Merryn’s journey as she fights Neuroblastoma.
At the end of July 2013 we were away in London for a few days visiting friends. Merryn just wasn’t herself. She was unusually tired and was complaining of a sore tummy from time to time. When we got back to Dublin we went to our GP on the Friday before the August bank holiday weekend. Little did we know that morning that we would end up in A&E Temple Street and then eventually transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin at 2am on Saturday morning.
On the Saturday morning we met with an oncology consultant. She told us that there was a lump on Merryn’s right kidney. As it was the weekend there were no CT Scans being done, so we had to wait until the Tuesday. The results of the scan were to present us with the most horrible news. Merryn had Neuroblastoma – an aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system. What? We cried as our little girl played with an iphone that the family we were sharing the room with had lent her. We looked into the room; this gorgeous curly blonde haired little girl was oblivious to what was going on. Our world had come crashing down around us and our lives would now never ever be the same again. Further tests were done that week to determine the stage. It was stage 4, which translates to High Risk Neuroblastoma. It seemed to be one blow after another. Our little girl was beginning a fight for her life.
A couple of months on, having come through 8 rounds of treatment so far, we have dusted ourselves down, rolled up our sleeves and we’re going to help our little princess fight this horrible disease in any which way we can. She is currently undergoing front line treatment under the incredible team in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, which will last approx 18 months, where we hope at the end of it we’ll get our little girl back. But it’l not end there…with Neuroblastoma there is a high possibility of relapse and with treatment options in Ireland for cases of relapse being very limited, parents are faced with the huge costs of seeking treatment further afield in Europe or USA. With this in mind an appeal has been established to try and raise funds so that we can support Merryn through her greatest challenge, knowing that no matter what the next hurdle is that we can give her every chance of beating this disease.
Merryn is like most other 4 year old girls. She plays with her dolls, likes dressing up as a princess, dancing to music and will most likely be wearing something pink… and she always seems to be creating – painting, colouring, drawing or making stuff. She gets excited about school and learning. She just adores life! And has the most infectious giggle. But unlike most other 4 year olds, Merryn has one almighty battle to face. She knows she has a lump on her kidney and will ask questions and listen intently when doctors or nurses are talking to us. How do you explain these things to someone so young? Although it’s unfair and we’ve been angry, we know that we owe it to Merryn to give this battle everything we’ve got.
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