In the spring of 2011 the father noticed something odd in his son’s stomach. Harri had just turned two. A perky nurse referred us to Kemi for an examination. It wasn’t a hernia so we got an urgent referral to Oulu.
At OYS (Oulu University Hospital) the little man was examined from head to toe and a biopsy was taken from his stomach. This period and the uncertainty were the hardest to deal with. Normal, happy childhood and day to day life were a thing of the past.
The diagnosis came back as an aggressive desmoid fibromatosis which is a very rare type of tumour. Harri underwent an operation just as summer was about to begin. The operation went well and everything that had shown up in the scans was successfully removed.
The recovery was remarkably fast. We had checkups every three months. Soon new growths were discovered, again in the abdomen, after which we began a year long course of chemotherapy.
For the duration of that year, the growths didn’t reoccur, but in the first checkup scan something showed up again. This time it was in the groin where it cannot be operated on as it is.
We have tried three different treatment plans with courses of chemotherapy to minimise the lump and the treatments are still ongoing. The brave patient is now attending preschool from home with the help of Skype as the risk of infection is still high. He’s missing the company of his friends.
He his full of positivity and together we are enjoying the little things. Once Harri asked: “Mum, why is my life like this?”
Hopefully the future will bring with it the hope of a permanent cure.