Cancer Stories, Rare Cancers

Fletcher’s Cancer Story


In extremely rare cases, the cancer found, remains unknown, and consultants have a difficult task of working out a treatment plan.  Fletcher was one of the first children that we came to know, and we befriended his parents, Lee and Leanne Fisher.  It broke our hearts when we heard that the doctors couldn’t save him.

Fletcher’s mother, Leanne, talks us through his treatment and what she’s doing in his memory.

001 Fletcher (1)

Name: Fletcher Fisher

Age at diagnosis: 9 Months Old

Diagnosis: Unspecified

Fletcher became poorly at 9 months old with white stools and jaundice. We were initially sent from our local hospital 130 miles away to the Children’s Liver and Renal ward in Leeds. After carrying out some tests, we were asked to go back to Leeds to the Children’s Oncology and Hematology clinic.

We were told that a mass had been found in his liver, which was obstructing the main arteries of the liver and the bile ducts. We were admitted to ward 31 for further investigations. 3 weeks later, we were told he had cancer, but they did not know what type. His biopsies, scans and other test results were sent to various other hospitals and specialist doctors for their opinions. No one had any definitive answers.

Fletcher received 6 courses of ICE chemotherapy over 5 or 6 months, along with several other biopsies and scans. Each course of chemo involved a week’s inpatient stay, along with several unscheduled hospital stays for infections. In July 2016, we were told they believed he was in remission and we were moved to a “watchful waiting” plan. In September 2016 he relapsed with mets to his bone marrow. He had lost the ability to walk.

We were admitted to the ward on 17th September 2016 and he started 2 courses of FLAG-IDA. This made him quite poorly and he experienced several complications including skin rashes, severe mucousitis, infected portacath and superbugs. After he completed FLAG-IDA, he had further tests which again showed no sign of disease. He received a further course of ARA-C, and we stayed in over Christmas and New Year. His baby brother was born in Leeds over Christmas whilst he was still on ward 31.

Fletcher was discharged from hospital after 5 months continual stay in February 2017. Sadly, 4 weeks later he relapsed again. This time he was severely poorly and it was obvious to all involved that he was too weak to continue treatment. We made the collective decision to move him to palliative care, and we opted to go back to our home town and admit him to the local children’s hospice.

Fletcher was looked after by the wonderful hospice for 5 days before passing away on 15th March 2017, one month before his 2nd birthday.

We have since founded Fletcher’s Fund in his memory – a registered charity to help families of children with cancer to make memories together through play and having fun. We also provide arts and crafts supplies to children’s oncology wards.

Find more information about Fletcher’s Fund at:

Fletcher’s Fund Website

Fletcher’s Fund Facebook Page

 

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