When my son was diagnosed with leukaemia
When my 2 year old son was diagnosed with AML I didn't sleep for 40 hours, then just cried. And I'm glad I did, because it let out all the frustration, anger and upset really early on - which helped me to deal sensibly with all that happened: nearly losing him, intensive care, procedures, anaesthetics, new words and realities, the side-effects of the chemotherapy.
At no point did I think "why my son, why us, why me?" In fact, I was aware of the indiscriminate nature of Leukaemia - so why not my son, us, me?
The hardest part is watching him (his treatment is ongoing) deal with the side effects, but we've told him that we're fighting the monsters in his blood and that seems to make sense to him.
My advice is therefore threefold to parents in our situation:
• Don't feel you have to be a stoic all the time – cry, let it out. Especially you other fathers. It'll help.
• Don't waste time questioning why - there's no answer and your time is better spent being positive for your child and getting on with it
• Don't try to protect them from it all - kids are remarkably resilient and anything you can do to help them make sense of the routine, treatment and chemotherapy allows them to gain a working understanding of all the strange, new and often unpleasant things happening.
Good luck if you are reading this.
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