March 8, 2011

Mum's the word

By Jo, Melbourne, Australia

I would like to commend my son Ben on his strength and determination to fight his cancer and to all of you who are supporting and loving my boy.

It was not an easy road for him, or those who love him, to get to this point. We have cried and have been angry, but mostly we have shared disbelief that this happening. My own acceptance that this is happening to my son has been difficult, to say the least.

The whole experience to this point has been surreal. I have listened carefully to diagnoses and treatment plans, but felt at many times that we were in the room watching it happen to other people, not us.

We are getting there. Yes this is happening to us, this is happening to my son.  It’s not another family with cancer that you hear about from a friend of a friend. This is us.

Acceptance has lifted a heavy weight and Ben has set an example for me to follow.

Now we fight. With all the preliminary tests complete and my future grandchildren in the freezer we are ready to begin the fight of our lives.

Somehow it’s easier now that the treatments have started. Chemo 24/7 means it is difficult to watch a man who only last week grazed all day struggle to eat so little. Medication can restore his appetite. French toast and baked beans are the order of the day.

Radiation so far has had no side effects. Today (treatment 4 of 28) the technicians showed me how they set him up on the machine. I watched the laser lights criss-cross his body and silently prayed the they knew what they were doing and hit the right spots every single time.

While there is no pain during the radiation the enormity of it all sent a chill down my spine.  Holding back the tears, I quietly left the room and waited for it to be over.

The hardest thing for me as mother, protector and friend is I want to take this away from him.

I can’t, and it is the most helplessness any parent can feel because that’s our job: we take away pain, fix problems and we make things go away, usually!

Not this time. This time we just stick together and ride it out. I tell him I love him every day.

Mum xxx


  1. Jo, this is very beautiful. Can see where Ben gets his writing skills from. All my love.

  2. I love your blog entry Jo. Thinking of you and the family. See you soon, Tim.

  3. Moved to tears...

  4. Brakes my heart and moved me to tears. You say you get your strength for Ben. I beg to differ, I say he gets his strength from you. Being a mum myself and not being able to take it away would be devastating. But the doctors are there for when we can't take it away, and they know deep down they will. You have bred good stock with that boy..
    Deb :)

  5. This is beautiful Aunty jo xx