Hearing a Doctor say the words ‘Your child has cancer’ will never be easy to hear. I think many parents go through different stages throughout this. I know I was feeling all kinds of emotions when I was told and throughout all Riley’s treatments. Grief, denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance!
Cancer can go on for several years, with many highs and lows. Even after your child has been put into remission.
I went though Shock!
Childhood cancer literally came out of nowhere! I was in utter shock when it happened. My child was happy and healthy before I was told the news, I’d have never thought my child would get cancer. Most of us think it wont happen too us!
I felt Numb!
I wasn’t able to think clearly and I know I did struggle to remember things the doctor had said! I had so many questions and thoughts going on in my mind. I had lots of blank moments where I wanted to say something but just couldn’t. My mum started writing things down for us to remember all the important stuff, doctors name etc.
I was in Denial!
Along with the shock and feeling numb I wanted to believe this was a mistake. These results couldn’t be Riley’s. Something was wrong. After hearing it a few days after again that Riley definitely had Neuroblastoma I knew my son had cancer. I knew this was going to be my life now. Nothing I could do to change the results.
I was Scared and I had Anxiety!
I kept thinking about the treatment ahead, it used to drive me crazy. Every child deals with treatment different, I’ve seen children react amazing to the treatment they were getting and I’ve seen children react badly to the treatment. It was always wondering how will Riley react? Will it work? What will happen if it doesn’t work? My world had stopped! Every new treatment would make me anxious. When I’m anxious I emotional eat! Crisps chocolates, hot chocolate will all the tripping’s were my best friends!
Was I to Blame?
I think I often find myself questioning, did I do anything wrong? Did I miss something? Why didn’t I know the signs or the symptoms on childhood cancer? Because I didn’t breast feed Riley I wondered if this was why he got cancer? I think many parents, maybe more mums blame themselves.
All the hopes and dreams I had for my future would echo in the hope and dreams I had for Riley’s future. All our dreams I questioned! Sometimes I still feel its hard to express my emotions, even if its just speaking to family or friends. Its still hard for me to openly say ‘Look I’m struggling, I’m really sad’.
I was so Angry!
‘Why me? Why Riley?’ I know I will never be able to answer these questions. I think I took my anger out on people that loved me the most, that I needed the most. Sometimes even though I had lots of people around me I did feel alone. Sometimes I still do. I get lonely. I feel like I’m in the way. I feel like I’m failing as a parent. I cant stay strong and that makes me angry! I know I need to be strong for Riley.
Some days I still feel all these emotions, Some days are worse then others. Everyday is different!