12 Sep My Sister, Cancer and Me by Guy age 12
Hello My name is Guy Crossly and I will be 12 this month. I have a twin sister called Isla she was first diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia when we were just 2yrs old. I don’t really remember much as I was only little but my mum has a lot of photos of us in hospital together which jogs my memory about certain days or events during that time. I remember hating being apart from her so i would spend the night in the hospital with her sometimes. When we were 4yrs old Isla was completely done with treatment I remember this day well she was so happy that she didn’t need to take the nasty pills anymore or any of the other horrible treatments she had to endure she still had check ups though but not as regularly we were finished with cancer!!!……But then when we were 7yrs old she started feeling bad again she was always very tired, complained of her legs hurting and kept falling over a lot for no reason. She went to the hospital and thats where my mum told me that her leukemia had come back again she had relapsed…(I have learned a lot of new words during Isla’s battle) She started treatment again and had to stay in hospital for months at a time we actually spent our 8th birthday in hospital I didnt mind because the nurses made it real fun and we were all together….. Isla’s hair fell out from the chemo and I asked her if she wanted me to shave my head too she gave me death stares and told me that she hated being bald so why on earth would she want me to go though it as well? She surly opened up my mind and now when I see the brave the shave campaign I shudder….any fundraising is GREAT don’t get me wrong however Isla had a very strong point that I will never be able to forget.
Most people think the hardest thing for cancer siblings is getting left me behind and not having as much attention than their sick sibling. Honesty I never found that like I missed my mum when she would spend the night at the hospital but I missed Isla more I didnt want mum for my own I wanted both of them. Isla needed my mum and dad and I understood that from a very young age and she needed me too. I have Autism and speech apraxia meaning I can’t talk, I speak using a ACC device, I have not spoken a single word in my life, I find many things hard so in fact my parents often had to give me more attention at times so in my eyes it was Isla’s times. we both had needs and needed attention in different ways. Because of my problems people often think I didn’t and couldn’t understand Isla’s illness but I did, I understood every single part of it…… especially when the bone marrow transplant failed and that it had spread to her liver….. and the doctors told my parents there was nothing that could be done….I understood that 100% I remember trying very very hard to speak I wanted isla to hear my voice and I tried and tried but Isla told me that we all have different voices and just because mine is a computer does not mean its no less she told me she loved me and my voice just the way we were….she was real smart for a 8yr old she was more like a 10yr old. Since being told we had no treatment options (we never lost hope tho) Hospice was called and they helped us spend great days with Isla we did so many amazing things…… However Isla was very sick and seeing her in such pain hurt my heart in ways I cant explain. I used to have to hold her up as she would walk from the bed to the sofa or to and fro the bathroom, I was not MADE to help Isla I WANTED too because I know she would of done the same for me. Isla passed away a few weeks before we turned 9yrs old. I miss Isla every single day there is not a second that I dont miss her and I hate that cancer took her away from me. I started secondary school this week and she should of been right by my side. She deserved more than 4 shes more than gold! It will be 3yrs since she died next week and Im just counting down the days until I see her again. I spend my days fundraising and helping other families who are going through what mine went through. I visit the kids at our local hospital and thank the staff who cared for Isla throughout her 2 battles with cancer. I do this in hopes one day I can celebrate with the world that childhood cancer has higher funding and then maybe next time I can celebrate that we have cured it. I think Isla having cancer made me grow up a lot quicker but it also opened my eyes to so many wrongs of the world which is actually a good thing as now I wont stop until I have helped everyone going through similar. I want to say to any siblings with a sibling with cancer is that DON’T GIVE UP be their rock but also let them be you rock as well, its hard and its going to test you but you are STRONG you can do this even if you have lost a sibling I know it hurts I know you just want to cry everyday but you need to stand up and fight you need to be your siblings physical and voice because they no longer can so get up and FIGHT like hell together we will change childhood cancer stats. I have lost my best friend, hero, protector and guide and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that. ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot its not gonna get better its not” ~ Dr Sues