Onni is our eldest child, he was born in late 2009. Our second son was born in late 2011. We were living an ordinary family life; while the nurse mom and policeman dad were at work, the boys were at daycare. On Palm Sunday 2014, mom mentioned in passing that she had seen something reflective in Onni’s eye; when one passed Onni in dim light, his eye was glimmering like a cat’s eye. The reflection was, however, so quick that once one tried to check it more specifically, it was nowhere to be seen. When dad agreed with mom that he also had noticed something similar, mom became very worried that it was something serious.
We were able to get an appointment to the eye doctor after a couple of days and after different kinds of speculation for the diagnosis we were first sent to the eye specialist at the family doctor, and then to Helsinki for the further examination. In Helsinki, the diagnosis was finally confirmed: Onni had a retinoblastoma, a cancer in his eye’s retina. The news was crushing, although mom had already had a strong suspicion of it.
A week after the diagnosis, we went to the Kuopio University Hospital where they examined Onni whether the cancer had spread. Luckily, there were no signs that the disease had spread any further from the eye. On the April 30th 2014, Onni started his cytostatic treatment. The tumor had reached such a size that there was only a small chance that the eye could have been saved but it was likely that after a couple of treatments, the eye would need to be removed.
The cytostatic treatment worked well and every four weeks the situation was checked in Helsinki in an examination in which Onni was anesthesized. During the summer, the doctor already mentioned that it was possible that they were able to save the eye. Therefore, the treatment was continued longer than what was planned in the beginning. Overall, they gave cytostatic eight times, the last ones were given in November 10th and 11th 2014. With these treatments, the cancer has diminished so much that on November 17th 2014 the doctors started injecting methotrexate cytostatic into his eye. Onni has now received these injections, always under anesthesia, twice a week in Helsinki. Slowly, the injections will be given less frequently, but the plan is that this treatment will last for a year and they can combine it with other treatments that are given specifically to the eye.
Since the first cytostatic treatment, our family has lived an isolated life so that Onni would not get any bugs. Throughout the whole sickness, Onni has been optimistic and positive: he has bravely gone to the treatments even though he has had endure many unpleasent things. His little brother has been a great supporter for Onni and he has joined to many trips to the hospital. At the moment, the removal of the eye is not anymore urgent, although it is not completely out of the question. We go one day at a time and we believe that we can have a healthy and happy life for Onni.