He Never Stopped Smiling, Even Through Cancer

My son Josh never got to have his second birthday party because he was diagnosed with cancer. In fact, we found out the day after we had been looking at possible party venues.

We got back home and he was very lethargic. He went on the potty that afternoon as we were doing potty-training and it was claret in the bowl. We knew something was very wrong and we went straight to the hospital. The next day we got the news, he had a stage four Wilms’ tumour that had spread to his lungs.

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Josh’s first Stay in hospital

It was so hard to take in, especially because he was diagnosed with a late-stage cancer. It’s the last thing you expect to hear and we were in total shock.

The worst thing was the fear of the unknown, especially early on. It was not knowing that he would ever be well again. We just couldn’t see beyond where we were. It was all-consuming and it took over everything.

Josh’s treatment lasted for a year and a half. He needed chemotherapy, followed by two operations to remove one of his kidneys and part of his lung, then radiotherapy and more chemotherapy.

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Josh at the Marsden wearing his Daddy’s My Best Friend t-shirt

I look back and I wonder how we got through it, but there was no option. We weren’t being brave or being strong or anything – we just kept going. We had to put on a brave face for Josh and keep things normal for him and he helped us do that – he was always smiling. He would be throwing up and feeling poorly but he was still smiling, and running about. He probably doesn’t know that he kept us going. He was our inspiration.

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Josh at Diggerland during his treatment

I think it was probably a good thing he was so young – he was unaware of what was going on and it was just what he became used to. He didn’t know any better.

It was tough on us as a family but we got through it together, and we have a strong faith too which helped.

But, unfortunately it’s not over – the future is still challenging. He may have been in remission for the last three years, but we’ve heard that there can be…

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