank you.