A while ago I saw a comment on a childhood cancer related website and it has been on my mind..
“The reason our child survived is not that we are good people, but because he has survived, we need to be good people.”
When I read this I felt “yes, this is true,” and I do see this feeling reflected in the actions and interests of many other parents. They volunteer for the charities who supported them, they reach out to other parents, they throw themselves back into “normal” life with a determination to wring the most joy they can out of it.
Dr Harry, Zoe’s hero, stood at the top of the steps as we arrived. He looked just like he did on TV. Blue shirt, cream pants and a cheesecutter hat.
“Hello” he said. “I can see a little girl. And she’s wearing a cap, just like Dr Harry. And I bet her name is Zoe.”
As Zoe walked towards him he crouched down and spoke to her for a minute, asking questions to which the replies were mostly shy nods. When he asked for a hug she threw herself into his arms.
Then he stood up, she put her hand in his and they walked together into the house, just like something off TV.
At 3, Zoe found the overnight change from full on full time daycare girl to housebound chemo kid hard to adjust to. The sudden change to all of her routines and the scary reality of medical procedures really rocked her little world. The doctors, nurses and play therapist all did their best to help her adjust, but the unlikely hero who really helped her come to terms with it all was an Australian TV vet in a cheesecutter hat.
In the depths of that horrid winter, Zoe watched re-runs of Harry’s Practice religiously at 5 O’clock every day to see him deal with run over dogs and sneezy mice and cats with tumours and ponies with behavioural problems. Continue reading