Dear Diary, It's really hard to see Mum and Dad cry.
Josephine, better known as Josie, along with our other National Ambassadors - bravely said yes to fronting our "Dear Diary" campaign and featured on billboards all around the country during our annual March Appeal.
Josie is coming to the end of cycle three of maintenance, and Mum Jacine says it’s been a steep learning curve since she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL) in April 2015.
“First you learn that you can’t have given it to them. You learn that it’s not just one type. You learn that no matter how hard you tried to get it diagnosed early, cancer presents itself when it wants to.
I remember thinking ‘oh my gosh, are we the right people to be looking after her because we barely know what’s going on.” You doubt yourself at times, but then quickly you reassure and have faith in yourself. Just say, “no, we can do this and get through”
How do you tell your child she has cancer? That was the hardest part. Then she didn’t want to take the first dose of chemo. She didn’t want to lose her hair and it started falling out in big clumps after her second dose.Josie's Mum, Jacine
It was really difficult for Josie because she is so smart and really likes to know everything. She saw everyone crying and that we were sad, but we were all saying to her “no, no, it’s alright” you know, Mum’s just sad and she was like “tell me what’s wrong”.
It was when we got home from the hospital that we told her brothers about it. They didn’t know what it was even when we told them and I don’t think any of them really understood it. But then Josie lost her hair and they started asking questions like “how sick is Josie”.
She ended up in ICU as well and they saw her hooked up to all of the machines. That’s when they began to understand and would be like “Mum and Dad, what’s wrong with Josie, she looks worse than you guys are saying.”
They just wanted to know everything and asked so many questions. The challenge is that even for you at the time, you don’t fully understand what it is. You get this massive folder when you have a diagnosis from the oncologist. I think I read that 10 times on the first day and it still felt like I didn’t know what was going on. So when the kids were asking, we didn’t know what to say.
God has been blessing us in recent months, now Josie is on maintenance – she’s doing so well at the moment, sometimes I’m scared to say how well cause I don’t want to jinx it. We still enjoy catching up at the parties and with other families, and Child Cancer Foundation are still supporting us, just in different ways – and with the things we need help with now.”
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