There have been many moments over the last year where I have stopped myself and thought “how the hell did I get there” and this is definitely one of those moments. It only took three little words to change everything, “Donal has cancer”, but even after over a year, it still doesn’t seem real. It’s like a dream where you have no control and you think if you scream hard enough you will wake yourself up but however hard you try, no sound comes out. I wonder will it ever seem real or is it better this way?
I am on my way to the weekend Neuroblastoma conference in the UK. Don’t get me wrong, this is a truly amazing opportunity to get in front of consultants from some of the main nb centres in Europe and USA. I just never expected to be in this audience or part of this community of parents.
As Donal gets stronger and we start to see that there maybe an end to his current treatment, my instinct is to bundle him up, try and piece our lives back together and turn our back on the last year, try to move on with our lives. I know we can’t do this, this bloody cancer comes back!
I also realise that I have to try and think of his current treatment as only phase 1, which is why this weekend is so important to us. We need to start answering the question, what is phase 2 for Donal?
Realistically, there is no turning my back, especially when I live with a constant knot of dread in the pit of my stomach. So the only way is to shake it off and gather all the information I can, embrace this opportunity, so we are fully equipped for the next steps in Donal’s treatment.