After playing in the paddling pool during the summer of 2012, a friend who is a health visitor mentioned that Phoebe’s tummy looked distended and felt hard on one side.
We had all thought she had a typical tubby toddler tummy although I had wondered why skirts and trousers for older children were not fitting properly. After a visit to the GP, we were referred for an ultrasound scan a few weeks later but we still thought it was probably an intestinal problem.
She had been eating slightly less for a while and vomited if she drank a large bottle or sometimes randomly in the morning, but she seemed perfectly healthy and all the above could be explained by toddler behaviour.
A scan revealed a large abdominal mass from her left kidney. We then begged for a CT scan and went in through A&E to get that and additional tests carried out that day. She had really high blood pressure and small amounts of blood in her urine.
By early afternoon our local hospital had been in touch with specialists from the Royal Marsden – we had a provisional diagnosis of a Wilm’s tumour and an appointment with an oncology consultant.