0

Re-vaccination after Childhood Cancer 

Under Singapore law, all children born here must be vaccinated as per scheduled.

“The School Health Service (SHS) provides immunisation to school children, according to the National Childhood Immunisation Programme. Please refer to the immunisation schedule below.”

Disease Type of Vaccine Primary Course Booster
Tuberculosis BCG At birth
Hepatitis B Hepatitis B

At birth
– 1st dose
1 month
– 2nd dose
5 to 6 months
– 3rd dose

Pneumococcal PCV 3 months
– 1st dose
5 months
– 2nd dose
1 to 2 years
Diphtheria*,
Pertussis & Tetanus
DTaP/DT/Tdap

3 months
– 1st dose
4 months
– 2nd dose
5 months
– 3rd dose

18 months
– 1st booster

10-11 years
– 2nd booster

Poliovirus IPV/OPV

3 months
– 1st dose
4 months
– 2nd dose
5 months
– 3rd dose

18 months
– 1st booster

10-11 years
– 2nd booster
&

Haemophilus influenzae type b Hib 3 months
– 1st dose
4 months
– 2nd dose
5 months
– 3rd dose
18 months
– 1st booster
Measles*, Mumps & Rubella MMR

12 months
– 1st dose
15-18 months
– 2nd dose

Table adopted from Health Promotion Board Singapore

Since Wawa is currently in the remission status. Her Oncologist has arranged her to meet the Immunisation Consultant for plans to re-vaccine.

During her first visit with the Immunisation Consultant on Feb 2017, she was given two jabs at one go simultaneously on both arms. As usual, she did not cry.. Good job Wawa!! The jabs were booster for Hepatitis B and Pneumococcal. The side effects are soreness & redness on the jabbed area and fever for a day or two. Paracetamol has been fed on a six hourly basis for fever.

Two more sessions of jabs have been arranged for every fortnightly. All taken vaccinations will be updated to her national health report with Singapore Ministry of Health.

Her planned revaccination (Fortnightly):

  • Hepatitis B & Pneumococcal
  • DPT & Polio
Advertisements
0

Remission Status – Then?

So what comes next when your child’s doctor declares remission status?

It means… Good News!!! For cancer patients once they have completed all courses of treatments and scans with no new cells found, Doctor will announce you as in Remission Status, which also mean 99% cured!

Weird right? That’s because the average timeline for 100% is about 10 years. Hence, whats the fuss about that 1% right?

Yeah! Wawa has been announced to be in remission status in the month of September 2016.. Rejoice!! No more treatments.. Only quarterly planned scans for her and of course reviewing with her Oncologist, Plastic Surgeon and Speech Therapist.

Being in a remission mode, Wawa’s doctors have also made planned for her to be re-vaccinated.

So now, no more ipad, baby talks and “holiday at KKH” for her.. It’s back to serious schooling curriculum. Hehe….

We continue to pray for all other patients at KKH WARD 76 to fight strong and get well!!

A good read on remission can be found here

0

How to care for a cancer stricken child?

A cancer child needs extra love, attention and nutrition more than anyone else in the world.

Love

  • Spend quality time with loads of hugs, kisses and reassurance
  • Play with them. Baby talk to them
  • Cheers them. Motivate them.
  • Give them your full attention. Leave your mobile phones aside.
  • When they are bored on bed during chemotherapy session, do some arts & crafts, watch cartoons, sing a song or even read a book.
  • Talk to the social worker. Let them do the talking to your child, making them learn what they will be going through. Do not lie to them! Kids nowadays ain’t stupid!
  • Go to the library and borrow some pictorial books on cancer. Teach them what are cancer. Use baby descriptive words at first. Gradually introduce big words such as tumour, cancer, surgery and etc to them.
  • Encourage them to mingle and make new friends. Tell them they will never be alone.
  • Hold their hands or carry them to any procedures and/or during procedures. For surgeries if you can, try asking the doctors for permission to walk them into the theatre, and waiting for them at the recovery centre. Do try ask if the child can bring their closest items (e.g. soft toys, pillows, blankies and etc) with them into the operating theatre.
  • Reward them with gifts for achieving a task (e.g. medicine taking, injections and etc) done.
  • Do what you’ve promised. Don’t give them empty promises!

Aesthetics

  • Hair falling is traumatic espically for girls. Coax them to the hairdresser for a new short hairstyle. Be sensitive and patience. Try not to convince them to shave their hair off at one go.
  • Buy a hat. Any of those they like.
  • During shower time, use a mild soap to bathe them and to wash their hair. Slowly use your fingers to go through their hair. This will allow the hair to come off easily. Again, reassure them nice new pretty hair will grow out in no time.

Nutrition

  • Children under chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments have very low immunity. Practice good hygiene such as washing & sanitising of hands frequently. Wear a surgical mask.
  • Ensure all foods served are freshly made and well cooked
  • Talk to your children’s dietician. Read up for more details on what can and cannot be eaten
  • Treatment causes them to puke and lost of appetite. Try not to force them to eat or drink. Serve sips of water or juices.
  • Feed them frequently in small portions. Changing of cutlery sets to plastics may help due to change in taste and smell
  • Buy them what they want to eat.

Be Responsible

  • Take ownership on your child’s condition. Many a time though you’re in the hospital, responsibilities are on parents. Feed them if you need. Entertain them if you can. Bathe & clean them if you can. 
  • Learn to read your child’s body symptoms.
  • Check with your financial advisors on the policies that you have bought for your child
  • Talk to your social workers for financial assistance scheme 

What to expect (Pre-Chemotheraphy)

  • Pre-admission procedures such as height & weight, temperature taking, blood tests and/or urine tests are done to ensure the child’s body is in good condition
  • Children will be made to implant port-a-cath onto their right or left chest. This is being done by a 2 hours short surgery procedure. Don’t be surprised if pre-chemotherapy procedure starts right after the surgery.
  • Pre-hydration will be given before the actual chemotherapy begins. Chemotherapy will also end with at least 24 hours of hydration.

    What to expect (Post chemotherapy)

    • Neutropenic Fever – This is very 
    • common due to low neutrophil count. Body temperature above 38°C must seek immediate attention at the A&E
    • Vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation – Usually anti-vomitting will be given. However if symptoms worsen, head straight to the A&E
    • Lost in weights
    • Low count in white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets – Usually if they’re low in blood count. Their lips will be pale and they will feel lethargic. There is a minimum threshold the doctors will take into concern before performing any form blood transfusion. Be reminded to inform doctors if your child is prone to any allergic reactions. Anti-allergy medicine may be prescribed prior blood transfusion.
    • Drink lots of water.
    • Keep out of crowded places and ensure top notch personal hygiene.
    0

    My child has cancer.. So what’s next?

    You are NOT alone! It’s NOT the end!

    Getting to know from the doctors telling you that your child has cancer.. You’ve got basically only a minute or two to go on the “What the hell!!!” mode.

    So what’s next??

    Prepare yourself

    • Oftenly, people surrounding you will tell you to seek second opinion. Don’t!! Don’t waste unnecessary time thinking of the otherwise..
    • Hear from the experts. Let them tell you more. Let them tell you what is the next step
    • Read up. Learn more about your children’s problem. 
    • Make friends to the other parents in the ward

    Trust your six sense

    • Decisions making ain’t easy especially on life threatening conditions where you have to sign loads of authorisation forms.
    • Do not self blame. No one wants this to happen.
    • Trust the experts and your decisions so as not to delay any process.
    • Learn to take baby steps.. Take one day at a time.

      Love yourself

      • Battling cancer is no longer just between you and your child. Family stands united.
      • Free yourself from stress for awhile. Love yourself. Go for some ME time entrusting your little one to their grandparents.
      • It is no wrong to cry out loud! Cry your whole heart out…

      Stand strong

      • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy is not going to be easy on your child.Stand strong. Cheer your little one up. You will be amazed how these little warriors fight through the war themselves
      • Take this time as a bonding session between you and your children

      Professional Help

      Renember no one wants their children to be sick. Cancer isn’t contagious. Cancer isn’t anyone’s fault.

      Oh ya! Doctors being doctors. Don’t be taken a step back when they tell you bombastic vocabularies and how bad the situation is. Be brave & steady. Fight together with your child!!