Despite …

Despite the chemo,

Despite the steroids,

Despite the lumbar punctures.

Despite the sickness,

Despite the trauma,

 

Despite the six months off school.

Despite the isolation,

Despite the blood tests,

Despite my vociferous feelings about SATs.

Despite cancer …

…I couldn’t be prouder.

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What Lies Beneath a Facebook Post

This week, my middle son set off with his big sister for his Induction Day at Secondary School.  As I proudly posted a photograph of the both of them together, which in itself is a rarity, the concept of ‘over-sharing’ crossed my mind.  It caused me to deliberate before posting.  But I still did.

Why?

Because I am unbelievably grateful that he is starting secondary school.  Some children won’t.  Some children do but do not finish.  Some children finish but cannot reminiscence with their friends a few years down the line.

Until Felix’s diagnosis, I took all transitions for granted; Transition to Primary School, Secondary School, Post 16 Options.  It just happened, didn’t it?  Actually, it doesn’t.  I often think of a family grieving the recent death of their teenage daughter; in our community, a young lady’s transition to studying GCSEs has been stopped in its track because of a cancer diagnosis.  There are many families who would love to share a picture of their little one today – but they can’t.

I will overshare.  I am grateful for where we are at.  I want to celebrate every achievement.  I hope you understand.

It’s easy to make a judgment about what we see on social media.  It is not for us to judge.  It is not for us to scorn.  It is for us to celebrate with them.  To enjoy their happiness, to share in their sorrow.

I have read many theories which attempt to explain the psychology behind what and why people post on Facebook.  They have analysed posts about relationships, exercise and so on.  The majority of these theories come up with the obvious and simple explanation that posts never reflect reality.  Of course, they don’t.  Any social media post is censored and merely a snapshot of one moment in time.  We all know that.

What I would like to see is more empathy as to why people post what they do and not criticism.  People post for a reason.  It may be obvious, it may be subtle.  For them it is meaningful.  A simple snapshot shared for all to see.

Therefore, please just enjoy it for what it is.  Don’t analyse, don’t over think just consider, maybe even like or comment and move on.  Humans are complex.  Social media isn’t.  A post isn’t reflective of our inner psyche.  It is a merely a moment in time, explained and shared.

Just enjoy it.  Enjoy a little glimpse into someone else’s life.  I certainly do!

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A Dedication to Bradley Lowery from an Oncology Mum

Dear Bradley,

The world is a lesser place without you.  The world is a lesser place without the children who have gone too soon.

Your smile, your love, your charisma banished from this world forever.  Your future, their future, our future changed forever.

Bradley, thank you for showing the world how brave, heroic and strong children with cancer have to be.  I wish you didn’t have to.  I wish you didn’t have to go.

There are children now receiving barbaric but life-saving treatments for a variety of cancers.  Some work, many don’t.  Some survive, many don’t.  It hurts.  It hurts emotionally and physically.  It hurts the child, the siblings, the parents, the grandparents, the uncles, the aunties, the cousins, the friends, the teachers, the coaches, the community – the hurt is timeless and spaceless.  It is a constant.

Bradley, you are no longer suffering which is the only good thing I can say.  Your bravery and smile will live on forever and remind us of all the children whose lives have been taken too soon.

You will always be part of our story.

RIP Bradley

All our love,

#teambrown

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A call to all teachers – having a child with cancer

A year on and more important than ever. Children are diagnosed with cancer every day. We don’t know whose class that child will be in or the brothers and sisters are. Please read and share.

Mrs Brown's Blogs

Well, this is a whole new world from a different viewpoint.  It’s that time of year when teachers are filing away their information and data for their current classes to make way for the profiles of their new children.  For me, this has always been a cathartic time of year; sentimental about those students who will be moving on and excited about those who I will be teaching.  Teachers everywhere are having meeting after meeting at the moment, transferring valuable information about the new cohort.  There will  be spreadsheets galore of information about cognition and learning, sensory and/or physical needs, social, emotional and mental health and the child’s ability to communicate and interact.  Even if your child is progressing well, without any hitches, they will still be a subject of discussion to ensure that your child gets the best start in the new academic year.

It maybe that you have…

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