It has been ages since I have written – between being busy with Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer and the rest of my life, I just haven’t had the capacity to write.
But today I can get nothing done. My brain refuses to focus on the tasks that I have set for today. I just simply cannot concentrate. I found myself researching and reading up about Childhood Cancer (one of my daily pastimes) and I stumbled upon a page about the late effects of treatment for childhood cancer. Next thing, I had dug up Emma’s autopsy and was reading it again.
The last time I read her autopsy report was shortly after we received it in November 2014. Her liver and kidneys were failing, mostly due to chemotherapy. Her bowel was reabsorbing itself. My little girl was super ill and not just because of an infection.
I ask you to take the time to read through these late effects. Don’t leave it for another day. I need you to see what happens after treatment. Emma was spared many of these things but only because she passed away before she showed any symptoms.
There are so many other children out there living with these consequences daily. Relapse of the same cancer, relapse / metastasis to other cancers (for example leukemia), heart failure, stunted growth, speech problems, behavioural problems, depression, damaged nerves causing severe pain in the legs and arms…
Just because a child is “in remission” or is NED (no evidence of disease) does not mean he or she is free of cancer. The results are lifelong.
Just because a child dies after having fought cancer does not mean that his or her parents are free of cancer. The results are lifelong too.
There is no After Cancer…