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

Steven – Rhabdomyosarcoma AND Osteosarcoma

Our son was first diagnosed with Rhabdomysarcoma in 2006. He was six years old. Up to that point he had been a healthy child and so the doctors initially thought he had tonsillitis. Rhabdomyosarcoma is very aggressive soft tissue cancer and was allowed to grow in his sinus cavity, unchecked, for many months. Eventually his symptoms of nasal discharge and breathing problems became so severe that he had a CT scan at our local hospital. The scan showed the “mass” attached to his soft palate. He then went to Great Ormond Street Hospital for further tests and a biopsy, and that confirmed Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Following that diagnosis he started treatment immediately, and after 12 months of chemotherapy and six weeks radiotherapy he was in remission.

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Steven during radiotherapy

In 2014 however, he had a painful lump develop on his cheek. He was still having regular checks at Great Ormond Street and being monitored for late side effects. In view of his past history, there was no delay in organising a scan. The doctors had already warned us that it was likely he had another tumour. He had a biopsy and was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Steven needed more chemotherapy and many hours of surgery before he went into remission again.

The Osteosarcoma was caused by the radiotherapy he had for the first tumour.

This is just a brief outline of our son’s story. We shall look at it in more detail later.

If you would tell us about your child’s cancer, or you are a childhood cancer survivor, please get in touch and we would be very happy to give you a feature on our blog and later on the radio channel.

Best wishes

Ziggy Zoo and Betty Too