Rumer's Recovery - The beginning

29 January 2015

Around September last year Rumer started to get sick, and despite me taking her to 4 different doctors and also a naturopath, none of them picked up that Rumer had cancer. They all just kept telling me its probably a virus and prescribing antibiotics. Rumer would finish the antibiotics with no improvement so then I would go and seek out another doctor, who would prescribe different antibiotics and so on and so on. Rumer's father had visitation access to Rumer every Wednesday and Sunday afternoons but started to bring her back early, after only having her for an hour as he couldn't handle her when she was sick, and would accuse me of not looking after her properly and not feeding her organic food. Rumer was raised on organic food since the day she was born!
Rumer started to lose weight, and become quite pale. She often complained about a sore tummy and a sore back, and didn't want to walk anywhere anymore. She always wanted to be picked up and carried, and sometimes said her legs were sore. She cut right down on her food and started developing very high temperatures of which I was trying to control using Panadol, but in the end even the Panadol didn't seem to work anymore. In the mornings she would wake up in literally a puddle of sweat.
I co-sleep with my girls and Rumer would often wake up during the night complaining of a sore tummy. At 2am on Thursday the 19th December Rumer was particularly unwell, and had high temperatures of nearly 40 degrees. She had been given Panadol but her fever wasn't reducing and she was crying a lot, covered in sweat. So I called an ambulance and we went to the Cairns Base Hospital. Here they examined her tummy and said it felt as hard as a rock and they think she may have appendicitis or a twisted bowel. They then held her down screaming and took some blood samples from her arm. A few hours later a doctor came to tell me that her blood showed abnormalities and Rumer was really low on red blood cells. As soon as he told me this I instantly thought..... Oh shit, its cancer.... A few hours later they did an ultrasound and another doctor came in to tell me that they had found a large 11cm mass (tumour) in her tummy and were pretty sure it was cancer.
This was the worst day of my life and I collapsed onto the ground screaming NO NO NO don't say that its not true! The doctor said we're really sorry but you have to fly down to the hospital in Brisbane for treatment right away. By this time it was late in the afternoon and they tried to get us flights but were unable to at such short notice so told us we could go home to pack some clothes and that we were booked on the early morning flight at 5am. I couldn't even see as my eyes were so puffy from crying they had shut. I called my Mum and Rumer's father and told them. My Mum had to organize somewhere for my older daughter ROMANY to go, and had to organize people to look after my pets. Mum and Rumer's father bought plane tickets on the same flight for the next morning.
We arrived in Brisbane very early the next morning 20th December and got a taxi straight to the Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital in South Brisbane, where we were ushered into the Emergency Department for most of the day while several different nurses came and took many tests. Rumer was terrified of all the nurses and would scream and cry every time they came into the room. Finally we were ushered up into a room in Ward 10 and this is where we stayed for about a week. Rumer had to undergo many tests, biopsies and scans during that week. Finally at about 8pm on Christmas Eve our Doctor  came in to tell me that Rumer had what he expected her to have - an aggressive high risk cancerous Neuroblastoma which he thinks is a Stage 3 but will be treating as a Stage 4. I asked what kind of chance of survival she had and he said she should have about 50% chance. This was the second worst day of my life.

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