This is me doing another off-site post – @Sn0tty asked me if i’d write something for a new site. She’s involved in Navigating Cancer – a site for cancer patients and the people around them – she’s currently dealing with two cases in her own family. This is a copy of my post for their site…
In 2001, i was in London, when i got the call from Australia. Mum had cancer. It was advanced. The docs had told Mum she was in Stage 3 of 4, and she said not to worry, but when i looked it up, it said there was no Stage 4. Just 1, 2, then 3. 3 was terminal. I went home.
That was my first experience of spending time in the cancer wards. Mum’s cancer, a huge mass in her belly, responded so well to chemo treatment she went from terminal to recovering well inside 16 weeks. Suddenly it was in remission. We couldn’t believe it, she couldn’t, and we couldn’t thank the wonderful medical staff enough.
A few months later, my father rang me late at night. Lung cancer. Terminal. He might have five years, if the treatment worked. It didn’t – nine months later, despite similarly wonderful medical staff, despite the awfulness of chemo and radiotherapy, Dad died.
A website like this one is a wonderful resource – until you experience it, you have no idea of the despair and horror cancer brings, along with the strange joys, the black laughter, and the knowledge of who really cares. We had family, friends, and the medical staff, all being incredibly supportive, and it was still the scariest experience. We felt lost, alone, and helpless. And we weren’t even the patients – just the children of them.
The one major thing i took away from the experiences was that other people, often complete strangers you meet in waiting rooms or cancer treatment wards, become your strength.
I wish this site well – anything that can help take some of the load, answer questions, or simply put you in touch with information, and with others going through a similar nightmare, is a truly wonderful resource.