Sunday, 29 April 2012

Mahamadou, Wilm's tumor

Our other Wilm's patient, Mahamadou is still undergoing treatment. This picture was from his treatment the day before we left Mali. He is now only coming every three weeks for treatments which is nice for him. He is a sweet little boy but he hates us. :) The only consolation that we can give for sticking him is chocolate. And believe me, we give it. Whatever candy he wants and however many he wants, he can have, at least when I am around. I am not above bribery. :)

Thankful he is doing well and hoping it stays that way.

Kadiatou, ovarian cancer (Burkitt's lymphoma)

Kadiatou came from the border of Ghana and Ivory Coast. Her father farms cocoa and coffee. They are of Malian decent though she nor her parents were born in Mali. She came to us with abdominal swelling. A mass was seen on ultrasound and soon after she had surgery to remove the tumor. As we normally do, we sent her biopsy to the States and found that her cancer was a Burkitt's which is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. Thankfully, this is a fairly easily treatable tumor.

Here she is after surgery soon before we left. She would smile, just not on camera. :)

Jason and Kristen say that she continues to receive her treatment and is doing well.

Josue, osteosarcoma

This is Josue. His birth name was Porna. His family came from the predominant religion here in Mali. They tried to treat this ever growing mass on his leg. They tried traditional healers and medicines. Nothing worked. Finally, they gave up. They knew a Christian family and gave Porna to them. They said they had tried everything and could do nothing. Giving him to this family was their last hope. This family knew of our hospital and brought him in. 

We diagnosed him with an osteosarcoma, thankfully of the leg and not the hip as with Mamine whom we treated before. His leg was amputated above the knee and he has started chemotherapy.

Aside from him being an incredibly hard stick for an IV, he continues to get treatment and doing well. Apparently we are also a barber shop. I tell you, Jason is a jack of all trades. 

Amina, lymphoma

Sweet Amina has gone home. Despite treatment she was not doing better and he abdomen continued to stay enlarged despite draining regularly. She was skin and bones and breathed with difficulty because of the fluid overload.

We talked with her several times on skype before she left the hospital. She is such a sweet girl. Always smiling even though she was in pain. It's sad that the treatment didn't work and that she was sent home. I can honestly say I'm glad I wasn't there to have to see her go. I hate that part of the job. Thanks to Kristen and Jason who are there doing all the hard stuff.

Yanoussa, Wilm's tumor

You may remember Yanoussa who had a Wilm's tumor that we treated. He finished awhile ago and as far as we could tell (with just ultrasound) he looked good and we thought he had no signs of cancer.

Unfortunately, his cancer has relapsed. He has lots a ton of weight. He is now back at the hospital with his buddy Jason, the pediatrician who is still in Mali, and he is undergoing treatment again. Hopefully the tumor will respond quickly.

Incredibly long overdue

Brett and I left for our home assignment on March 14th. On March 22nd there was a coup d'etat in Mali which has left the country with many unknowns. Our bodies are in America but our hearts are in Mali with our friends and all the dear people we love. Our team has pulled out except for a few essential personnel. This group will decrease soon as several others go on their home assignment. The team left behind needs much prayer for strength and endurance. Power has been terrible there. It's cut at least 12 hrs a day and this is during the hottest time of the year. Imagine having to work in 110 degrees with no power! Added to that a reduced number of staff and it has to be incredibly draining. We are thankful for those who are there and working tirelessly.