It was just a normal, sunny January day.

It was just a normal, sunny January day.

We didn’t see it coming at all.

Looking back the signs were there but boy, they were subtle, sneaky in fact.

During the run up to Christmas, Felix did seem overly sensitive and at times seemed to lack his usual playfulness and good humour. His birthday springs to mind which was just before Christmas.  It felt like he was about to either fall asleep during his birthday meal or have a full on tantrum over nothing.  I simply put it down to over excitement, the end of the long Autumn term and possibly hormones.  There were occasions when he was dog tired at the end of the day, quiet and subdued.  I endlessly questioned if everything was ok at school; are you struggling, have you fallen out with friends or is someone upsetting you?  He would assure me that everything was OK, give me a cuddle and tell me not to worry.  There were also the odd football training sessions that he said he was too tired to go to.  Again it was winter, right in the Christmas season – I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to go out on a cold, damp and dark night.  That’s normal isn’t it?   Then there were the pains in his legs when he ran.  We googled it and sure enough this was common for boys of his age.  We went out and bought the heel supports that were recommended, job done! As for getting up in the mornings, the boy that used to burst into our bedroom in the mornings was certainly becoming a teenager.  I now had to cajole both him and his sister to rise and shine in the morning.  Pesky kids eh!

At the time, in their singularity, each symptom could be explained with either it’s winter, it’s Christmas or it’s his hormones.  They were so subtle they couldn’t even make up a big picture.

The catalyst was an infection that he had betwixt Christmas and New Year.  He had had a similar one three years previously so we visited the GP and he was prescribed antibiotics.  There was nothing alarming at the time, but I just had a feeling that a 10 year old boy should not be getting infections like this.  I shared by concerns about his immunity to the GP who referred us for a blood test.  There was no urgency, let the antibiotics go out of his system and make an appointment for the end of the month.  That was it, we didn’t really think any more about it.

I carried that envelope round in my diary to remind me to book an appointment at the local hospital.  I nearly didn’t bother – he was fine now, was there really any need? I eventually booked an appointment for the last Thursday in January, the day after he returned from a 3 day residential with the school, a nice 8.00am slot so that we could all get back to school.

The appointment was  efficient and sleek.  Despite the morning traffic we arrived early, Felix proudly offered his veins and bravely flinched when the bloods were taken.  We left and skipped back to school, proud that despite our little diversion we all got to school on time.

No worries in the world; just a normal, sunny January day.

  • Sally Orland
    Posted at 20:53h, 17 April Reply


    I just wanted to say “hello” & we’ll done for being so brave – from what I’ve seen on Felix’s page you are all coping amazingly!

    We are going through the same journey; our 9 year old son was diagnosed with ALL in August 2014. He has now completed his main treatment and is on maintenance until Oct 17.

    I am sure you have plenty of people to talk to, but if you ever have any questions or just want to talk to someone in the same situation please just say – we benefitted from so much support and I know what a difference that makes.

    Keep smiling, cherish all the good days & know the hard days soon move on.

    Sally x

    • The Diary of Mrs Brown
      Posted at 21:01h, 17 April Reply

      Thanks so much Sally – it’s such a strange new world. This is really helping as it doesn’t give me too much time to think! Where abouts are you?

      • Karen Roach
        Posted at 21:52h, 17 April Reply

        Hi , thanks for sharing your blog , I know it will help me and bring awareness to all , Our son Sam was diagnosed with ALL on Christmas Eve 2015 at 17 . He is on phase 3 at the moment and mostly at home which is fantastic as spent most of Jan and Feb in Notts Teenage Cancer Trust Unit . He amazes me daily with his strength and determination to beat this . We have learnt as a family to be as normal as possible , laugh ,joke and be us still . Well done to Felix and you all for being positive and getting the word out there xxxx

  • Karen Roach
    Posted at 21:36h, 17 April Reply

    Hi , spoke to you already on fb . Our son was diagnosed on Christmas Eve 2015 then started treatment on New Years Day , as we all said start on day 1 . Sams symptoms was like flu at the start of Decenber , before that a healthy 17 year old , had lots of visits to doctors as as a Mum I knew something was wrong , finally a locum Doctor picked something up on Dec 21st and didn’t stop from then . Even now I sometimes look at Sam and think are they sure . Sam is on phase 3 at the moment and doing ok , One fantastic thing is he still has most his hair which all of us are shocked as was told it will go so actually had a haircut last week . I do think it’s great to talk and especially to families that are going through the same . We met lots of parents at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Notts and I found that a great comfort , you have a fantastic son and his attitude is just amazing , best wishes and will look out for your posts xx

    • The Diary of Mrs Brown
      Posted at 21:59h, 17 April Reply

      Thanks Karen. We still think the same as he was never really ill before the diagnosis. The Teenage Cancer Trust is amazing. I hope you guys have a good week. X

      • Karen roach
        Posted at 22:02h, 17 April Reply

        Hi sorry my message has appeared 3 times but thought it wasn’t going on , I’m not good on phones as you can see xx

  • Karen Roach
    Posted at 21:45h, 17 April Reply

    Hi really looking forward to reading your blogs . Our son Sam was diagnosed with ALL on Christmas Eve 2015 after suffering flu symptoms for 3 weeks , which then turned and changed our world upside down , Sam has just turned 18 and is on phase 3 of treatment . He has always amazed the Doctors at Notts as with him being young still , always bounces back quickly after treatment as normally harder the older you get . Think all your positiveness will help you all as it does us and Felix is an inspiration xx

  • bubblewishuk
    Posted at 11:31h, 18 April Reply

    That quotation is sad but true. My son was diagnosed with Rhabdomysarcoma in 2006 and then Osteosarcoma in 2014. The latter resulted in life changing surgery. Before his first diagnosis life was normal. We then had a new normal – the remission years – and now a new new normal – after surgery!
    I’m following Felix and enjoying his humour. My son has never lost his sense of humour and it really does help carry them through.
    I’m looking forward to reading your views on Childhood Cancer too, and helping to raise awareness ???
    Best wishes

    • The Diary of Mrs Brown
      Posted at 11:37h, 18 April Reply

      Thank you Marie – it certainly does put it all into context. Everyone has a back story – this is now ours xxx

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