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.
The thing about tsunamis is the bit before the wave. A monumental rupture happens, hidden underground, miles away and unseen – but the wave doesn’t come straight away. First there is the drawback. It’s the moment where all the water gets sucked out to sea, where the power builds. It’s the part where the fish are left flapping on the beach and no one can quite work out what’s going on. And it’s the part that people see.
I wrote this very soon after Fred died – but didn’t particularly want to share it. A recent conversation made me think of it, and the anger and the rawness that needs a place to go. What you don’t know about grief is that it happens from the inside out. I know you want toContinue reading “What you don’t know about grief”
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.