A TWO-year-old boy suffering with a sore throat and ear infection was diagnosed with cancer.
Jensen Chessell-Talmage had been struggling with reoccurring illnesses, with doctors giving him antibiotics.
His stunned mum has revealed how she knew he wasn’t right when he went pale and had started limping.
She told how the little boy from Chester was eventually diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, after she asked for a blood test.
Louise Chessell said she first noticed that her son “wasn’t himself” in December 2019.
She said: “He started getting reoccurring ear infections, tonsillitis, he started limping, he was going pale. He just wasn’t himself.
“He was bruising easily. He was falling over. We went to the doctors and they were putting it down to either viral or chest infection, ear infection, tonsillitis, them types of things.
“He was on constant antibiotics and then one Thursday night he woke up at three in the morning and his neck was really sore and he was crying. He was two at the time, in April 2020.
“I felt all around his neck and he had lumps after lumps in it. I phoned my doctors on the Friday and said what I’d seen and they said it would be worst case scenario, but I asked for a blood test.
Jensen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a type
of cancer that affects white blood cells.
The then two-year-old was placed on an intense type of chemotherapy
called frontline treatment.
Jensen started his maintenance phase of chemotherapy in November last year, which will last until 2023.
Louise now wants to raise awareness of childhood cancer and tell parents to “follow their instincts”.
She said: “If they feel like something isn’t right then just follow their gut instinct and push for more answers and tests. If I didn’t push for answers and tests it could’ve gone on for a longer time with him being undiagnosed.
“Obviously nine times out of ten it’s not going to be cancer really, but if you feel like your child’s not very well.”
Louise also added that looking out for symptoms is also an important factor.
“Just look out for symptoms as well. Obviously bruising, paleness, lack of appetite, tiredness,” she explained.
“Jensen wasn’t really a good sleeper to be honest, and he was sleeping loads and loads and struggling to keep his eyes open.
“With a childhood cancer diagnosis you feel like the world is over, but with all the treatment and things like genetic testing, the survival rate is a very high chance.”
There are no specific signs or symptoms which would allow for a doctor to make a diagnosis without lab tests.
In all types of leukaemia symptoms are more commonly caused by a lack of normal blood cells than by the presence of abnormal white cells.
As the bone marrow becomes full of leukaemia cells, it is unable to produce the large numbers of normal blood cells which the body needs.
This can lead to anaemia, weakness and tiredness, more frequent infections, fever, bleeding and bruising.