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In October 2021, our world was turned upside down when doctors found a tumour (7 x4cm) in Mihla’s body and diagnosed her with Paraganglioma. This very rare adrenaline type tumour is what caused her paralysing headaches for months prior.
Doctors started preparing to remove the tumour as the adrenaline it released in random amounts was life threatening in itself. The tumour was situated near her kidneys and doctors later expressed their concerns over the surgery as they found that the tumour had grown into the IVC vein down her spine. What further complicated the procedure was the fact that it was almost impossible to regulate Mihla’s blood pressure during surgery because of the adrenaline being released at random intervals.
We were blessed with a brilliant medical team who managed to remove the tumour with 6cm of the IVC vein. We were grateful and extremely relieved and thought that it was the end of the nightmare we were living for the months prior to the surgery.
In January 2022, repeated Chromogranin tests and 24 hour urine test revealed that levels were still abnormal and a PET scan followed.
To our shock, doctors found another 13 tumours throughout Mihla’s body and she was diagnosed with stage 4 Metastatic Paraganglioma cancer.
Early March, Mihla had a port implant for the chemotherapy which would follow. Half of her ovaries was removed for freezing her eggs as the chemotherapy will damage them severely.
Mihla’s treatment started on 24th March and includes 6 intravenous chemotherapy session (28 days apart), 4 to 6 Nuclear treatments and chemo tables, which she needs to take for 6 months.
As with all cancer treatment, the costs are astronomical.
The Chemo tablets alone cost R30 000 (US$1900) per month. The medical aid covers 75% of this.
Other suggested medication amounts to R4200 (US$565) per month and are not covered by the medical aid. Each nuclear treatment costs R70 000 (US$4,400). The intravenous chemo that started in March costs R28 000 (US$1,767) per treatment and unfortunately the Oncology allowance provided by the medical aid will not be sufficient to cover these costs.
Mihla is a lovely child with a beautifully positive spirit. She has kept this attitude all through the treatment up to this point. She does not let a day go by without making someone laugh with her incredible wit and sense of humour.
Mihla is blessed with so many talents. She loves singing and the week after she received her first round of chemotherapy, she performed a solo in front of parents and schoolmates at a school function.
We trust that Mihla will make a full recovery and appreciate the donations towards her treatment we receive through this platform from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for supporting Mihla on her road to recovery.
Update: 14th October 2022Update posted by Etienne Visser at 01:39 pm
Mihla completed chemotherapy last month and she had a PET scan last week. The doctors have been blown away by the results. All the tumours appear smaller and no new tumours have been detected. She will now start nuclear to hopefully get rid of what is left of the existing
Mihla a teenagerUpdate posted by Etienne Visser at 12:49 pm
We had the wonderful opportunity to have a lot if the family together this weekend. We used the chance to celebrate Mihla's 13th birthday a week or so early this year. She is the bravest, kindest and funniest teenager I know.
Chemo Session #4Update posted by Etienne Visser at 12:15 pm
Chemo session #4 knocked her put quite early. She has been really nervous for days leading up to this round as the previous round was not a pleasant experience. It is Mihla's mum's birthday today. We know there will be many more (under much better circumstances.
Thank You!Update posted by Etienne Visser at 08:17 pm
A message from Mihla.
Chemo Session #3Update posted by Etienne Visser at 08:52 am
Mihla had her third round of chemo therapy yesterday. This time, it was really unpleasant as her body immediately reacted to the chemicals and she had a real fright. She felt a burning sensation from her head to pelvis and the doctor had to administer another drug to counter the