‘My girl’s meningitis was diagnosed as ear infection’

A charity warns the NHS must be more vigilant over deadly meningitis and sepsis cases.
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Siblings, Ages 4 and 6, Diagnosed with Brain Tumors Just 2 Weeks Apart: ‘We Broke Down in Tears’

Two young siblings from Southern California were diagnosed with brain cancer just two weeks apart from each other, and now face a long road of aggressive treatment to keep the tumors at bay.

At the end of May, 6-year-old Kalea Avery experienced worsening headaches that prompted her parents to take her to a neurologist just after the Memorial Day weekendAfter performing an MRI, doctors found a tumor —  measuring 3.5 centimeters in diameter — forming near the stem of the young girl’s brain, reports the Daily Breeze, and Kalea soon underwent a four-hour surgery to remove the mass on June 11.

“We go from having a healthy baby girl who’s a skateboarder and a soccer player, who’s just loving life, to having a tumor removed from her brain,” Kalea’s father, Duncan Avery, told the Los Angeles Times.

Doctors soon discovered the mass was cancerous and diagnosed Kalea with medulloblastoma, a fast-growing cancer that forms at the base of the skull which can spread to the spinal cord and other parts of the body. Because medulloblastoma tumors grow in the area of the brain that controls complex motor and cognitive functions, patients typically display trouble with movement and balance.

RELATED VIDEO: Grieving Dad Shares Photo of Son, 6, Comforting 4-Year-Old Sister Before Her Death

The family was able to quickly get started on Kalea’s treatment, but their nightmare was far from over. Two weeks after Kalea’s diagnosis, Duncan and his wife, Nohea, noticed that 4-year-old Noah had begun taking longer-than-usual naps. They initially figured their son was depressed about his sister’s situation until he complained of headaches in the area between his eyebrows — the same spot his sister pointed to just weeks earlier. Then, the family told the TimesNoah began to lean as he walked.

Scans on June 21 revealed that Noah had a mass in the same spot as his sister, and doctors removed the tumor four days later. While tests are pending, they believe the tumor is medulloblastoma as well.

“We broke down in tears,” Duncan, a 36-year-old coach at Redondo Beach Union High School, told the Times. “How could two kids in 14 days have the exact same tumor? How does that happen?”

For the parents, the reality that both of their children had such a serious form of cancer, at the same time nonetheless, was devastating.

“My heart literally felt like it was broke apart,” Nohea, a nurse practitioner, told CBS Los Angeles. “It was being pulled out of my chest.”

RELATEDMan With Terminal Cancer Dies Just Days After Watching Daughter’s Wedding From His Hospital Bed

A GoFundMe page to help the family with their medical expenses has raised more than $ 117,000 of its $ 150,000 goal in just four days thanks to more than 1,300 donors.

Noah and Kalea will soon start radiation and possibly chemotherapy. Fortunately, with aggressive treatment, most children can fight off medulloblastoma long enough to the point where it won’t return, according to UCSF. Both siblings will also enter physical, occupational and speech therapy to help in their recovery.

“I don’t know how I’m going to get through this, but you do. You find a way,” Nohea told KTLA. “You look at your children, you hold them and you just find a way.”


PEOPLE.com

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Writer AA Gill diagnosed with ‘the full English’ of cancer

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5 Things Everyone Should Know When First Diagnosed With Cancer

1. Do not read the Internet
There are many reasons I highly recommend not going to the Internet for answers, but the biggest one is that everybody’s experience with cancer is different. You will probably type on Google: “What is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma” and more than a million hits will appear. Eventually you will end up on a blog where someone tells you that the cancer you have is caused by something you did or didn’t do, is curable by doing something you’ve never heard of, or worse yet, told something so dire, it only serves to increase the sense of dread you are already feeling.

2. Ask questions
This is a far better solution than the Internet. When you have your first appointment with your doctor, ask him/her anything. If your doctor seems in a rush or doesn’t have time to answer your questions, then that is a good indication that maybe you need to get a new doctor. When first diagnosed, we (as cancer patients), are scared, vulnerable and often isolated. Our doctor is there to not only guide us, but our loved ones as well.

Have a list of questions. Have a family member or friend with you. Tape record the conversation. Anxiety will be high. It’s difficult to remember information when feeling anxious. Ask them anything because in most situations they will be more informative than the Internet, and should also be more reassuring. Your question could be as simple as “When do I start treatment?” Or as complicated as, “When should I start banking my sperm?”

3. Understand that there are no short-term solutions
As much as cancer sucks, you will not be better by tomorrow. Take a deep breath and try to take each day one step at time. Sounds cliché, but in reality that is the only way you will get through the hardest days. Giving yourself a goal (like getting back to work/school) is great, seeing that goal through is even better. Cancer is a diagnoses, not an identity conclusion. It is what you are battling, not who you are. Take a WIDE angle view of your life. It may be cancer for now, but it is not the story of your life, so don’t let cancer define you.

4. Enjoy the days when you feel good
Not every day is going to suck as a cancer patient. Yes, most will, but if you have chemo once every three weeks, most likely that second week you will start to feel more normal. So do normal things. Go to a concert, see a movie, go to a party (probably shouldn’t drink), but do things that will take your mind off of the hard situation you are in. If you have the ability to do fun activities in the midst of all the crap that you are or will be going through, then that will help you get through the tough days. It will also serve to remind you what you want to be getting back to when you are cancer-free!

5. Use the cancer card
No, I don’t mean like, “Hey guys. I have cancer, feel bad for me.” I mean like: apply for scholarships to help you or your family financially. There are many resources available. Be proactive with multiple websites that offer financial assistance (i.e., cuckfancer.org, hope4yawc.org, thesamfund.org). Be social. If you want to go out with your friends, drive yourself. And when you want leave because you aren’t having fun, no one will ever question why you are leaving. It’s okay to be a little selfish. The goal is to take care of yourself. Sometimes that means saying yes, and sometimes that means saying no.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

The First Year: Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed Child

The First Year: Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed Child


When parents learn that their child has autism, the news can be devastating, even paralyzing. Meanwhile, the first 12 months after diagnosis are the most important when it comes to intervention. As a parent of a child with autism, Nancy D. Wiseman knows firsthand how difficult it can be to unravel complex issues, discover what questions to ask, and find effective treatments. In this landmark guide, Wiseman offers both compassionate insight and a wealth of information for diagnoses from Asperger’s to classic autism. Day by day, week by week, month by month, "The First Year(R): Autism Spectrum Disorders" walks parents through a wide range of medical and lifestyle concerns, helps them navigate the healthcare, insurance, and educational systems, and ensures the best possible outcome for their child.
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