Last week, my 8-year-old complained of sore finger. I had to forcibly stop myself from rolling my eyes; she’s a highly sensitive kid who complains at the slightest physical inconvenience, so I generally assume she’s always over-reacting.
“Give me a look,” I said, gathering up every ounce of patience. I glanced and her finger and, sure enough, she had a decent little paper cut. In fact, it was infected. I popped some antiseptic cream and a Band-Aid on it and sent her on her way, swallowing down my tiny morsels of guilt with my raisin toast.
I thought of that experience when I was reading a story today about a young Brisbane boy called Lachlan. At the age of 11, he collapsed after a 100m sprint in excruciating pain.
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The nurses at the hospital – who perhaps, like me, were accustomed to hypochondriac patients – thought he was putting it on. Trying to get out of school. They even suggested to his mum that he could be faking it a little.
But his mum was having none of it.
“He’s a tough kid, so I knew something was wrong,” his mum Hayley says, “and I started to panic.”
Further testing and X-rays confirmed the grisly truth. Lachlan had a very rare cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma, which had caused the bone in his knee to completely crumble.
It’s hard to even imagine the pain or horror of that experience, either for Lachlan or for his family. The good news is that so far, his story is taking a positive journey; since his diagnosis a few years ago, he’s had multiple rounds of treatment and chemotherapy, and he’s now cancer-free.
His journey isn’t over, however, as he needs to have constant checkups on his health following so much chemo. Also, one of the side effects of his particular type of cancer is an increased risk of being diagnosed with leukaemia.
He had a scare recently, where pain returned to his knee.
“He is worried, as am I, that it could be a relapse,” his mum posted on Facebook a few weeks ago.
Thankfully, days later, the scans came back all clear.