Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Wouter and his little sister Carien
Before Wouter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma on Christmas Eve 2008

"Wouter Grové is our gorgeous 4 year old son (his birthday is 5 April). He was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma on Christmas Eve 2008.

Woutertjie (aka Boeta) had a lump the size of an adult's fist behind his liver, tumours on his lungs and a large tumour inside his heart.

Following very aggressive chemotherapy the medically impossible has happened: all the tumours are gone. We can't stop singing the Glory of our Lord! We are indescribably grateful for every prayer for our son.

There is still a long and hard road ahead. He will continue with chemotherapy and radiation until January 2010 to ensure complete eradication of any remaining cancer cells.

Please send all your support, love and prayers this way - we as a family need all the strength and love we can get.

About the rest of the family. Wouter and I have been married for 6 years and have been blessed with two children. Carien is a year and a half and adores her big brother. Following Boeta's diagnosis I took a year's unpaid leave to take care of him. I've learned that nothing is predictable in the battle against cancer. The most memorable moment was when I took Boeta for a 5 minute check-up between chemo sessions and he ended up staying in hospital for 10 days!

We live in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa and Woutertjie is receiving treatment at Panorama MediClinic.We are very fortunate in that our medical aid, Discovery Health, has paid for most of his expenses. During the first 3 months following his diagnosis the medical costs have already exceeded R200 000. Many people have asked for our banking details to contribute towards the cost of his treatment. Since most of Woutertjie's costs are covered by the medical aid we have decided to donate any contributions towards the treatment of other children with cancer. There are so many who need specialised treatment but can't afford it.
Banking details are as follows:Name: S GroveBank: ABSABranch Code: 632 005Account Number: 1058 040 564Account Type: Savings

Thank you for your love and support. And thank you most of all for your prayers.We believe that God has a bigger plan with with our family and is using Woutertjie's illness to demonstrate His glory.Suzanne"

Wouter has the biggest and brightest smile and at such a young and tender age has already endured so much. Wouter was due to have surgery to remove the remainder of the tumors, but another miracle happened right in front of this families eyes - when they scanned to check for what was left, the tumors had disapeared and no surgery was needed!!!!

I would like to share with you Wouters Mom's post from 16 March 09:

It is now 22:00 on the 17th. I’ve been unable to put into words what happened yesterday. It has been too much. I’ve told you previously that I’m not good with change and this change is completely overwhelming me.
I am going to try and describe yesterday to you. It will probably be a messy piece of writing with bits stuck on at odd angles in the weirdest places. Just bear with me please.
Yesterday (Monday) morning I woke up knowing that the scan will be done sometime during this week (preliminary booking for Thursday). Boeta joined us in bed sometime during the night and woke me up by stroking my face and playing with my ear. When he saw I was awake he gave me a hug and told me he loved me. And then told me that he was waiting for the dark to go away so that he could get up and play the Cars game on the PlayStation…! He isn’t a soppy kind of child.
Woutertjie wanted bread for breakfast so I made peanut butter sandwiches for them. After eating a quarter Boeta was nauseous and after cleaning the mess I gave him anti-nausea meds. It is the most amazing stuff. It is melt-in-the-mouth Zofran, so it works immediately. 5 minutes later he was eating the rest of his sandwich and wanted more.
About 10:00 Boeta said he wanted to go and visit my parents and of course Carien had to go too. She copies everything Boeta does! My parents live right down the road from us so we walked there. I returned home to have a nap – I had a horrible night and was very tired. At 11:00 Stephanie, Dr Gerrit de Villiers’ (peadiatrician) receptionist phoned to say that I should keep Boeta nil-per-mouth as they are trying to get his scan done yesterday. While we were talking her other phone rang and the CT-people confirmed that he was going in at 16:00.
I went into shock and overdrive. I was not mentally prepared to have the scan done on Monday already. Since Friday when Dr Cristina Stefan (peadiatric oncologist) told us that the scan had to be arranged earlier I prayed that God should take the scan into his Father hands, like he took Boeta into his arms. And here the impossible was happening and the scan was being done on Monday. So maybe God did exactly what I asked of Him?
I phoned my mom to tell her to keep Boeta without food and drink and phoned Wouter and his parents to tell them about the change of plans. I sent text messages to everyone asking for prayer.
Then I spent 35 minutes on the phone with the Discovey call centre trying to get authorisation for the scan. Until now I’ve been so impressed with Discovery but oh my word, I did not need that. In the end I phoned Stephanie back and she sorted it out. Gerrit, if you ever read this, she deserves a raise.
We had to be at hospital by 13:00. At 12:30 I had everything ready to go. And then I couldn’t find my car keys. I bought the car with only one key and since it will cost about R2 500 to get a spare I’ve decided to be very careful with the one I have.
I love my dear husband very very much. But I absolutely loath his attitude to keys. The last few months he has been very good with my car keys (we use mine for family driving) and didn’t misplace it / leave it in his pockets / stored it in his clothes cupboard / took it with him to work. So when I couldn’t find it in all the usual places I took a deep breath and looked again.
At 12:45 I phoned him. His response? “Well, I don’t have it”. If it was possible to divorce someone with a text message I would’ve right there.
At 12:50 I started walking to my parents’ with the laptop under my arm and Boeta’s carseat over my shoulder. I was fuming. And right then it started raining. This very soft, misty drizzle. Every time it rained during our cancer journey we received good news. At that moment my anxiety about the scan left me.
When I got to my parents’ house what should I find but my car keys. My mom is an angel and has been doing our laundry. When Gertrude (my mom says she isn’t their domestic worker, she isn’t their housekeeper, she is their everything - I agree) took the laundry from our house earlier she took Wouter’s trousers with the keys in with. My mom went back to our house to get the car while I got Woutertjie ready to go.
We managed to leave for hospital at 13:00.
I got Boeta admitted and he immediately fell asleep. He still naps every afternoon. By 15:30 my mom arrived to keep me company during the scan. Wouter had an important meeting and were joining us as soon as he could. By 15:45 Wouter’s parents arrived too. They drove all the way from Pringle Bay (about an hour’s drive) to be with us.
At 16:00 Woutertjie was wheeled to the radiology department. Our minister, Tielman Germishuys, met us there and prayed with us. Within minutes we were in the CT room. Boeta doesn’t like the machines at all. He immediately started fighting and only calmed down when I promised him that the doctor only wanted to inject medicine into his “pypie” (the broviac line).
The anaethetist administered the “milk of amnesia” and Woutertjie fell asleep. My mom and I were waiting outside the room. She asked me what I would like to hear from the radiologists. I told her that I wanted them to come out and ask if it was the right child because they couldn’t find any trace of anything anywhere. We discussed how we tend to ask for little miracles instead of just putting it out there and asking for the big ones.
A couple of minutes later (about 16:30) they were done. Woutertjie was very groggy and very upset when he woke up. He tends to be violent after anaesthesia. He kept on trying to get up in his bed as he was wheeled back to the ward so in the end I carried him all the way, kicking and screaming.
By 17:00 Boeta was wide awake, calm and eating. We waited. Wouter arrived. We waited.
By 17:30 I was telling everyone who started phoning to hear if the results were out that I didn’t really expect anything before 18:00. We waited.
18:00. We waited.
18:30. We waited. I asked Gerrit if he knew anything yet. He didn’t. We waited.
Finally Cristina phoned. Wouter and I hid in a side passage with my phone on speaker so that we could both hear. Cristina said she only just heard from the radiologists and that it was “positive” news. I may be the Queen of Denial but she is the Empress of Understatement.
She proceeded to tell us that the tumour from his heart is gone. No trace anywhere. As that stage Wouter and I were ecstatic and ready to say thank you and go home happy.
Then she told us that the metastatic tumours from his lungs are gone. We were speechless.
And then she told us that the largest one of the lot, the one behind his liver that initially caused him to feel ill and was picked up by the doctors is also gone.
There is no trace of cancer in his body. Anywhere. What a mighty God we serve!
Everyone asks me what she said / sounded like. I don’t know. I wasn’t concentrating on her. But I do know that she seemed as surprised as we were.
I can’t begin to tell you how much it meant to us to have our families there to share the news with. It was awesome and we immediately thanked God for His grace and goodness. Praying together was an awesome experience.
The rest of the evening was taken up by messages, phone calls and prayers of thanks.
I spoke to Gerrit later that evening. I love that man so much. He really really is special. He said that complete healing is what he prayed for but not what he expected. Miracles happen! Gerrit said that he was already worrying about surgery because it would’ve been tricky and dangerous. But now that doesn’t need to happen! God is so good to us.

As you read above Wouter will still need to have chemo right into January of next year - we ask you to continue standing firm in faith with his family that he will continue to be free of cancer for ever and ever and lead a long and happy and healthy life. We are praying for you all, sending you our love and support all the way from a sunny pretoria! Keep up with the lovely blog posts , they make me smile and laugh !
God Bless and love and special hugs to Wouter



Lacey said...

What a brave boy. Keep fighting tiny warrior.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post Samm. I cried reading my own update! LOL! Boeta is in hospital at the moment, having 6 days of chemo and he is doing exceptionally well.

Praise our Almighty God!


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