Hidden Cost of Cancer: 37% of parents experienced panic attacks
The medical team told us it was thyroid cancer and they were going to have to remove the whole thyroid and that would be she would be on medication for the rest of her life. Up until that point, I didn’t realise how important the thyroid is, but without it you will die if you don’t take medication. I was just in a state of complete shock. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak. We were supposed to go home, but I didn’t want to take Millie home. I wanted her to be fixed there and then.
“I had never heard of CLIC Sargent before...then Alison appeared. She explained what CLIC Sargent do, and said she would be there for anything we want and if ever we wanted to talk about anything.”
Then Alison appeared. She asked if I was Fleur, and I said yes, and she told me she was going to be my social worker for CLIC Sargent. I had never heard of CLIC Sargent before, but she invited me in for a chat. She explained what CLIC Sargent do, and said she would be there for anything we want and if ever we wanted to talk about anything. She offered to help us navigate the complicated world of the condition, by being there to clarify complex medical terms. She reassured me that everything I was feeling was totally normal. She said ‘you will experience some extreme thoughts’ and that I shouldn’t feel guilty about them. Then it came back to me how I felt with that mum with that boy. I rang Alison the next day, because I had to get it off my chest. And she just said ‘it’s completely normal’. She said ‘I have heard it many times’. It was a massive relief because I had never felt so mean in my whole life.
Hidden Cost of Cancer: 63% of parents experienced depression during their child’s treatment
From there Alison came to the hospital regularly to visit Millie, and asked her if there is anything she needed. I had some real low moments. She kept telling us how well we were doing, and she reminded me that having difficult episodes is normal, and that I wasn’t dwelling on things – that I was allowed to feel this way. It is the worst thing in the world to hear that your child has cancer, and Alison made me feel like my feelings were valid.