Coping with the diagnosis
“I knew it was bad as soon as the doctor asked to speak to us in private. Although cancer had crossed my mind I never believed Dylan had it. We were totally shocked and heartbroken for him. I remember just bursting into tears with my first thought being that he’s going to die.
It was very hard since we had six boys ranging from 1-17. We were told that Dylan would have to be kept in hospital for further tests and treatment. I’m disabled and my husband is my carer. We asked my cousin to pick me up, and my mother-in-law to stay over to help me.
We had to explain to Dylan he was poorly with bad blood and needed to stay in hospital. He was so upset that I couldn’t stay with him, but accepted that daddy would be with him.
The next couple of weeks went by in a sort of daze. We learnt Dylan had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and were told what type of treatment he would need. I also had to explain to him that he had cancer – I didn’t want him find out from someone else. I was taken aback when he replied “am I gonna die?” Of course he’d heard about cancer, and many times it’s associated with death.
My oldest son Lamar had a panic attack a few days after the diagnosis. It was very frightening – he collapsed and was clutching his chest but thankfully the ambulance crew were great. He was allowed home after observation. I think Dylan’s diagnosis had a huge impact on all of us. Those first few weeks were extremely hard to cope with but we had excellent support from family and friends.”