Wed 23rd January – And so it begins.

Today Orla is having grommets replaced as the original ones she had inserted have both blocked when she had some infections through the winter months. She is having a permanent intravenous catheter inserted called a Hickman’s line. This will be used to deliver the chemotherapy she receives in the following weeks and for intravenous drugs, blood transfusions etc. that she may require. It saves the need for numerous intravenous lines. She is also having one of her ovaries removed for preservation as the chemo will more than likely make her infertile. If the chemo does make her infertile, because she will be having chemotherapy at such a young age, her ovaries will be impacted prior to her going through puberty etc. and thus she will need medication to induce these things that happen spontaneously in most of us. The gynaecologists offer some sort of fertility preservation to all children having chemotherapy and it depends on your age as to what they can offer.

3:54 pm

We are sitting in the parent’s retreat while Orla has her surgery. She is a very popular girl, the 3 surgical teams operating on her today all came to see her before her surgery as well as the metabolic doctors, haematologist and anaesthetists. Orla has absolutely no idea of all the fuss around her and was kicking and shouting on the cot while awaiting her surgery. She resisted the gas to put her to sleep quite a bit, it really isn’t much fun watching your own child anesthetized.

The gynaecologists were very happy with how things went and were able to remove one of Orla’s ovaries successfully; they have just seen us now. The general surgeon who helped the gynae team have also been out to see us, the Hickman catheter is now in too and her “outy” belly button has also been fixed as a bonus! Just awaiting the grommets now and that should be the easiest part so we are feeling somewhat relieved although a bit apprehensive how she will cope with the pain.