Sunday, June 21, 2009

My nephew Hasani

Hasani enjoying his grilled fish dinner in Bali, Indonesia.
My nephew Hasani was born prematurely 3 1/2 years ago.
But he is a strong boy and grew up without any problems developmentally. He recently came to Korea in January/February of this year and stayed with us for a month with his Mother, my younger sister.
We went to Bali, Indonesia and Chejudo, South Korea and generally had a fantastic time!

Then this past week I received this e-mail from my sister Jenni:

Hi family,
Hasani has been limping for a week, and tripping, falling, complaining of knee pain (once or twice...) And it worsens after physical activity. He cannot walk to the beach from our house anymore, which is a block away... He hasn't been his usual 'go bigger, run faster, jump higher' self...
I took Hasani to the doctor yesterday. They ordered an X-ray for today. Right after I got a call requesting me to go back to the doctor immediately. Hasani has a dark spot on his femur of his right leg, could be a tumour, could be an infection, could be nothing. I was upset and a bit scared to say the least. Dr Ted Burchowski ordered a CT scan, and a Paediatric Orthopedic Surgeon will be meeting with him in the next two weeks. I believe his name is Dr Norgrove Penny.

Anyways. Please pray for us. For his knee.

I was terrified for Hasani and immediately called my sister. She said that they were waiting for an appointment and that they would keep me updated.

A few hours later I received this e-mail:

Hasani has an appointment with the Paediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr Norgrove Penny, tomorrow at 10:30.

His secretary just called and said he can tell a lot from an X-ray, and so we will go over it then.

I will keep you informed. Thanks for your kind words, and prayers.

Love to you all!

In Canada you do not pay for your Healthcare directly, you do it through your taxes, and as a result there can often be long waits for appointments and tests. I was glad Hasani got an appointment so quickly, but worried that in order to do so, the doctor must have seen something important in his x-ray.
I asked my mother to message me as soon as the appointment was done, regardless of the time here. I received a call just before 4am and Tom was immediately up and by my side. The doctor had ordered more tests, that were going to require at least 2 weeks to be done, and they would keep me informed.
I had read up online and knew that the regime of tests ordered where being used to try and diagnose one thing - Cancer. The next morning I called Jenni as soon as I woke and talked in more detail. It was true, at 3 1/2 years old, my adorable nephew Hasani was being tested for bone cancer in his leg.
I was devastated. When I hung up the phone I fell into my husband's arms and began sobbing. Poor Thomas was so upset at my sobbing he had no idea what to do and tried to climb into my arms. Later in that day I received this e-mail from Jenni:

Hi Family,

we met with the doctor. My mom met me there, and we looked at the X-ray. He has a 1cm lesion/tumor on the femur bone by the knee. We will still rule out infection. Now we do a bone scan, CT scan, and an MRI. Then we will do a biopsy, which entails making a small incision in his knee and scraping some bone out. This should all be happening in the next 2 weeks or so. Dr Penny said that if he were to bet, it looks like cancer. The scans will show us if it's spread elsewhere in the body, into the surrounding tissue, etc. If it were benign 9which we hope it is) he said it would have a solid border. It doesn't, it blurs into the surrounding bone.

He is a good doctor. I have confidence on my side, and a really good friend who has just gone through a year of cancer with her 5 year old Zoey. She is an ally and a wealth of information. Who knows? It may be an infection!

Love to you all, send your positive vibes out our way, and prayers, too.

I still am holding out hope that this will just be a cancer scare and nothing more. I prayed like I haven't done for years. I cried as I prayed and held Thomas in my arms as I begged my Heavenly Father who I hadn't spoken to in so long to look after Hasani.

Now is a waiting game, waiting for tests, waiting for results, and waiting for a diagnosis. I think about Hasani and my sister Jenni everyday and pray for them. I ask each and everyone of you who reads what I write to hold them in your thoughts and prayers if you pray, and think positive thoughts for them. He is only 3 1/2. He needs all the love and support he can get, as does my sister!


  1. I'll be praying for Hasani & family.


  2. Loves to you all!!!

    I remember when I was in grade 2, a boy in my class was diagnosed with bone cancer. It was a battle.. but he BEAT IT! <3

  3. I'm praying for all of you guys every five minutes it seems.
    Don't worry too much about the waiting- when it comes to kids (and cancer) they speed things a long pretty swiftly. Thanks to the Children's hospital nearby.
    I know this from experience.


  4. So sorry that your family is going through this!