Everyone says that when they hear the word ‘cancer' their world dissolves and they feel like they are falling into a black hole. That didn’t happen with us when Jackson was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Even when we were transferred to the Royal Marsden and he had his first lumbar puncture and bone marrow aspirate, we still didn’t really acknowledge that he was ill. What people don’t tell you or really show you in photos is that when those words are said to you, they still look exactly as they did before. We were being told that he had ALL Leukaemia , with an additional aspect of it being IAM 21, so he needed the more intensive regime, whilst Jackson was running around ‘cooking' lunch for everyone in the playroom. It was only a few weeks later when the steroids had made him too weak to sit up and the chemo had taken his hair that it started to hit us that ‘our son is not well'.
There are other aspects that no one can really prepare you for. In my case, it was when he graduated from reception recently. He got to sit on the carpet with all his friends and when his name was called his teacher helped him stand up and walk to the front to collect his certificate. At the end, the whole class turned to face the parents and sang ‘Reach for the Stars'. All except Jackson, who didn’t know the words or routine as he had not been in school since March. Watching your son unable to join in so publicly is the absolute pinnacle of heartache and was a real turning point in how I now view his illness.
Luckily, Jacksons mobility is improving gradually, he is now in remission and will be supported in his long chemo journey by all his friends and family.
Jackson's story has been shared by his dad, Steve, and for that we are so grateful. We are so thrilled that were able to support their extremely hard-working family at such a difficult time.
Images showing Jackson before and during treatment; the visible impact of cancer that Steve, Jackson's dad, speaks of is so clear here. We are absolutely thrilled that Jackson is now in remission and regaining his strength.