Relapse Journey

Day 28: Unfiltered reflections

Unfiltered reflections from an oncology mother. Apologies in advance to my community if my post is confronting but awareness & understanding is what I am about. In staying true to myself, raw honesty is healing for me & my family as we travel through this cancer journey for a 2nd time.

Please unfollow me if my posts are distressing. I will not be offended. 😊

“Magical moments captured, in adversity, will only bring triumph of the human spirit”.

From a carer/mother perspective, creating connections & kinship during our cancer journey is not only healing for the mind, but for your entire body & soul.

Oncology parents need this, but so do the children. Especially the children. They are the patients after all.

Team Bella is so blessed to have met the most beautiful families on our journey. Even through despair, being able to reach out to others who “get it” makes a huge difference. Travelling that similar journey brings support, empathy, connectedness, laughter, encouragement, resilience & teaches us all how we can still GIVE love to others even under difficult circumstances.

This runs even deeper for our children who are the patients. They are the ones who live through the treatment. Losing their beautiful hair. Being in pain & suffering from a multitude of chemo related side effects: mucositis, localised pain in their bodies, learning impairment, mental health issues…the list goes on. Being away from their family, school friends & pets. Their CHILDHOOD is essentially disrupted during intense treatment. Undergoing years of toxic chemotherapy to keep them alive but at the same time, bring both short/long term health issues. 😢😱

In reality, as parents we make that difficult decision to play “God”. We make the choice to offer them the life-saving chemotherapy or other therapies to sustain their life. Which parent wouldn’t????

How do we make better a difficult situation? We build friendships. We engage in art, music, play therapy -which all combine to make this journey tolerable.

I have seen first hand how these connections have prevented her from becoming withdrawn & depressed during treatment. As a parent, I am mindful of this benefit so my family & I provide her with guidance to create these special bonds. To reach out to others. How she manages the friendship will be entirely up to her.

These friendships help to keep her motivated to get out of bed each morning. Looking forward to sharing the new day with her friend.

Both Bella & Rosie have come out of their “shells” in the matter of a day. I went out for the day yesterday, to get some reprieve, & came back to a bright, bubbly child who wanted to share her excitement of having such a wonderful day with her new friend. It gives her back CONTROL in a journey which unfortunately takes away their right to make life decisions & of course medical decisions ( as parents we need to provide this as they are minors). But this friendship thing-it’s giving them back control!

As parents we can see the dramatic healing a special bond can have for a patient. Especially when you are stuck on Kookaburra ward due to neutropenia (day 28 today for Bella)-so if you’re in good company, well that’s a bonus!!

Team Bella : Never give up! 👊💪👭

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