The first thing I noticed with Ethan was the deterioration of his eyesight. He started to miss things that were right in front of him when he had tried to pick them up. Then he became very poorly. He would be struck with a headache, vomit, then sleep for a long time. We took him to the GP and he was diagnosed with migraines.
As his eyes worsened the left eye started to 'wobble'. I was very concerned and asked to be seen by the eye hospital. We got an appointment and that was when our nightmare began to unfold. The doctor wanted to refer Ethan for an MRI scan. I asked if we would get an appointment in the post, but he told us to go right away.
After the scan we sat in the recovery bay. As I held Ethan’s hand the doctors were already being informed that my son had a brain tumour and within an hour they were the words I would hear.
I will never forget the sheer panic, the crushing feeling in my chest and heartbreak in its most devastating form. I had my little boy sat on my knee who just wanted to go and play with his toy cars. We were told that the tumour was inoperable and that 18 months of chemotherapy lay ahead of us.
Within hours Ethan had an operation to fit a portocath in his chest and by 9pm that evening he had already received his first dose of chemotherapy. I sat by his side lost and broken. It still feels as foreign to me now that this all happened as it did nearly 11 years ago.
Ethan was very poorly for the whole of this treatment he was sick constantly, not a pinch of colour in his little face.
With each relapse more damage was done to Ethan’s vision and now he is registered severely sight impaired. Last summer he trained and got his wonderful Guide Dog, Chaz, who has given him back so much of his lost independence. He has so much to contend with but just takes it all in his stride.
Ethan is a happy positive young boy with strength and determination that is unparalleled to anything I have ever seen before. He recently sat his GCSEs, while on treatment! He had to take breaks to go and be sick but pushed through and achieved what he needed to get into college and do the three A-levels of his choice. He's incredible! He is my best friend and we have travelled this journey side by side. We love going to the theatre, gigs and sci-fi conventions together.
When he relapses times are especially hard, but Lennox Children's Cancer Fund have always helped us. Every time I have contact with then they are so caring and supportive. As well as listening with a friendly ear, they have alleviated my financial pressures at a time when I really couldn't afford to worry about anything other than my precious child. They have always supported us and I know they will continue to do an amazing job. I couldn't be strong enough to face this next chapter without this much appreciated support.
Information correct at time of production: January 2020