As I never got to go into the gantry with Joel for his treatment, I asked for some photos to be taken of our brave boy.
I still can't quite believe that it's over. So now we won't know how successful the treatment has been for another 5 years. If Joel is in the 70-80% that the treatment works for then we can expect to see swelling of the tumour between 6-18 months after treatment, then gradual shrinking over a 5 year period. If it doesn't work then we'll have to assess the surgery risks again as the area cannot tolerate further radiation.
In addition to his scans Joel will need regular neuro-cognition testing and hormone level testing as damage to his IQ is likely, and due to the levels of radiation to his hypothalamus he may need growth hormones as he gets older.
Just so long as his smiley, happy, bubbly personality doesn't go then we can face what life throws at us. He is one special boy who captures many many hearts.
We will miss all of our new found friends at Florida Proton, and as all the Americans say to us, 'we will pray for you'. A prayer was said for Joel today. Our new friend Peter prayed for 'healing', whilst Joel repeated the prayer back, reciting 'we pray for Heely's' - the make of skate shoe that Joel has just come across in America and has spent the last few days desperately trying to find! Lord please forgive him!! The mind of a 5 year old, you've gotta love him!