Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Post For Emma

This post links to #S2S2D and is written for Emma Day, undergoing radiotherapy treatment for Thyroid Cancer, which sees her in isolation in hospital for 3 days, then unable to cuddle her young family for a further 3 weeks...

When I was 7 and my Dad was in his early 30's he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma Cancer and embarked on a serious of operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy that would last into my teens. He, like Emma, spent periods of time in isolation. I have vague memories of visiting the hospital in Glasgow with my brother, waving at Dad through the glass, and then playing in the hospital corridors whilst my Mum sat on a chair by Dads door.

In the 1980's the radiotherapy treatment which Dad was given was very much in the experimental stage - he had huge doses, in retrospect probably far larger than were required. However where chemotherapy had failed to make a difference, the radiotherapy worked - it shrunk the tumours time and again, until his treatment was able to stop and he was not required to be separated from us again.

Recently, whilst clearing out a cupboard, I came across a handwritten poem - which I composed for Dad on his 40th birthday. I was 16 at the time and 40 years old really did seem ancient. Here's a very flattering picture that I drew of Dad at the foot of the page...

I'll spare you the entire poem but the complimentary tone in which it was delivered can be gleamed from the following snippet...

And now that he is 40 years
and sprouting silver hairs,
he'll talk about getting a walking stick
and sit in comfy chairs,
but bordem sure won't bother him
nor being over the hill,
he's got his wife for company
and she is older still!

My own husband turned 40 earlier this year, and I'm 37 - the idea that my son may be thinking similar of us is very unappealing!!

But my message for you Emma, is that although Dad was seriously ill during my childhood, with frequent spells in hospital - sometimes in isolation - these days are not at the forefront of my memory at all. I was young and I was resilient - and your children I hope will be the same. I have no doubt that the separation was actually much harder for my Dad than it was for my brother and I. We got to visit, we got to wave - and ultimately - we believed that he was going to be OK.

Which he was!

On his 40th...

On his 50th...

And in the summer of last year - his 60th!

Best of luck to you Emma. 
Your girls love you very much - 
this time will pass and you will have them back in your arms very, very soon xxx


  1. Wonderful post, my 3 year old said I was really old the other day I'm only 23 haha.
    Great to see your Dad fought it :) x

  2. This is very moving. A wonderful post to dedicate to Emma.

  3. What a great post, Helen. And see you started poetry young! Glad your dad is so fit and well now...that's a wonderful thing to tell. S

  4. I can remember my parents seeming ancient, but in fact they were much younger parents than I am. Great that your dad came through so well. Very appropriate post for Emma.

  5. awww this is such a lovely post! I am honored you have linked it up with #magicmoments xx

  6. Fantastic post and so happy to see your Dad smiling still at 60. Cancer can be beaten, you're dad is living proof and I'm sure Emma will beat it too. Your message is so lovely, Emma must be so worried about the effect this is going to have on her children so will appreciate knowing that it's not forefront in your memory.

  7. Beautiful post! Loved that your Dad was OK and adored the decade after decade photos!

    We are thinking of you Emma!! xx

  8. How wonderful that you've still got the poem! And I love your description of your Dad as an old, old man at 40. I was described as an 'old lady' by a nine year old once. And that was before I'd had any kids! I think I was 29. :(

  9. This is such a moving post, and I just love the ten years on photos you have included.

  10. A lovely post with a reassuring message for Emma. Kids are indeed very resilient.

  11. That's lovely. Very heart-warming. And you're so right, children are so resilient. x

  12. Oh Helen, I love it. I'm so glad that he is ok and I love seeing the pictures of him through the decades x

  13. What a heartfelt and supportive post, and from someone - you - who has been through something very similar with your own father. So glad to see he came through it and is now 60 years old. You were even a poet back in the day! And I love your drawing of your dad. This post is such a reassuring one for Emma... X.

  14. Really touching post and I'm sure it will be a great comfort to Emma. Your poem made me laugh though, it's so funny that you thought 40 was so ancient, your Dad at 60 doesn't look as old as your drawing :-D

  15. A lovely post, my dad is currently going thru chemo and reading others stories really helps so I'm sure they will help Emma too x

  16. Brilliant Helen, in every way ;-)

  17. A stunningly beautiful post Helen, absolutely gorgeous. You have beautiful handwriting too and a talent for art. What a creative lady you are. So glad that all is well with your Dad and that things turned out so good :). A post of hope for everyone.

  18. A really heart-warming post, that tells life like it was - and is! Thank you for your support.

  19. Ah this is a wonderful story Helen, so encouraging. Your Dad really does look fighting fit!

  20. Good luck and very best wishes to Emma, Our thoughts are truly with you.
    And thank you Helen for sharing these thoughts and the wonderful pictures of your father -
    what a wonderful man and a great story.
    Emma x.

  21. Thankyou so much for this post. I remember reading it back in May, but was unable to comment at the time. I am so glad your dad is well now. Thankyou for your support. xx


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