It’s hard to plan for something that has so many variables along the way, but I’ve tried to create my view of Violets Treatment in a short video, you can watch it on YouTube or for those that want to study it in depth check out the Office Mix.
We’ve been asked many times how can you help. We’ve actually been overwhelmed with support, so much so that we’ve created a facebook group to organise everyone.
The reality is, for now, we feel we have enough physical support (a couple of meals a week, lawns being mowed etc.).
Spiritually, words of encouragement and prayer will never turned down. Follow my Pintrest board or Spotify playlist to see what I’m reading or listening to. Prayer points and focused prayer around the following is appreciated:
- Miraculous healing
- The treatment protocol goes to plan with limited disruption (biggest threat is delay by infection)
- Mental and physical strength for Colleen and I to support us and our kids on this journey
- Strength for our larger support network
- Understanding and health for Violets siblings
- Skillful surgeon hands and successful removal of “Mr Weed” (the tumor)
If you’re still looking to do or give something, look at the charities below that have helped us so far:
- Firstly, we want kids in the future to be diagnosed sooner, have less toxic treatments and survive cancer. The Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to childhood cancer.
- Red Cross Blood Service – Violet has had numerous whole blood and platelet transfusions. If you’re unsure if you can give, take the quiz then take a buddy along to hold your hand on your first donation.
- The Children’s Hospital Foundation funds clinical research and medical equipment as well as organising the 500+ volunteers at the hospital; the volunteers are awesome, entertaining kids, helping you get around and generally making hospital not feel so clinical.
- Redkite have been awesome, they fund some of the social workers in the oncology ward and have provided us with a lot of books to help the education of mental journey of dealing with cancer, but they do so much more for those in financial need etc.
- Camp Quality have helped provided a distraction from treatment, Violet loves when the puppets visit her room and take her mind off being in hospital. Camp Quality also do cancer education at school and family fun days and camps.
A few people have asked if broader fundraising can be done for our family, at this stage, please wait. Accepting help from others is something I find hard, because “I can do it myself”… It’s something Colleen and I would like to happen, but maybe a few months down the track when we know what would work best.
After a couple of months of “not being 100%” then 2 weeks of diagnosis at Lady Cilento (LCCH), on 12 November 2015, my youngest of three children, Violet(6) was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a tumorous cancer slightly larger than a tennis ball (78 x 66 x 83mm) growing on Violet’s adrenal gland on her left kidney. Being stage 4 the cancer has metastasised and is in all her bones and marrow. Childhood cancer is rare, and neuroblastoma in kids older than 2 is rarer.
Violet is now in the 4th chemotherapy cycle (of 6×3 week cycles). After chemo, there’s surgery to remove the tumour, radiotherapy, then antibody therapy. Overall a 12-24 month treatment protocol. Lucy has a Tumour is a kids book that gives a good overview of the process we’re going through, this page give a bit more detail on what the actual treatment protocol is, but as I’ve learnt over the last month, the only constant is change.
Violet is adapting well to the new normal, she has her off days (usually around the first 10 days of the cycle), however she is mostly up. As you can see by the photo her smile and cheeky nature still shine through; she’s an inspiration to us all.
Colleen and I have been blown away by the support from our family, friends, school and church during this time; with the biggest support from my parents who cancelled one of their 2+ month retirement holidays and have moved in to help with Oliver and Piper and around the house.
I couldn’t speak more highly of the LCCH facility or staff, the media likes a bad story but LCCH is first class and I haven’t come across more dedicated, passionate people than those that work and volunteer there.
My work has been awesome with their support and have helped take the worry of work away for a while. Colleen has put university on hold for a little while