CCAM

All kinds of emotions. CCAM #ablogaday day25

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.

Depression!

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!

 

CCAM

This is me! CCAM #ablogaday day21

Have you heard the song ‘This Is Me‘ from the Greatest Showman?

It makes me so emotional, every time I hear it I have tears running down my face. In some ways I think they are proud and happy tears because its a really powerful song, it makes me think of Riley.

I think of Riley when he was bald. His bright blue eyes used to shine so bright. He looked gorgeous as ever. But, to people who saw him at the park or at the shop they used to stare! Full on stare at him, make little comments and some children used to laugh. I mean you can understand children because they don’t know that some children can loose their hair, never mind that children can get cancer. Id have thought adults would have more respect though! I often see Riley in my head when I listen to this song, running around at the park or the shops being a ‘normal’ child with his lovely little bald head! That was him! He didn’t need to hide away! I loved him as he was!

I could never hold my tongue and used to have ago at people that stared at him. They shouldn’t be making comments about him. Riley never let them upset him! Baring in mind he was only 2-3 years old. He just got along with his life. They used to break me down.

”Look out ’cause here I come. And I’m marching on to the beat I drum.”

When I hear them lyrics. the tears run down my face. Riley is taking on the world! He has struggled so much through his treatment and now he can go and enjoy his life! He can do things that his friends can. He can do what a child his age should be doing! He makes me so proud! So so so proud!

I think what people have to remember is children that have been diagnosed with cancer are going through the toughest battle of their lives! That is them! They are brave! They will be bruised! Love them as they are! They are so beautiful, gorgeous and so brave and incredibly strong!

I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that’s what we’ve become (yeah, that’s what we’ve become)

I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh
This is me

(Oh-oh-oh-oh) and I know that I deserve your love
(Oh-oh-oh-oh) ’cause there’s nothing I’m not worthy of
(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is proof
This is who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come (look out ’cause here I come)
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I’m gonna send a flood
Gonna drown them out
Oh
This is me

CCAM

🎗 It wasn’t my fault. CCAM #ablogaday day19

It is absolutely devastating to hear that your child has cancer and you will have many different feelings and emotions.

When i was told Riley had cancer, I felt like the world was crashing down around me, i felt numb, I felt like everybody knew what I had just been told. I was shocked, scared, sad, angry, I just didn’t want to believe it and i felt so guilty! I think these are normal reactions. I’ve had conversations with nurses and doctors before about blaming myself and I have to remember its not my fault that Riley got cancer, i didn’t do anything and there was nothing I could do!

Guilt is rife among cancer parents, Was it something I did?

Could I have prevented this?

I know there was nothing I could have done because we don’t know why children get cancer. Whatever causes cancer in children is not the same as what causes cancer in adults. I know its important to know that it’s nothing I did.

Researchers have looked at every possible cause – from what mummy ate during pregnancy to the parents’ jobs, to where they live. They can’t come up with a reason why some children get cancer, and others do not.

I guess we pulled the out the short straw.

I think some people think cancer can spread like the flu! Like if their children are near your child they will catch cancer. Its not like that at all. I honestly felt like when Riley was diagnosed that everybody was trying to keep their children away from him because they honestly thought they would catch it!

I used to look at children who had gorgeous hair running around the park or just over at the shop and I used to think what if they have cancer? why wasn’t it you? why did it have to be my child?

CCAM

🎗 A new world. CCAM #ablogaday day18

When you hear the words “Your child has cancer” it changed your life forever.

You enter a whole new world.

The first time on the ward, been shown around. The parents of the children that are already having treatment can spot a newbies a mile away! The look in your eyes. When you hear people laughing you get confused, laughing on a children’s cancer ward? What’s to laugh about?

Before you know it, you’ve settled into your new life. Because as much as we hate it to be this is our new life, we have to ‘get used to it’. You start to learn a new language, platelets, haemoglobin levels, neutropenia. The hello to another parents in the family kitchen turns into an update on each other child. You’ve made friends, friends that understand you, understand your pain and anger.

One thing I didn’t do was get less worried about tests and scans. I still got the same paranoia, the same worry.

You fall in love with other children on the ward, you watch them fight, you watch them laugh. Taking it all on like true superheroes. You think positive seeing the children laughing and smiling. These children are going through hell but get excited when the playroom door opens and they can play. It gives you hope that your child can still enjoy things even though their going through hell!

And you do laugh, every day. Laugh with your child and the staff.

You love the staff that care for your child. The amazing nurses that take amazing care of your child. The care assistants that will do absolutely anything for your child! The housekeeper your child love and can’t wait to see. The doctor that you admire and trust. The physios that help your child walk again. The pharmacists that get all your child’s medication ready to take home. The kitchen staff, the play team, the family support team that sit with your child whilst you have a shower or run for a coffee.

The families on the ward, they are the only ones that know what you’re going through.

We have to remember when we’re going theough hell, we have to keep going!

CCAM

🎗 The new you. CCAM #ablogaday day18

I think in many ways I was born the day Riley was diagnosed with cancer. I know I had to grow up quick for a 20 year old.

The world falls silent around you. Everything was shut out, what was on tv, that extra tenner. It awakens suffering and the awareness to what’s actually important in life. The new you begins that day.

  • The things a cancer parent knows:
    • Children can get cancer. Riley was just 21 months when he was diagnosed.
      The chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgeries, blood transfusion all seem like yesterday even though it was 2 years ago.
      You never forget, it’s attached to your memory forever.
      It’s the most heartbreaking thing in the world been told your child has cancer.
      Babies can be born with cancer. It’s highly likely Riley was!
      Toddlers can throw a tantrum whilst having cancer.
      Children can handle higher doses of chemotherapy then adults.
      Children can still play whilst pulling an IV pole whilst having chemotherapy.
      The treatment is all awful. There’s not easy way to explain it.
      We’ve all heard of radioactive urine.
      You can actually sleep sitting up! You never really sleep in the hospital anyways… beep beep beep.
      Nothing in your life is more important then getting your child well again!!
      A mothers love knows no bounds.
      You’ll never forget the smooth bald head against your check.
      Or when their hair starts growing back! I’ll never forget the seeing the first few pure blonde hairs.
      No matter how long your child has been in remission every ache and pain will remind you that the cancer can come back!

    Children never give up. Neither do the parents.

    September is childhood cancer awareness month.