Worry & Fear

As we step in to another big round of treatment, we are again faced with the uncertainty of what the future holds.

Over the past 4 weeks Lochie has had a break from chemotherapy and the result has been that we have been gifted 4 glorious weeks of “normality”.

Apart from 12 days of radiation therapy at Peter Mac which featured a sometime 2-hour return trip for a 5 minute treatment, Lochie has been at home and allowed to act like a normal child. No restrictions on where we go or what we do.

The radiation was quite confronting with Lochie having to wear a mask that was perfectly contoured to the shape of his face and head and clamped firmly onto a table.

Although one could imagine that this treatment could be extremely traumatic for many paediatric patients, a VR experience and the staff at Peter Mac made this small part in the grand scheme of Lochie’s 2-year treatment protocol as non-intrusive as humanly possible.

Having a break from chemotherapy in a stage called interim maintenance has meant that Lochie’s intake has been reduced to minimal daily medication, eliminating the need for his nasal gastric tube and even been able to attend a few days back at school! To an 8-year-old boy – it was “Freedom”.

Being away from the hospital and in his own environment Lochie has been able to build strength back into his legs, walk longer distances and even start to ride his bike again. To witness this as a mother who at one point had to carry him to the shower, is an incredibly heart-warming experience.

As a parent of a child who has cancer anxiety and fear never leave you!

It is only now after 9 months of treatment that I realise that worry and fear will be something that Andy and I will have to endure for the rest of our lives.

Worrying over the smallest of bruises, a headache, or a sore leg takes you right back to the initial diagnosis and/or a possible relapse.

For us worry and fear that consumes us has become “the shitty reality”.

So, as we step into this next round I wonder what is ahead of us, I wonder what this round of 54 days of different types of chemo will do to our little boy who has already gone through nine gruelling months of high dose chemo and radiation therapy.

What I do know, it that at this point Lochie is stronger than he has been since before diagnosis, the steps he takes everyday and continues to take has, in my opinion put him in a really strong position and I hope that he can use that strength to get him through what undoubtably be a tough few months ahead.

The unknown is scary and we worry, however we put one foot in front of the other and take one step closer to hopefully a healthier future.

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Cassandra Howcroft