Little big hero!
Michal is now one and a half years old. He is a lovely, smiling and intelligent boy. Like every child at his age, he is cheerful and smart, and his curiosity of the world does not let him sit still for more than a few seconds. When Michal was 5 months, during a standard kidney ultrasound exam, necessary because of a history of postnatal urinary tract infection, the doctor observed a tumor in the area of his left kidney. We heard then that most probably it was cancerous. When heading for the Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology in Cracow, we still could not believe what was happening. It could not be possible that our little precious could have cancer … but the doctor`s verdict was clear. Suspicion – MALIGNANT TUMOR- Neuroblastoma. After the exams, which lasted about 5 weeks, the suspicions were confirmed and Michal was qualified for surgical removal of the tumor (December 2011). The exams showed that the tumor was located in one place, and that is why, after its removal, the doctor decided to stop the treatment at this stage without applying chemotherapy. It was because in a low risk group to which Michal was classified, the likelihood of recurrence of the disease was very low. We were very happy that Michal would not have to undergo the serious treatment, that the disease would be over with the excision of the tumor, that we reacted quickly enough and there would be only periodic check-ups ahead of us. We did it every month and they only confirmed that all was in order.
Everything changed in July 2012 (more than six months after the operation), when a seemingly harmless, tiny bruise showed under Michal`s eye. After a few weeks the bruise was still on Michal`s face, which alarmed us, and our pediatrician recommended a consultation with an ophthalmologist. The eye examination turned out fine, but due to oncologic history, the doctor prescribed a CT scan of the head. The results were clear – RELAPSE OF THE DISEASE – tumor in the eyehole, and furthermore, the cancer spread also tp the lymph nodes. This time Michal was classified to the highest risk group in which children have only 30 – 40% chance of long-term survival. In one moment all the fear for our son`s health and life came back. For the second time we ended up in the Department of Hematology and Oncology in the University Children’s Hospital in Crakow. The doctors quickly began to fight with the disease using the most aggressive cancer treatment. The treatment is still ongoing, and each day our brave Michal consoles us with his beautiful contagious smile, as if he wants to say “everything will be fine” for sure. Recently one year has passed since the day when we learned about this serious illness, and from its recurrence, our life looks completely different. The hospital is our “second home” and the doctors and the staff are like family. And our little hero? He has stronger and weaker days, but he is always happy and does not show that he is fighting with a terrible disease. As if he knew that it is what all his family needs – the belief that every day we are getting closer and closer to him being healthy. He has gone through 8 cycles of strong chemotherapy, which he has endured very, very bravely. At the end of December we have control checkups, which will show how the cancer responded to the treatment. If it brings good results, in February 2013 Michal is going to undergo one of the hardest stages of treatment – the one we are afraid of the most – high dose chemotherapy (called mega chemotherapy) and the bone marrow autotransplantation followed by radiotherapy.
Unfortunately, these are the last treatment options for Michal in Poland. The further fight, increasing the chances of his survival by 20%, is the antibody treatment in Germany, which unfortunately is not refunded by the Polish Health System. Therefore, this stage of the treatment depends on whether we can collect the money needed – about 147,000 Euro. For us – parents, this sum of money is unreachable, and that is why we are asking you for help. Help us win this unequal fight, help us win our little son`s life. We strongly believe and we hope that it all makes sense, and with the help of good people and God’s providence Michal shall recover…