Christmas at home for little Harry amid uncertain future
- Credit: Supplied by Melanie Wymer
The family of a boy with a spinal cord tumour is battling on, despite there being no clear sign as to whether he can look forward to a brighter future.
Harry Addy, 11 and from Stalham, got to spend Christmas with his family last month, two years after he was in a Manchester hospital for the holidays undergoing proton therapy treatment.
But his mum, Melanie Wymer, said that while Harry was not currently undergoing chemotherapy or another kind of regular treatment, he was still regularly unwell and it was unclear what the next year would bring.
She said: "Harry is quite a complicated case. We've had six years of this, and now we're just going from scan to scan.
"The last scan indicated that if it progresses more then he will need more chemo.
"I just try as hard as I can to make as many happy memories along the way, and do as much as I can to keep him smiling."
Harry has a 'pilocytic astrocytoma' spinal cord tumour, which he was diagnosed with in 2015.
He also has leptomeningeal disease in his brain - a rare complication of his cancer in which the disease spreads to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
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The proton therapy treatment put the tumour in a stable state, but there have been side effects - his pituitary gland, which is central to development - has been affected so he is now taking growth hormones, and he regularly gets sick and has headaches.
Mrs Wymer said: "They're trying to find out why he keeps getting sick. They have said at some point he will probably need more chemo.
"He was sick on Christmas Day but we powered on through."
Harry lives with his mum - a single parent - and three sisters. He is now in Year 6 at school, where he gets one-to-one support.
Harry was due for an appointment at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on Tuesday (January 4) so that doctors can look at his brain shunt - a tube which drains excess fluid away from his brain and was inserted over two years ago.
To follow Harry's progress, visit the Facebook page Harrys Journey.