Surgery re-planned and delayed, with potential for greater costs so fundraising target increased

Apologies, you haven’t heard from us for the last few days, it’s been a stressful and busy time with quite a few new developments. Sloan-Kettering had a meeting last Tuesday to review Sophie’s latest CT scan and discuss the plan for her operation. It got to Thursday and we hadn’t heard anything from the hospital and so we started to get a feeling that something wasn’t quite right. When we called the hospital our feelings were confirmed as we were told that we shouldn’t book our flights as the surgery team had some questions about some of Sophie’s tumours! This, of course, made us panic and we had a tense 24 hours whilst we were waiting to speak to the surgeon. After reviewing the latest CT scans the surgery team want more time to plan this very complicated operation, and may approach it differently (more below), and so the date has been pushed back to 9th August. This of course has further implications as Sophie finished her last cycle of chemotherapy at the end of June and can’t go for 6 weeks with no treatment as we have learnt from bitter experience that her cancer is very aggressive and likely to spread. Sophie therefore started her 11th cycle of chemotherapy on Monday. This cycle will last until Monday and will be followed by at least 10 days of GCSF. It will however be a bit touch and go as to whether her blood counts recover enough for the surgery so we’ll be keeping a close eye on her.

The surgical team are now discussing the possibility of approaching the surgery as two operations two weeks apart rather than one, so they work on each lung separately rather than at the same time. Their motivation is that it’s safer to approach the surgery this way as it does not involve breaking the breastbone, and it should be far less painful for Sophie during her recovery. Adding to our stress, if they approach the operation this way it may incur additional costs. We hope to get confirmation on any additional costs over the next 48 hours, but based on the information Sloan Kettering have given us so far we believe it could be another £100,000! Mike, the founder of Kids ‘n’ Cancer, reminded us last week that Sophie’s battle is far from over and she might still need access to addition funds if the horrible situation arises that she needs to spend a prolonged period in intensive care or come home by air ambulance (at a cost of ~£50,000) or if she needs further treatment in the US. We didn’t however expect to be in this situation so soon.

In light of this latest news for Sophie’s case we have to increase our fundraising target to cater for the worst case scenario of additional surgery and an air ambulance, and ask you all to spread the word again to ask for more donations to complement the events we’ve been running for the last month. We have decided to increase the target on Just Giving to £350,000 in the hope that this is enough to cover all eventualities and will adjust it up or down as we receive more concrete information from Sloan-Kettering. As before, any money raised that Sophie doesn’t need will be managed by Kids ‘n’ Cancer to help other children in similar situations. You’ve done so much already and it really is hard for us having to continue to ask for help, but anything you can do for us to help our desperate situation will make a big difference.

Sophie is well within herself at the moment although she is feeling the effects of the chemotherapy as she is feeling sick with a bit of diarrhoea. We were looking forward to having some time this week away from hospital to have some fun but it’s not to be. We’ll have to look forward to lots of parties after the operation and chemotherapy.

Ruth and Andrew

6 thoughts on “Surgery re-planned and delayed, with potential for greater costs so fundraising target increased

  1. Our thoughts are with you all and we will keep up the fundraising campaign over the coming weeks.

    All our love to you all xx

    • Hi, unfortunately lung transplants are not an option for cancer patients as the immunosuppressant drugs required to stop the body rejecting the new organs actually stimulate cancer cell growth and hence likely to cause the cancer to spread before the old lungs are removed. Also, each lung would typically be handled seperately, exacerbating the problem. Xx

  2. Please can you give us your address so we can drop off some money raised by Hart Childminding Assoc. by childminders in Fleet & Church Crookham.

    Many thanks,

    Lorna Owen
    Chair of HCMA

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