It's the start of the new school year...
It heralds the end of summer....
It's been a year since I posted properly...
And it's the month to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
A few years ago I probably never paid attention to media about childhood cancer awareness month. I had 3 beautiful children and was pregnant with Harry. Cancer was something that happened to someone else. Right??? Wrong!!!
Fast forward to January 2011 and harry entered the world. Beautiful and perfect and for a while life was good. I must have been walking round with my eyes shut, as I didn't see the massive sledgehammer swing back and slam into me, knocking me for six and I still am trying to find my feet. All of a sudden we were moved from the safety of being in the elite group of people where cancer doesn't exist into the dark gloomy group of a family of a child with cancer.
Instead of talking about night feeds, sitting up, teething the usual baby banter.. we were discussing hospital appointments, chemotherapy, fevers and blood transfusions. We watched helplessly as toxic chemo drugs were pumped into our tiny baby's body, as he grew weaker and needed tube feeding, as he fought off 2 deadly bouts of septicaemia, as we pinned him down for the numerous general anaesthetics.
Had I been a bit more cancer aware it might have been a little easier to bear. Had I taken more notice of those media campaigns it might have helped.
So it is with hindsight and the terrible journey we have been travelling on since Apr 2011 that I can stand up and shout out about raising awareness for childhood cancer. Too many children are taken by angels because of cancer, and although it is not a guarantee early detection can only give them a better chance to fight.
If only more people knew the signs and acted on them then even if just one extra child wins their fight then raising awareness is absolutely the right thing to do.
We don't want to scare people, we don't want them to think every illness is something sinister but just knowing the signs and trusting their instinct may be the difference.
So for September, Facebook and Twitter and any other social media is going to be flooded with messages from people like me. I have pinned gold ribbon to a beautiful picture of harry. He is beaming, but his eyes betray his condition. He has grown up with cancer it is all he has known. He has never known what it is like to have perfect vision, he will for the rest of his life be monitored for secondary cancers, heightened risk because of the faulty gene he has and because of the chemo we gave him to save his life (ironic isn't it) but he is happy.
He has grown into the strongest bravest boy I know, when you feel a bit sorry for yourself he makes you pull yourself together and think why, when after all he has been through. He bears no grudges and still says he loves me. He has taught me to live for today, and worry about tomorrow when it comes.
Childhood cancer receives little funding for finding cures compared to adult cancers. Many adult cancers are lifestyle related, but yet little is known why some childhood cancers happen. After all, children are just born, they haven't smoked or been in the sun too long etc but we need to change our thinking. Children are the future, and surely savings a child's life so they can grow into an adult to keep population going is only a good thing, so that's why keeping childhood cancer to the forefront is important.
Raising awareness can save lives. Don't think it will never happen to you, I did and how wrong was I.