I put the key in to open the door. A scrambling of little footsteps can be heard and as I enter, a beautiful happy 4 year old races to meet me.
“Daddy, your home, You’re my best friend!” Harry jumps up for a clinching hug “Harry, your my best friend” I reply, scooping him up for a big hug. Then out of nowhere Sue calls out “Harry, your my best friend!” It’s our little competition between sue and I, But eventually together we all affirm that we are all best friends, no one more so than the other (although the game is to get Harry to tell Sue or myself which one of us is his true best friend.)
I have 3 boys Dylan is 14, Seth is 10 and Harry is 4.
Dylan and Seth will always have memories of me before my cancer, when I wasn’t disfigured. At the ages of 10 and 6 they had to deal with my cancer, see me be destroyed and rebuilt, knowing that cancer kills.
I sat them down, how do I tell them? What do I tell them? They are old enough to be aware of death. It was the one conversation I feared the most. They listened as I gently told them what would happen. Their young eyes and ears digesting every word.
“Are you going to die daddy?”
The killer question which if in this situation is the one you prepare for.
“No. I have to have a big operation, and I will never look the same, but I will be fine”
At the same time we Sue and I had the news of our baby, so early on in the pregnancy. So much to deal with emotionally.
My reason for this post is to give tribute to my children. Cancer could have taken me not only literally but mentally, my children made all my hard decisions simple. Do what ever it takes to live.
After my treatment I suffered from the side effects of radiotherapy. I could barely motivate myself to eat. Every day was a struggle. But my boys were always there.
Harry was born.
I got to be a part of every moment. I couldn’t work and so I was there, always. Our bond was so strong, he would snuggle up to me, my disfigurement meant nothing to him, love knows no boundaries.
As he grew, we was together as a family unit. What an absolutely beautiful time. I didn’t disappear from his day, the bond between father and son, and mother and son was shared. I am truly grateful because without cancer I would have missed so much.