As a mother, I maintained a high level of alert for my children, ever watchful for signs of impending disaster. With Fred there was an extra level of peril because, like a velociraptor, he was always testing the fences looking for weak points. Like that time he got up early and made a den byContinue reading “Anything but cancer – would you know what to look for in your child?”
When crisis hits, people want to be helpful but don’t know what to do. It’s often best to ask someone who does.
You never think it will happen to your family until it does.
Suddenly we were locked down. Our holiday was cancelled, Fred’s central line meant he could no longer go swimming. We were not allowed to travel anywhere more than 30 minutes from our hospital. I carried a thermometer in my handbag to check for temperatures.
How we talk about children’s cancer matters. It’s easy to worry about saying the right thing, the wrong thing, and often people end up saying nothing at all, which is the worst of all. The language used usually involves wars, battles, fighting, bravery. In many ways it’s odd. We never say a child lost their battle against an articulated lorry, but cancer it seems is up for the fight.
There are many kinds of mother you can be. Tiger mother, Alpha, Helicopter. I’ve never really seen myself as any of them, and certainly tried to avoid a few. If I had to classify my parenting style, I’d say that I carried stuff. To give it a festive flavour, if this were a nativity, I’d be the donkey.