Advocating for Her Child's Health
- Tina Newman from Herefod, England noticed a white shadow in her two-year-old son’s eye just a few days before Christmas last year. Thankfully, she took him right to the hospital.
- Thanks to his mom’s fast action, little Kaiden-Lee was able to avoid chemotherapy, but had to have his eye removed as part of the treatment process.
- As a parent, it’s crucial to pay close attention to your child’s health and immediately take them to see a medical professional if you feel something isn’t right.
Thanks to Tina’s keen observation and quick response to get the tot seen by a doctor, Kaiden-Lee O’Brien was fortunately able to beat the disease. Kaiden-Lee was able to avoid having to undergo chemotherapy, but unfortunately had to have his eye removed as part of the treatment process.Read More
“After the operation he was back to his normal self,” Tina reported to a local news outlet. “We were just over the moon that it had been successful and that he didn’t need chemotherapy.”
Tina understandably went through a lot of agony during her son’s three-hour surgery. At that point, a parent is forced to surrender over their child, unable to comfort them and trusting that they are in good care. Thankfully he was.
Now, Tina is determined to share Kaiden-Lee’s hopeful health journey. Although it was scary to go through, she did the right thing by getting to the hospital, where he was able to get successfully treated shortly after. For parents who have gone through this frightening diagnosis, the unique signs of sudden changes in the eye or eyes are almost unmistakable.
Advocating for Your Child; When to be Concerned
When it comes to your own health, as an adult, advocating for yourself and your own health is extremely important. It isn’t uncommon to run into medical professionals who will dismiss your symptoms, but you know your body the best. And you know when there’s something wrong.
The same goes for a parent and their child. Mothers and fathers know when there’s something wrong with their child, and children aren’t able to advocate for themselves.
As a parent, it’s vitally important to pay attention to your child’s health and take them to see a medical professional if you feel something isn’t right. But it’s also only natural to worry about your child and seek professional help for the smallest things.
Symptoms of Retinoblastoma
Retinoblastoma is most often diagnosed after a parent or doctor notices something unusual about a child’s eye.
Two of the more common signs and symptoms include:
- White pupillary reflex (leukocoria) – the pupil appears white or pink instead of red when you shine a light in the eye
- Lazy eye (strabismus) – the eyes don’t appear to look in the same direction
Other less common signs and symptoms can be:
- Vision problems
- Eye pain
- Redness of the white part of the eye
- Bleeding in the front part of the eye
- Bulging of the eye
- A pupil that doesn’t get smaller when exposed to bright light
- A different color in each iris (the colored part of the eye)
And if the cancer spreads outside the eye, symptoms can vary depending on where the cancer currently is. Symptoms for these scenarios can include:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Lumps under the skin in the neck
It’s important to note, however, that many of these signs and symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than retinoblastoma. Even still, you should always bring up any of these symptoms to your child’s doctor should they occur because the outlook for retinoblastoma patients is not as good if the cancer has had time to spread outside of the eye.