After finishing with one patient, I stand outside and call for the next one - narapela. I never know who the next patient will be or what is wrong with them, but I try and gather information as I see them stand up and walk toward me from the waiting area.
This time I watched a mom lovingly pick up her child and walk toward my room. The child looked afraid, as most kids are, but felt safe in mom's arms. I quickly noticed that her stomach seemed swollen and asked mom why they came. She explained that her child's belly has swollen for the past 2 months and now her leg is swollen and there is something hard in her stomach.
My heart went out to this little one as soon as I put my hands on her belly. There was a hard mass in the lower part of her abdomen and an ultrasound confirmed there was cancer throughout her abdomen. I treat cancers of all kinds and in people of all ages, but I find it harder with the little ones. They should have their whole life in front of them, but instead they are facing death and they don't even know it. Despite trying to explain it to their parents, they don't fully understand it either.
We should have the biopsy results in a few weeks, until then, mom agreed to try some chemotherapy, for the most common cancer we see, and we will see what happens. Please pray for them. Pray that this little one will respond to the meds. Pray for the Lord to comfort her and her family during this difficult time and to give wisdom to me and others as we treat her.