Drew's family visited the Cotswolds in July 2023.
2022 introduced Cancer into our lives .. and not in a small way. Here's our story.
Drew was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in May 2022, just after his 4th birthday. The diagnosis journey was hard. Many GP visits with new infections diagnosed and antibiotics every time.
Drew was visibly very unwell. It took me (Dad) sitting in the GP surgery refusing to leave until we had answers. It was a trainee GP that took the initiative to refer us to our local hospital in Worcester for blood tests - the rest is history. I remember the day vividly being told “your son has cancer” - the worst moment in our lives. And so began our treatment journey for ALL. He received an immediate blood transfusion at Worcester shortly followed by an ambulance trip to Birmingham Children's Hospital which became home for the next few weeks. Just over 6 months of intensive treatments and procedures followed. Drew was so resilient. He missed his graduation from nursery. He missed the enrollment into school reception, but was well enough to start part time this year.
As I write this, he’s just finished his reception year, has built a good circle of friends, and is thriving. Drew is now in the maintenance phase of treatment & doing really well .. even the admission to hospital due to temperature spikes and infections doesn't phase him. His anticipated end of treatment is June 2024.
As if that wasn’t enough, in October of 2022 Su (mum) woke one morning and found a lump in her left breast. Again, under the support of Worcester hospital (adult oncology this time), Su was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer in late October 2022 - the second worst moment in our lives. It was a particularly aggressive variant. Su has endured chemotherapy, injections and surgery so far. Radiotherapy is scheduled for August 2023. The recent & latest pathology results have confirmed no cancer cells present.
It's amazing how you can deal with what life throws at you, but without a shadow of a doubt we couldn't have got through this without fantastic family and friends, the amazing NHS and charities, many of whom you never knew existed and are often formed as a result of someone experiencing a similar journey.
They made Drew’s treatment and the wider family's journey a lot more bearable. Charities like the Ben Saunders Foundation are so vital and appreciated; to give back a sense of “normal” to people whose lives are far from normal, to forget about Cancer for just a little while and help make memories that will never be forgotten.