Nicole – Cancer Parent

It is not always easy to explain how it feels to be a parent or carer of a child with cancer. This article, by Nicole, is taken with her permission, from Facebook, and tells of the anguish of trying to stay positive for your child, while your insides are just churning with anxiety.

Here I sit reflecting the past 5 years, this is something I do leading up to any surgery, procedure or results. My mind cannot focus on anything else, I think about the original diagnosis, the denial and the reality – reality is not how I expected my life to be. Cancer not only robbed my daughter’s childhood, even if she manages to fight every cancer cell in her body my life will always be centered around the sh** that tried to kill my daughter. It has destroyed me, robbed the innocence of motherhood… My daughters own body has raged a war against herself and I am powerless to stop it. There is nothing worse than that…. is there? And whilst she sits there so positive and I pretend everything is ok and everything is normal – inside I am fighting a battle no parent should ever have to…. how awful is that I have thought about the song that she will be remembered by, how bad is it that I lie and tell her everything is going to be alright when I don’t actually know if it is…. please don’t tell me I’m strong because I am so weak. I don’t want you to walk in my shoes – I never want you to feel the pain I’m feeling, I never want you to look in your child’s eyes and be filled with the fear and worry I feel. All I want is kinder treatments, research and a cure that can give our children 100% chance to become an adult. I want people to pause, just for a second and try, try to imagine it was happening to them… because the 9th October 2012 I was just like you..

Thank you for allowing us to share your feelings Nicole.

Our best wishes to you and your family,

Ziggy Zoo and Betty Too

Xx

Jack – Rhabdomyosarcoma

Jack was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma in July 2015.

Jack - Rhabdomyosarcoma
Jack

He underwent 11 cycles of Chemo (IVADO) and 26 sessions of radiotherapy. This initial treatment saw tumours disappear.

However, Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (also known as ARMS) is very aggressive. Sadly, the cancer returned very quickly, and Jack lost his brave fight in July 2016, aged 19.

Here are his own  words….

‘My name is Jack, I’m 19 years old. I became ill last year whilst taking my A Levels. After initial problems with diagnosis, I was confirmed as having a type of soft tissue sarcoma (rhabdomyosarcoma). Initial treatments were gruelling but positive. However, soon after treatments ended, the sarcomas came back, hard. The doctors now tell me that they can’t cure me.

Sarcomas are relatively rare but are often the main cancers to affect teenagers like me. Many of my friends who are fellow patients also have this same illness. I am determined to help research into sarcomas and am already taking part in one research project, but we need more funding. Research will help us better understand the causes and identify improved treatments, saving young lives in the future.

I’m a private person and it’s been a big decision for me to share this publicly, but it’s the right thing to do. So please, please help.


Please make a donation, share my appeal with as many people as you can, especially any businesses who can help.

With your generosity, I might be able to make a difference. Help me to help others.


Thank you
Jack’

A much loved and loving young man, a bright devoted and caring son and a loyal friend with so much to live for and so many dreams. Only weeks away from starting at university when the disease took that away from him. Jack felt passionately that research into RMS was essential in order to save other young people in his situation.

His website has raised over £87K to date (October 2017).

Our thoughts are with his family and we are grateful to them for allowing us to share Jack’s story to help us raise awareness.

Ziggy Zoo and Betty Too

Xx

Hannah – Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Today we are sharing Hannah’s story by her Mum, Allison.

Hannah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at 11 months old, on 23rd March 2016. She was in and out of hospital during the 9 months of intensive chemotherapy, she is now 9 months into maintenance treatment, thankfully she’s coping quite well and we’re hoping this can continue until end of treatment.

Was it quite easy to get a diagnosis or were there delays?

It was 13 days, between going to the doctors and getting a diagnosis. Her symptoms were bumps on her head and bruising all over, they did thorough scans, blood tests and a biopsy. This was an urgent matter, to rule us out as the cause. Her blood results didn’t show anything sinister, but the biopsy did.

That was very quick. It is not always the case though is it? It sounds like such an awful time for you. It is good that Hannah was dealt with so quickly though!

No, I’ve heard some parents have had to go back and forth with doctors for five months or more, although it hurt they thought it could be us (they thankfully put it low on the list of reasons, but had to check), I’m glad it meant they took her symptoms seriously.

I am thankful that although [the lumps] look really bad, they didn’t seem to cause her any pain. When they had to touch them to examine her, she didn’t flinch at all.

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We are very grateful to Allison for telling us all about Hannah and letting us share her story to help raise awareness. We send her and her family our very best wishes, and hope that Hannah continues to progress well with her treatment.

If you would like to add a message for the family then you may do so below, or use our contact form, and we will pass it on.

If you have a childhood cancer story to share then please do get in touch via the form below and we will add you to our pages.

Thank you for reading,

Ziggy Zoo and Betty Too

Xx