No parent should ever hear those words
There are certain words no parent ever dreams will be in their vocabulary let alone will be uttered about their own child, yet 3 weeks ago my vocabulary was given a massive, unwanted and irreversible upgrade and it started with the four simple words; my child has cancer. My gorgeous, wild, free-spirited, independent, vibrant little girl has CANCER? Our wild journey has taken a completely unexpected turn in the road.
After two months of haggling with doctors to get pain relief for Caroline, for what we were told was an ear infection and swollen gland, I finally battled on the phone for almost 12 minutes to get a fifth appointment to have her examined again by a GP because alternating Calpol and Calprofen had not dented the pain she was suffering. This was February 27th. We were referred to hospital later that day for blood tests for possible mumps or glandular fever. It feels as though we’ve never left.
The swollen gland is in fact the external protrusion of a large tumour in Caroline’s head though thankfully not in her brain nor spread to anywhere else in her body.
We were kept in overnight and in 60 hours Caroline endured blood tests, an ultrasound scan, insertion of a cannula, an MRI with dye, a CT scan, chest X-ray and a biopsy through the soft palate of her mouth. Sent home for 4 days, we were called back early when the results revealed a rare cancerous tumour, Rhabdomyosarcoma. She underwent further bone scans, a lumbar puncture, bone tissue and marrow checks, had a central line inserted into her chest where it remains for the 9 months of treatment and chemo started, unbelievably, 2 days later. Last night almost all her hair fell out.