A day does not go by when I don’t wonder why Elizabeth has cancer.
The doctors can’t tell me.
The researchers don’t know.
Was it something we could have prevented had we known?
Its not often I think back to the beginning of our journey, back to August 2012 when our nightmare began. Back to seeing my daughter tired, pale not wanting to play. The signs were there but I did not know.
A virus they said, how wrong they were.
I knew something was not right.
A blood test destroyed our lives.
Jobs abandoned, school uniform she would not fit into before it has even been worn.
Heart ache, pain, stress, financial worries and that was just me. Imagine what Elizabeth was feeling. All the machines, the kids with no hair, tubes hanging out of her chest, disgusting medicines she had to take all the time, food she couldn’t eat because of ulcers in her mouth, food she didn’t want to eat because it was disgusting. Wanting to play but too weak to stay awake. Wanting to go home with no end in sight.
CT scans, Xrays, Ultrasounds, cannulas, hickman lines, nasogastric tubes, thumb pricks, chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, general anaesthetics, things I never wanted my baby to have to know about let alone experience.
Cancer hit us hard, we had no money, no way out, we just had to keep going. We sold our car to pay our rent, we sold our gadgets to feed us, everything went apart from my phone and my laptop. I needed those, I needed you.
The weeks went by and we left the hospital, the drugs continued, she started to eat and didn’t need her nasogastric tube, the drugs continued, she started to feel a bit stronger, the drugs continued, christmas came and went, the drugs continued, she started school part time, the drugs continued, her hair grew back, the drugs continued, she had a birthday, the drugs continued, we went on holiday, the drugs continued, another christmas came and went, the drugs continued, she learnt to read, the drugs continued, she had a birthday, the drugs continued, She went back to school and the drugs continue. But not for long.
Seven more weeks and the drugs will stop.
No more lumbar punctures, no more chemotherapy, lots more worry.
What will the withdrawal be like? How will she cope? How will I cope? Will it come back? Will she get a different form of cancer?
Will a day ever go by when I don’t have to think of cancer?
Will a day ever go by when I don’t think about how close we came losing her?
Cancer has changed our lives, some of it has been shit but those moments that are not shit are amazing because cancer helped us in one way and that was to allow us to realise how precious life is and we grasp it in both hands and we live it to its fullest.
So yes Cancer it is nearly time for you to fuck off but I hope to never forget the lesson you have taught me and I hope to never have to deal with you again.