Life is full of surprises, some of them are good and some are not so good. I would like to share an experience in the hope that it may help other families through their ‘surprises'. My youngest son Owen was diagnosed with cancer (lymphoblastic lymphoma B cell, stage 3) in September 2002. He was 12 years old and just starting 7th grade. The diagnosis came as a big surprise to us. Owen hadn't been feeling well for about 5-6 weeks BUT THIS...it just couldn't be true. This was one of those surprises where I wanted to say, "No thanks, I don't want it." A surprise by its very nature doesn't work that way. Owen's treatments lasted for two years. IN that time there were many surprises:
The strength Owen showed through it all.
How supportive my co-workers were to me.
Sick kids are brave.
What a great health care system we have.
The difficulties of arranging home schooling for Owen.
Lots of strong and wonderful people can be found in hospital waiting rooms.
Special leave is a right under the collective agreement and you CAN use it.
The Special Needs Project is a tremendous support.
Owen is now 18 and graduating from high school in June 2008. He is well and ready to take on new challenges. The support we received from the "Project" and my needs advisor through CUPW still surprises me! Thank you!
St. John, NB