Lang SonWhen she and her husband held a purple child in their arms, taking a bus to Hanoi, Chu Thi Xuan bit her lip and told her not to cry.
Going to the National Children’s Hospital, the doctor informed that Ly Ngoc Ha, more than a year old, had neuroblastoma. This is the most common form of cancer in the first five years of life. The mean age of disease was 19 months with 89% of patients under 5 years of age and 98% of patients under 10 years of age.
“I don’t know what the disease is, but the doctor said it’s very serious, I have to go to the emergency room,” Xuan recalled the day she took her son to the hospital, in the summer of 2021.
At that moment, she almost dropped the packet of sticky rice that her family had given her since morning, “crying like water poured on the forest in the rainy season”. She blamed herself for not hurrying to bring her child to Hanoi soon, leaving her in the middle of life and death.
10 days before, baby Ngoc Ha appeared with symptoms of abdominal distension, fever, refusal to eat, continuous bowel movements. Ms. Xuan took her child to a provincial hospital for treatment for five days and then discharged. At home, baby Ha is still panting, yellow skin, high fever. At this time, she and her husband rushed to take their children to Hanoi. At home, she left her two oldest children and Ngoc Khanh, Ngoc Ha’s twin sister, for her grandparents to take care of.
On the way down to Hanoi, Xuan was used to it. From the time she was pregnant with Ngoc Ha, Ngoc Khanh, the mother went to the hospital once a month. Having had a third caesarean section, the risk of death was high, and she threatened to give birth prematurely, so she had to go to Hanoi’s maternity hospital for regular prenatal check-ups. Born with two ovaries, one placenta, one with polyhydramnios, one with a lack of amniotic fluid. The children all had respiratory failure, had to breathe oxygen and light. Ngoc Khanh was discharged from the hospital after 7 days, Ngoc Ha was allowed to go home after 18 days.
Ms. Xuan did not expect that it was just the beginning of the hardships.
After the first round of chemotherapy at the Children’s Hospital, Ngoc Ha was more awake. But Ms. Xuan is still dreaming about the way to go in the hospital and the procedures to take care of. Because of Covid-19, Mr. Bao, 31 years old, her husband went to the hospital but could only stay outside.
Alone, Xuan carried her children to the laboratories to do tests and get results. Once, mother and daughter walked around the hospital for nearly an hour because they did not know the way. “People only go this way, I go that way. Sometimes I go right, but because of the epidemic, many roads are forbidden, so I have to go around,” she said.
Covid broke out strongly in Hanoi, pediatric patients moved into the hospital’s accommodation area, which was more crowded. A room with 14 beds, cramped, crowded. At night, sick children tormented and cried, mothers like Xuan had dark circles under their eyes because of constant sleeplessness and fatigue. When she arrived at the hospital, she found that the corrugated iron roof house hidden behind the forest was paradise. The epidemic subsided, she went to the neighborhood to rent 80-100 thousand VND a day to be more comfortable.
The most painful thing for Xuan is witnessing the times when he took broken veins and punctured the marrow. The baby’s hand is immature, the right vein can’t be taken many times, the medical staff has to switch to the left hand, then to the leg, to the head. “Seeing my baby cry out in pain, my heart broke. I wish I could bear all the pain and illness for my child,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes.
Ngoc Ha has cancer, the doctor advised her and her husband to pick Ngoc Khanh down for a general check-up, to prevent twins with the same pathology. When Ngoc Ha passed the critical stage, she discussed with her husband about taking the baby to the hospital for examination. The two children saw each other giggling, clinging to each other. But after two days, Mr. Bao had to carry Khanh to E hospital for examination, Ha and Xuan’s mother stayed at the Children’s Hospital.
At hospital E, the doctor concluded that Ngoc Khanh had an open ductus arteriosus and had to undergo a procedure. For a month, Xuan and her husband lived in the same city without seeing each other.
“The people on one side take care of the other. Everyone loves them, but they have to split up to take care of each other,” she said. During the days at the hospital, the money of 5 million dong was not enough, Bao had to go back to his hometown to borrow more. After 6 rounds of chemotherapy by Ngoc Ha and Ngoc Khanh’s surgery, Xuan and her husband owed 30 million VND.
“In the past, despite having many children and hard work, we still believed that we could raise them properly. Now two children are sick, the property in the house just wears a hat,” Ms. Xuan sighed. The whole family lives on rice fields and pine resin harvesting, so the debt of 30 million VND is enough to make them worry about losing sleep.
Mr. Ly Van Hoa, head of Po Phay village, said that Ms. Xuan’s family is one of 25 poor households in the village with 66 households. “Knowing how difficult she is, the locality can only encourage her mentally. When there is a wave of gifts from higher authorities, priority is given to her family”, Mr. Hoa said.
At the end of April, when she was going to the forest to shave rubber, when she heard that there were guests at home, Ms. Xuan rushed home. Seeing her mother, Ngoc Khanh rushed to hug, Ngoc Ha cried, pushed her away and climbed into her mother’s lap. Ms. Xuan stretched out her hand, hugged both children in her lap, sniffed and smiled.
Currently, Ngoc Ha’s health is stable, there is no need to go to Hanoi for treatment. Every three months, Ms. Xuan takes her child to the provincial hospital for examination once. “The doctor said there is no guarantee that the tumor will return or not. But as long as I breathe, I still have hope,” she said.
With the goal of igniting the faith of children with cancer, the Hope Foundation cooperates with the Mr. Sun program to launch the Sun of Hope program. One more community’s cooperation is another ray of light to the future generations of the country.
Readers can see information about the program here.
at Blogtuan.info – Source: vnexpress.net – Read the original article here