Things have progressed a lot since my last post on my wife’s situation.
She has been to see her specialist who has informed us that she might not need radiotherapy which was good news, however she will require Radio iodine. This is the treatment which actually requires Sharon to stay away from the kids for up to 3 weeks, 4 days of that she will be in isolation within the hospital. The date for the treatment is 2nd September so only 4 weeks away until she goes in for her treatment.
One of the challenges this presents to us as a family is what do we tell our 4 year old son Ewan, who during the previous stages – sharon’s operation – was affected quite badly by what was happening around him, as it was feelings he had never really encountered or felt before.
So our major priority this time round is to ensure that Ewan feels more informed about what is happening, what it means and how long mummy will be away for. We started this communications earlier this week and he has made me so proud.
We had a plan of how and what we were going to say and Sharon started the process of talking to him on Monday. This basically reflects the conversation from the feedback i received from Sharon:
Ewan, Mummy’s doctors have said that i have to go back into hospital
Why? Will you need a plaster on your neck again (he expressed concern and looked worried at this point)
No, mummy won’t need a plaster this time round (Ewan’s face changed to relief and started smiling) Well the doctors have said that, there maybe some very little pieces left, so small you would need a special magnifying glass to see them. Mummy will have to take a special drink, which contains a special medicine which will travel all around my body and when it finds the little baddies it chops them up like Kung Fu Panda.
Ewan then proceeded to make chopping noises and karate movements
However, it will also mean that mummy will need to stay in hospital for a long time, and will be looked after by the doctors and nurses. Mummy will even have her own room, so you could draw me pictures.
Ewan then started talking about all the different types of pictures he could draw. Ewan then said – Mummy, me and Finley (our 2 year old son) could bring our pictures into the hospital for you.
You won’t be able to come to the hospital as no one will be allowed to see me other than the doctors and nurses, BUT you could go to the post office with daddy and buy a stamp and then stick your pictures in a big envelope and then post them to me as the hospital.
Ewan’s face lit up and then got really excited about buying a stamp (Kids have the best outlook on life, i don’t think i have ever got excited about buying a stamp before)
The conversation then went on for a little while around this area, sharon mentioned that i will be staying home from work to look after him, Finley and charm (our dog) but he did not seem concerned initially about Sharon going into hospital. We now just need to continue to the dialogue with Ewan about mummy going into hospital to ensure that the process continues.
The other interesting aspect to this whole event, is the response from friends and family. What has been nice is to hear people asking how sharon is and how she is feeling etc. But also people are asking how i am and how i feel about the whole thing and how i am coping.
The hardest thing about this for me is the feeling of helplessness, i know i need to be strong for the kids and will be and it will actually be nice to spend some quality time with them during those 3 weeks sharon is away from home.
It is hard to really explain how i feel, but at present i just feel mentally exhausted and i feel very emotional most of the time. I often feel like crying when thinking about what sharon has gone and is going through, after all, the word cancer does trigger emotions based around loss. We are lucky that sharon has a treatable cancer. Most of all though this whole experience makes you realise the important things in life and not that sharon has been close to death, although the specialist did say something which worried me considerably. He did mention that if the cancer has spread and it could move to the lung next and that is not good. I felt like being sick when i heard that. It is a small percentage and is “unlikely” according to the specialist but they have to say these things in order to cover all bases.
On the whole though i feel grateful to still have my wife in good health and the 3 weeks she will be away will be nothing compared to the rest of our lives so it is an easy sacrifice to make.
The next 2 months will be hard and i will be sharing more, sharon has also decided to write down her thoughts and she is keen to share them through the web, perhaps via a blog or a website. Listening to her talk about how she feels and how she wants to get through this is inspiring to me and i only hope that her experiences can help someone else.