In the beginning.... - sandie uphill

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In the beginning....

Reyanna's Story

Reyanna was born on 1st May 1994 to Marie and Michael.  She has an older sister called Demie.

At the beginning of 1999 Reyanna, my granddaughter, started to complain that her back hurt and she was having difficulty walking. She was admitted to our local hospital where numerous tests were carried out - mainly for an arthritic condition - which we thought would be the most likely diagnosis. These tests proved negative and then we were told that it was possibly TB.

In February she was transferred to Great Ormond Street hospital for further tests. After many x-rays, scans and blood tests had been carried out our worst fears were confirmed when we were given an appointment with an oncologist. Reyanna was diagnosed as having Neuroblastoma and the prognosis wasn't good.  Neuroblastoma has four major stages, the most serious being stage 4, the type Reyanna has.  This means that cells from the primary tumour in her abdomen have spread and x-rays show that it is in her bones and bone marrow. We were told that she would need seven sessions of chemotherapy to shrink the tumour in her abdomen before having an operation to remove it.

To adminsister the chemo Reyanna has had a Hickman line fitted into her chest and through this she can be given all her medication.

Reyanna lost her hair quite early in her treatment and although she was upset at first it now doesn't bother her.

After her third dose of chemotherapy she contracted an infection in her 'line'. She had to go to our local hospital for 3 - 4 hours every evening for 12 days but even with the large doses of antibiotics she was given the infection didn't clear and the 'line' had to be removed. When the infection was finally cleared another 'line' was inserted into the jugular vein.

One of the major problems for Reyanna is her low blood count. This makes her prone to infections and she frequently needs blood transfusions.

In spite of all this Reyanna has remained a cheerful and loving little girl who rarely complains about the vast changes this illness has made to her life.

She is an avid Spice Girls fan and her and Demie love to sing along to their songs.

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