Glossary of terms

We've had to learn so much stuff, thought it might be useful to readers to explain some of the terms we now use as everyday language. This part will get updated no doubt...

The type of cancer that Gavin has. A childhood cancer of the muscle.

Central line/Hickman line
A wire that comes out of  Gavins chest that is used to administer chemotherapy, take blood samples, or give anaesthetics. Essentially a semi-permanent cannula, giving access to the blood stream. 'Freddies' is the term used for/with children.

A type of white blood cell. They are key players in our immunity systems, and get hit hard by chemo. A blood reading of 0.5 or less indicates neutropenia - high risk of picking up infections, but also limited ability for the body to fight it off. A key indicator as to whether more chemo is given ie whether the body can take it or not. Normal reading are nearer to 5, or above.

PSI Paul Scherrer Institut
The proton therapy treatment centre, located about 20 miles north west of Zurich. It's primary function is using protons for physics research. Proton therapy for cancer patients is a small part of what they do overall.

The children's hospital in central Zurich.

Local control
A term to describe the need for killing the cancer in the original site. Chemotherapy is a systemic approach and surgery/radiotherapy/proton therapy provides local control. You need both for the best chance of a cure.

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