About this blog

About this blog

Mrs Brown’s Blogs - an honest and frank account of life, family and education. Her blogs provided an emotional outlet for her to tell the world exactly how heartbreaking but also inspiring it is to watch your child go through treatment for cancer. Blogs written by Kerry

  • Patient Name: Felix
  • Cancer Type: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
  • Age when diagnosed: 10

National Cancer Survivors Day 2022 blog

26th May 2022

Surviving Cancer

“So, what would you say is your proudest moment?” Asked the interviewer.

“Surviving cancer”, replied my 16-year-old son.

Now, this was something that I was not expecting when Felix recounted his recent interview for a part-time job. That poor interviewer – how do you respond to that?!

It has been six years since Felix was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of 10 and as he is growing up, it is clear that the diagnosis is now part of who he is, his identity; an identity of which he is very proud.

I know too many children who have died

I’m so pleased that Felix is starting to ‘own’ his diagnosis and as he matures he is starting to realise the enormity of what he endured. As parents, we just hoped that throughout his treatment and the following years, Felix and his siblings would feel loved, safe and listened to so that they could make sense of it all in their own time. This is what we are proud to witness now. His older sister, Talia, has just finished her final ‘A Level’ Art piece which is based on his diagnosis and cell development. She uses pictures of him in treatment to illustrate his experience through her eyes. Rufus was only six years old, when Felix was diagnosed but he can recall the special moments they experienced when the treatment plan allowed him to have fun with his brother and share special moments. Having a brother diagnosed with cancer is also part of their identity.

I find National Cancer Survivors Day, a difficult one to comprehend. I know too many children who have died and some who are living right now with the inevitability of death. I cannot think about Felix ‘surviving’ childhood cancer without immediately thinking of those who don’t. This is the harsh reality – no words can make this any different or any better. So many young lives are lost leaving families heartbroken and grieving for eternity.

Felix will be sitting his GCSEs

This reality was evident to us all when Felix was diagnosed. We faced it daily and still do because of the friends we have made along the way. To our wider extended family and friends, having someone so close and so young diagnosed with cancer was beyond reason. They watched from the side lines as he endlessly suffered from painful treatment that affected him both physically and emotionally. We all wondered how he would ever recover from the emotional and physical torment of treatment if he ever would.

We know that we are incredibly lucky that Felix is currently sitting his GCSEs, playing football and looking forward to the summer. He is excited about starting Sixth Form and studying ‘A’ Levels in the subjects he loves with a wonderful set of friends and a girlfriend he adores. Family and friends have been crucial to his well-being but the love and kindness from strangers have also helped him negotiate the curveball that life has thrown his way.

Our son’s diagnosis is part of who we all are now

Most days it fills us with great pride to see how far he has all come, how far we have all come since the day he was diagnosed in January 2016. Yet some days, his cancer diagnosis still fills us with the same dread and fear that it did six years ago. On National Cancer Survivors Day, I will be thinking of the children, those who have survived and those who have passed, their brothers, their sisters, their mums, their dads, their grandparents and their friends. I will be thinking of the tsunami that cancer can cause when a child is diagnosed; the tsunami that touches and affects so many people.

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