Logan was born on the 6th of August 2020 at Casey Hospital in Berwick, Victoria during stage 4 Covid restrictions. He spent one day in Special Care, due to his little body not being able to maintain its own temperature. After a day, he was all clear and we got to take Logan home as brand-new parents.
Logan was feeding well and when he started eating solids he was a very hungry boy.
“He started day care from six months old and was initially dealing with the usual bugs quite well like most kids. At 11 months old Logan started to frequently get viruses and was struggling to get over them, we were being told to manage it by Panadol and Nurofen.” Shane, Logan's dad
We bounced around from GP to GP and our local emergency department (ED) with answers of, "...he must be lactose or gluten intolerant". Logan had a cute round tummy and no doctor thought it was abnormal. We came to a Friday afternoon where we changed his nappy and noticed the left side of his tummy was bulging and hard. It wasn’t like that during the morning. His virus symptoms escalated, and his temperatures were through the roof.
We hurried Logan to our local emergency department and then the doctors knew something was wrong. They rushed Logan in an ambulance, with full lights and sirens, to Monash Children's Hospital where in the ED ultrasounds were completed and we were advised it was likely to be neuroblastoma due to the location of a large mass near the left kidney and adrenal gland.
“Processing the news our 12-month-old baby, who had one of the worst diagnoses of neuroblastoma, felt like our world was completely turned upside down. You are grieving for your child but not having the time to grieve as you are immediately thrown into one of the most intense treatments to save their life.” Shane, Logan's dad
The next day he had surgery for his Hickman line insertion, biopsy of tumour and bone marrow aspirates. Also completed urgent MIBG, CT and MRI screening scans which confirmed it to be neuroblastoma. We had never heard of this of course. Fortunately, his bone marrow was clear.
Logan had two lesions light up on both of his femurs on MIBG, as well as 12.5cm primary tumour in his tummy. Oncologists advised this took Logan from low risk to intermediate risk. Logan had three days of intermediate risk protocol chemotherapy and dealt with it like a superhero. Upon returning to Monash the next month for cycle two, we were given the terrible news that Logan’s neuroblastoma was now high risk due to further testing coming back with N-MYC and ALK gene amplifications both found in the tumour.
“Sadly, with covid restrictions made it feel even more isolating as Shane and I were not able to be in the same room with Logan. So, as soon as we were given the worst news that Logan’s cancer was high risk, we were then taken back to Logan’s hospital room and told only one of us could stay.” Shane, Logan's dad
Logan then endured a challenging induction package: five cycles of chemotherapy, stem cell harvest and surgery to remove the tumour. Logan had an amazing response, and we received the news that, at this stage, Logan’s Curie score was zero and he was in remission.
We then moved to The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) for consolidation treatments. He had a single high dose chemotherapy cycle with stem cell rescue. He dealt with this like a hero and was discharged from the ward early. Peter Mac was next for 12 cycles of radiation to his tummy and then five cycles of immunotherapy at RCH, with 6 cycles of isotretinoin whilst at home in between.
Logan completed treatment in December 2022, and end of treatment scans showed Logan was still in remission.
“We are so proud of how far he has come and how well he managed the treatments. He was known at the hospitals by the doctors and nurses as the kid full of energy and running around the wards with a smile on his face, which made the medical team smile.” Shane, Logan's dad
He will continue to have frequent scans to keep an eye on him into the future. At this stage Logan has no obvious ongoing side effects from treatments and doctors will manage this as he gets older.