There are some words you never want to hear. Hearing them is the worst thing in the world but when they apply to your only child it is so much worse – your whole world is turned upside down and torn apart in the blink of an eye.
Here are just some of the things I heard in the space of 348 days and the emotions I felt when I heard them…
- “It’s cancer in his leg: it’s called Osteosarcoma. It’s very aggressive.” (Shock)
- “There’s a 30-40% chance of survival after 5 years.” (Tears/Unreality.)
- “They’re not ‘show-stopping’ tumours in the lungs.” (You think that this is good news!)
- “We won’t be amputating…” (again, good news) “…but, if the implant doesn’t take we’ll have to.” (Panic)
- “It’s spread.” (Emotional pain which hurts physically.)
- “We’re just on the right side of 50/50.” (You heave a sigh of relief).
- “Make a Wish Foundation” (You actually have fun together planning late into the night in Intensive Care – even though you never get there.)
- “The ambulance is on its way.” (The drivers become your friends, some still are. Gill and Dave were stars!)
- “There’s nothing more we can do…..it’s in his lungs, liver and lymph node system. Life-limiting illness.” (You try to persuade yourself that this doesn’t mean your child’s going to die.)
- “6 months without treatment, a year with it.” (Do you? Don’t you? The treatment is horrendous.)
- “Weeks rather than months.” (No words)
- “Days rather than weeks.” (Again, no words.)
- “We’re on short days now.” (What does that even mean?)
- “Don’t leave him alone.” (I’m not ready for this…)
- “There’s nothing you can do – I’m on my way.” (Why? Will she get here in time?)
- “He looks so relaxed and at peace now…”
I know I am not the only parent who has heard these heart breaking words and unfortunately, I know that I won’t be the last. This is an exclusive club that no one wants to join.
Like all of the other parents who have heard these life changing words, I know I will never recover but knowing that our work helps families enduring this absolute hell keeps me going.
Miss you, Big Guy x