I’d already typed an essay about our escapades this week, moaning about the three attempts it took to get into George’s new port when George was poorly, moaning about the hospital having no beds and generally feeling sorry for myself because of him being under the weather.
But now everything has changed. There was a lady who I didn’t know the name of, who had been the first person to hug me, hold me when I received the worst ever news. I walked in from the doctor telling us George’s diagnosis and she automatically held out her arms because she knew what I was going through. She told me she understood and I cried into her shoulder. I knew she understood. I’d sat watching her, her husband and their little boy, who quite obviously was undergoing treatment, all day and wondered how they could be carrying on with life so normally?.
I felt their little boy, Isaac, was probably about 18 months old and he sat chucking a yoghurt spoon on the floor every time his dad picked it up. They laughed and chatted and watched CBeebies together. They were the first people I thought of when we’ve returned to Alder Hey since and I’ve seen other newly diagnosed families sat around in a trance. I’ve wanted to be that inspirational family to someone else – and it’s bloody hard sometimes!
I saw this family a couple of weeks ago across the Oncology day unit and the Mummy waved and beamed a knowing smile over to me. If I’m honest, I wanted to run over and thank her but could see she was chatting with other families.
Last night I read devastating news. That lovely family’s gorgeous baby boy has gained his wings and his fight is over. Isaac had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia like George. This disease is vile.
Suddenly the moaning I was going to share has paled into insignificance… because it’s my moaning at the end of the day, not Georges, he’s happy, he’s forgotten about the shite I’m worrying about and crucially he’s tucked up in bed with us.
Claire and Gaz, you inspired me to be strong from the start of our baby’s diagnosis, I wish I could give you some of that back right now. My heart is breaking for you.
I know that the family had recently been helped by the Anthony Nolan Trust with help to find a matching stem cell donor for little Isaac. If you’re thinking you want to go one step further in helping children overcome this awful disease, have a look into donating stem cells. Georgie could be one of those children one day.