Genique's Recovery

In March 2016 our daughter, Genique, was diagnosed with a brain tumor growing from the optic nerve. It's called a Pilocytic Astrocytoma, but she calls it her "mushroom". On 31 Aug 2016, Dr Charlie Teo removed 85-90% of the tumour. Unfortunately Genique's vision was severely affected by the tumour. This blog is about her recovery and the challenges our family face daily. My Story / Video Story

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Groundhog Memories, Gratefulness and Excitement

It’s that time again.

Another follow up appointment after Genique’s quarterly MRI. Driving the same road and sitting in the waiting room takes me back to 2016.

Possibly the worst year ever!

As Genique and I wait, a few memories surfaced…

How we started our day very early, drove to hospital, parked the car, straight to the pathology lab…then down to ward 3B for chemo. Next was height and weight measurements, then temperature, and finally blood pressure.

Every Wednesday…the same.

Just a few months ago, Genique, you were the skinny child with the pale looking skin and no hair.

But, looking at you today, I am so grateful that we are not caught up in groundhog Wednesday anymore!

Mummy and daddy are so proud of you and very happy with the progress you have made thus far.

You know your braille alphabet. Started reading braille books. Your ability and willingness to learn had people stunned at how quickly you completed your syllabus.

You never cease to amaze us, Blom.

Thanks to Paige, your wonderful occupational therapist, you have your own brailler now, and oh how you love taking it everywhere showing family and friends your new acquired skill.

Smart Brailler

​Mummy and daddy look at you and think: You are our daughter who can achieve anything when you set your mind to it! You ride your new bike (trike) with such style and confidence.

New Trike

I noticed how people look at you and treat you as if you can SEE because you look so normal to them, but little do they know the battle you are fighting.

Tick tock, tick tock…still waiting.

Finally, our turn.

The doctor shares the MRI results with little enthusiasm, saying the tumour is contained.

I keep telling myself that things must be getting better because over the past few weeks you have been seeing more and more: things like the sunrise in the morning and its beautiful orange pinky colour, and the light poles and trees next to the road. When we play your eyes are following us around the room. It must be a good sign, right?

I’m a bit disappointed with “contained”, do I expect too much?

As I read the the report on the doctor’s screen, my heart started pounding faster and faster.

And then, I can not help but smile :)

The MRI showed IMPROVEMENT in some areas!

The bulk of the tumour decreased in size from 12 mm to 7 mm.

Some parts even show reduced enhancement of the contrast. This means the tumour has less blood supply than before.

MRI Results

On the inside I’m ecstatic!!!

The doctor is still talking…has someone pressed the mute button? I don’t hear a thing.

All I’m focused on is how proud I am of you, Blom.

I could not wait to hug and tell you the good news in mummy’s words.

At that moment my eyes warmed up with tears, not sad ones, but ones of pure joy and gratefulness.

After I explained the results to Genique, she could not wait to tell the world the good news.

On our way back to the car, Genique made it very clear that she does not like this hospital and hopefully one day her mushroom will disappear so that we don’t have to do this anymore.

This is my prayer too, Genique, but until then we will continue with what we are doing and we will keep praying because there is surely something happening!

Love you lots,

PS: Genique’s progress video.