This was the start of my journey
It seems stupid thinking about it now, but my attitude was if this is happening to me I might as well get some advantage out of it (an ethos I have also used for my hearing loss but we will come to that another time). Of course, there are low points right at the beginning. Some of the medication was absolutely disgusting, to the point of child cruelty! You also had the issue of the hair falling out. My grandad found some positivity in this – the more I kept pulling it out and saving it in a plastic cup, the more I thought I was helping him with his own bald issues.
You also have the moments you appreciate more as an adult than you do as a child. The nurses who are happily willing to talk to about subjects ranging from football through to your parents insistence that I would have to go down to the school room at some point – secretly the nurses were in support of my dedication to the Sega Mega Drive and Sonic the Hedgehog. Also, the times you did feel a bit sad and needed a bit of reassurance and a pep talk before downing another vile pot of liquid.
More importantly the doctors who treated you like an adult – who sat with you on their rounds and explained everything that was happening both now and in the future. At the time you are hoping they would go away soon as you had the TV to watch. But now, I really do value the importance of that. Just the same as when I was told I had leukaemia, they treated me not as a young boy who would, supposedly, not understand the impact of what was being told to him. But as a cancer patient – who not only deserved but demanded the right to be told everything that was going on with his body both clearly and constructively.
So this was the start of my journey. Not one that was particularly enjoyable I admit. But here is the ironic thing (and a little spoiler for you)
I am 33 now and the “Big C” didn’t win.
Which means the switch might have turned on. But with the love, help and expertise (of which this charity supports so well), I managed to turn it off.
This article was produced by with permission from author, [Darren]