When we brought Sienna home from the hospital after 5 months of inpatient treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital, it wasn’t until we had been in our home environment to see how much she had changed.
Sienna spent the almost solid five months in an almost sedentary position. Back to back chemo treatments made her feel so shit that she didn’t want to get out of bed. And knowing what she was going through, how would I as her parent force her to do otherwise. Looking back the reality is that it may have helped her feel better mentally and physically if I had encouraged her to do so but I didn’t know any better.
When she did finally come home, I recall how much more she did do at home. In her familiar surroundings and with room to move, and it was that first week back when I saw her transitioning between her “kitchen” and pram that she moved with such ease and enjoyment. She was still exhausted from the effects of treatment and her body was weak from the fatigue, but she found such joy in her toys that she went from activity to activity and so too did we see her demeanour change.
As a he put on a ballet dress, generously given to her by the Royal Children’s Hospital, as she twirled and exclaimed “I’m a princess, I’m a princess” did I see her come out of her shell.
The sheer chance to move again saw me see my 3 year old again, like a normal kid. And the moving led to a healthier, happier child... she didn’t understand the effect it was having on her but from my own personal demons I have battled I recognised that physical activity was transforming her.
Little Big Steps mission is to bring some fun into physical activity to assist with health and wellbeing, based on a deeply personal experience in dealing with cancer.
Please help us teach kids and families living with cancer the importance of exercise to help with their physical and mental wellbeing. And let’s celebrate all the princesses - both healthy and otherwise.