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My baby had cancer at seven days old – I want all parents to know the signs


JUST hours after giving birth to her little boy, mum Billie-Jo Jobling was told by nurses that they had found a lump on her baby.

Medics initially thought that little Isaac was suffering with a twisted testicle but further tests revealed a rare cancer.

When little Isaac was first born, nurses noticed a lump on him and he was sent for further tests

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When little Isaac was first born, nurses noticed a lump on him and he was sent for further testsCredit: Jam Press
Sadly, these tests revealed he was suffering from a rare cancer and he had to have surgery

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Sadly, these tests revealed he was suffering from a rare cancer and he had to have surgeryCredit: Jam Press
His mum Billie-Jo (pictured together above) is now warning other parents of what to look out for

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His mum Billie-Jo (pictured together above) is now warning other parents of what to look out forCredit: Jam Press

The youngster was diagnosed with juvenile granulose germ cell tumour of the testes.

Now, Billie-Jo is sharing her story in order to encourage other parents to know the signs of the illness – which include a painless lump and a swelling of the testicles.

At just seven-days-old, Isaac had to undergo surgery to remove the lump and a biopsy had to be performed.

Billie-Jo, 25, said she was convinced she was going to lose her little boy.

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The healthcare worker from Bristol said: “My heart broke.

She said: “You hear about children having cancer but you never think it’s ever going to happen to your child, especially a newborn baby.

“The weeks that followed it was all a blur. I wasn’t living I was surviving day by day.

“I was petrified of my other children meeting Isaac in case I was going to lose him.

“I was so upset and cried almost everyday. This has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through.

“Your world just comes crashing down and life will never be the same again.”

Nurses first found the lump on Isaac when they carried out newborn screening tests.

After being rushed to hospital, an ultrasound on his pelvis and abdomen revealed his right testicle was filled with a half-solid/cystic tumour.

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Testicular tumours rarely happen in boys before the hit puberty.

If any of the below signs occur you should consult a doctor.

Most of the time it could be down to something else and medics will be able to rule out other issues such as a testicular torsion.

The four signs you need to know are:

  1. a painless lump in one of the testicles
  2. a feeling of weight in the scrotum
  3. swelling in the testicle – this could be with or without pain
  4. a dull pain or ache in the testicle, scrotum or groin.

Billie-Jo asked medics if her son had cancer, to which they told her that it would be rare, but there was a chance the tumour could be cancerous.

“None of the doctors had seen anything like it before,” she added.

Once it was confirmed the tumour was cancerous, little Isaac had survey to remove it.

“My biggest fear was that Isaac wouldn’t survive, I was scared he was in pain and I couldn’t do anything about it.

“I was petrified of his future and couldn’t bare talking about his future. I couldn’t imagine a life without him.

“It was utterly heart-breaking. No child should have to go through cancer. No child should have to fight for their life.

“As a parent it is your responsibility to protect your child, but I had no control over cancer, I knew I couldn’t protect him from that,” Billie-Jo said.

‘FELT LOST’

While the lump was spotted when Isaac was seven days old, he didn’t get an official diagnosis under he was four-weeks old.

He had to undergo a chest X-ray, bone scan, CT scan, ultrasound, MRI and a tumour marker blood test to stage his cancer.

Seeing her son go through so many tests made Billie-Jo feel ‘lost’, but she says she wanted to put on a brave face for her other kids.

She said: “Our other children Esmee, seven, and Reuben, five, helped us. We didn’t want to let them know in the early stages so they were a big distraction, I had to keep going for them.

“Whilst we waited for his biopsy results we tried to spend as much family time together as possible. We didn’t want them to catch on to what was going on.”

Thankfully, the cancer was caught early and little Isaac is now in remission.

He is so happy and strong and takes everything in his stride. He loves dancing and is always laughing and smiling

Billie-Jo Jobling

For the next five years he will have to have scans every three months as well as blood tests.

Naturally, Billie-Jo said she is always worried the cancer will return and said she finds scans ‘extremely difficult’.

She added: “We take it day by day and always try our hardest to remains positive.

“Although there is a low chance that his cancer will return, this doesn’t provide much reassurance as the chance of him developing cancer whilst he was developing inside of me was [also] extremely low and it happened – so I don’t really listen to statistics nowadays.

“I just know that if the worst was to ever happen again, I know that Isaac will forever be in safe hands whilst he is under Bristol Children’s hospital.”

Now Isaac is approaching his first birthday, and Billie-Jo said he is “thriving”.

She said: “He is so happy and strong and takes everything in his stride. He loves dancing and is always laughing and smiling.

“I want to share Isaac’s story because cancer doesn’t discriminate – it can happen to anyone.

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“Before having Isaac, I never spoke to my children about feeling for lumps in our body because cancer never entered my head.

“My children regularly check themselves now and know the importance of why we need to check for lumps.”

Even though their situation was hard to deal with, mum Billie-Jo said she had to put on a brave face for her other children. Isaac with sister Esmee and brother Reuben

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Even though their situation was hard to deal with, mum Billie-Jo said she had to put on a brave face for her other children. Isaac with sister Esmee and brother ReubenCredit: Jam Press
Thankfully, the cancer was caught early and little Isaac is now in remission

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Thankfully, the cancer was caught early and little Isaac is now in remissionCredit: Jam Press





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