Today marks the first anniversary of Ethan’s diagnosis.
There are many things I could write about this – how scared we were, the mountains of tears we shed, how devastating it was to watch him being taken off for emergency surgery within only a couple of hours of us finding out our “healthy” child was no longer that. But I could go on forever, and it wouldn’t be a very fun read!
Instead I’ll tell you what I’m thankful for today, one year on.
I’m thankful that Ethan is still with us – happy, with no visible tumour, and able to enjoy being a toddler again. He’s not unscarred, and he has obstacles to overcome, but none of us are perfect so he’s not alone.
I’m thankful for the care he has received at PMH, and in Melbourne at Peter McCallum. He has received wonderful care from some of the best surgeons and doctors around. People we admire and respect, and whose words and good judgement have led us through a very murky time. Most of all, professionals who listen to us as parents and who take the time to make our decisions a little easier so we can sleep at night.
I’m thankful for the nurses and staff in Wards 5A (neuro, renal, cardio) and 3B (oncology) at PMH. Many laughs, many tears…but never a dull moment. You guys kept me company through the very long hours by Ethan’s bedside, and looked after him when I wondered if we would ever go home again. And the little things that mean so much…finding me a recliner that actually reclined so I could sleep, bringing me the leftover food from the meals trolley, sharing cake from the tea room. I know Ethan made a big impact on you all too, and I know many of you shared our tears and then our joy when he started to recover again.
Lastly, I’m thankful for my husband, family and friends. Shannon has stood by me and Ethan and been solid as a rock. He has shared the late nights and early starts and never ending days at PMH, the nursing care at home, the horrible moments when Ethan has gone into surgery over and over again. I love him even more now than ever before. Our beautiful twin babies who have only just arrived but remind us that life goes on even in the midst of tragedy and good things happen when you least expect them. Our families who love and support us – even moving states when necessary to make sure we are ok! Our friends who have been incredible – listening to us when we have needed to get stuff off our chests, sharing our tears and also making us laugh and feel “normal” again.
As Ethan’s website says – Ethan’s smile is proof that no matter how many clouds are in our sky, the sun is still shining. And we hope that smile can be with us forever 🙂 Congratulstions Ethan on getting through the year little man – we are so proud of you x