Sunday, 31 December 2017

I Am Ryan

I Am Ryan, Yearly roundup interview. www.bellybuttonpanda.co.uk


I Am

Some of you may remember back in November 2016 we published a post called I Am which was a mini-interview with Ryan that gave an insight into his autistic mind. To end this year rather than doing a round-up post we wanted something a little more light-hearted as our recent posts have been anything but. So here goes. Grab a quite break and enjoy...

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Questions to ask after Cancer diagnosis

Questions to ask after receiving a cancer diagnosis


Cancer Sucks

For over a year I have shared with you Ryan's lymphoma journey we talked about the ups, the downs, the protocols for drugs, the side effects, but I realised recently I've never shared the questions. This post is all about what to ask when you receive a diagnosis of cancer.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Ryan’s Relapse - Biopsy #2

Oral Mass, Lymphoma relapse and biposy #2, bellybuttonpanda.co.uk

Oral Mass

Ryan awoke on Monday 11th September and told me he had an ulcer. As soon as he showed me I knew it was not an ulcer, I knew his lymphoma is back. We had an appointment with his oncologist at clinic the following day. The consultant agreed it needed a biopsy. He photographed and emailed our oncology team in Cardiff from the treatment room in Carmarthen hospital. Dr A also advised me that my dentist see the oral mass as it was my dentist that noticed the original changes last year.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Missing Education due to Illness

Missing Education Due to Illness, bellybuttonpanda.co.uk

The Importance of Attendance

If you read any news articles on education, correspondence from your child’s school, or are simply clued up on parenting then you will know the importance of attendance. Schools place a great deal of focus on targets and will often offer incentives and competitions to encourage and increase attendance figures, but what if your child has a serious illness. What happens if they really are not well enough to attend school. What happens then?

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Three Months Cancer Free


Cancer Free

Yesterday 5th August 2017 we hit a new milestone. Three months post chemo and cancer free. I can't believe the progress Ryan has made, it has astounded even me. The doctors are impressed and I'm impressed. His hair is growing back beautifully. It just looks like a really short crew cut now. He has put on a wonderful amount of weight that puts him now absolutely on the typical average scale for his height and age. He also no longer has Adrenal Insufficiency either which surprised even the doctors that he recovered so quickly.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Chemotherapy Cycle 6: End of treatment.

SMILE Chemotherapy Cycle: End of Cancer Treatment


End of treatment.


I genuinely didn't think we would get this point. The last two years and eight months have been a blur of stress. Yet coming to the end of treatment coincides perfectly with Cancer Survivors Day on June 4th so what better way to mark this day than with our own survivor story.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Adrenal Insufficiency



As a result of the steroid chemotherapy that Ryan has been on for his Lymphoma treatment, he has developed Adrenal Insufficiency. This is hopefully a temporary condition that will improve once chemotherapy treatment has finished, however, only time will tell.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Cycle 5

With this being our penultimate cycle I have had several family and friends comment to me “oh I bet you can't wait to get back to normal”. This has really thrown and upset me because it seems to come across that they have failed to comprehend the fact that we have 2-3 years of maintenance ahead, at least 2 more general anesthetic surgeries. Not to mention physiotherapy as it is expected Ryan will take 12+ months to heal from the effects of being poisoned from the inside out. Normal is long way off yet.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Febrile Neutropenia


Medicine, vial, chemo, bottles



Ryan completed chemotherapy cycle 4 of 6 in March. We were discharged and managed a week at home before he was unfortunately admitted to Carmarthen hospital with febrile neutropenia. This is a whole body reaction to an infection when there is a low immunity due to chemotherapy. His temperature reached 40.1C and his lymphocyte white blood cell count was 0.2. When the count falls below 1, this is called neutropenia and infections become a high risk.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Cycle 4

Epstein-Barr Virus Lymphoma



Ryan's lymphoma is being driven by the Epstein-Barr Virus which causes glandular fever. The EBV invaded his T-cells whilst he had Glandular Fever and turned them cancerous causing dysplastic lymph cells to grow in his throat resulting in a soft tissue tumour forming.