Lisa G.
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Bumps in the Road

Lisa G.
Posted by
10 May 2017

There are many bumps in the road of treatment for childhood leukaemia. This is our latest bump.

We are plodding along.

What seemed so strange and scary at the beginning has somehow become normal.  There is a new standard to measure by and everything is fine, by this new standard, good even.  Until it isn't.  Until there is a bump in the road.

Then suddenly with a rush, we are reminded of the fragility of our new normal life, of the seriousness of living with a child with cancer.

The bumps that cause my heart to race, the panic to rise and the fear and worry to hit me all over again.

The new normal that we have become accustomed to, taken for granted even, suddenly seems  precarious.  The resentment I have so often felt towards it disappears as the alternative looms large.  When that bump hits I want to hang onto that life with everything I have.  Embrace it, love it and be thankful for all it gives us.

We have been fortunate, bumps in the road for us have been relatively few so far.  It doesn't stop them hitting hard when they do appear.  A temperature, an unexplained limp, a strange rash or the news that another child has lost their life to this horrible disease.

Right now, we have hit a bump.  A few weeks ago Hugo broke his leg, in two places, with surprising ease.  Children brake bones all the time, probably nothing to worry about.  But Hugo takes steroids and it turns out steroids can thin the bones.

Overnight I have become an expert in matters of bone thinning and wasting.  Words pre-fixed with 'osteo' fill my vocabulary and my thoughts.

Blood tests showed that he is low in vitamin D and iron.  This combined with the pre-existing muscle weakness could have contributed to the ease of the break.  Or it could just be one of those things.

A bone density scan has been performed and we now anxiously wait for the results.  My head spins with the what ifs.  What will it mean for him, for his mobility in the future?  Will he break more bones?  Does this alter his treatment plan and will this affect his prognosis?  Are his little legs ever going to recover fully, will he ever be able to keep up with his peers?  Could this be a symptom of something even more serious than bone thinning?  How is this fair?  Could I be doing more?  Should I be doing more?  I tell myself to take it one day at a time, that we will cross bridges when we reach them.  My head continues to spin anyway.

So we wait.  We wait to see how big this bump in our road is.  We hold on to the hope that all will be well, and that we will be able to return to our strange new normal life.  Back to plodding along and a life that suddenly doesn't seem so bad after all.

To read more on Hugo's journey, visit

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