What If?

The weather has been warm and the boys had a great time out in the garden this weekend.  Henry in the paddling pool and a still non-walking Hugo sitting in a garden chair playing with toys.

Bubble fun in the garden
Hugo has loved being with his big brother and Richard and I kept exchanging fluffy looks at how wonderful it is being at home, all together, doing normal family things.  At how great it is to see Hugo happy and smiling.

At the hospital we were fully focussed on Hugo, in dealing with his immediate health issues.  Every minute was taken up with medical procedures, absorbing information, with medication and blood and platelet transfusions.  Now at home, I have a chance to breathe, to step back and to think, which was always going to be dangerous.

I find my mind starting to drift, to think 'what if?'

What if this wonderful family day is our final memory with Hugo?  If he's the one, the one in 10 that doesn't make it?  Will I be sitting here in this same garden in a year, or two years time, a broken shell of myself with a huge Hugo shaped gap in our lives?

What if today is wonderful, but tomorrow sees us rushing back to hospital when Hugo spikes a temperature?  If he gets an infection and is fighting for his life?

What if he reacts badly to the next new drug he needs, or the side effects from it are too much for his little body to handle?

What if this journey changes our happy, sweet, sensitive little boy into a child we no longer recognise?  What if this journey changes us all?  Are we strong enough, or will this break us?  What if we don't do enough for him, shout loud enough, fight hard enough on his behalf?

What if, after more than 3 years of treatment, it comes back, or he gets another type of cancer?  What if there are long term side effects from the intense treatment and in years to come Hugo has to deal with issues such as infertility?

What if, what if, what if?

I know it's morbid and such an unproductive train of thought, but I just couldn't help it.  I wanted to capture this moment, this fun family time, store it away some place safe, just in case.

This is it isn't it?  This is the reality of living with cancer.  It's not just the medication and the side effects.  It's not just the new unpredictability of our lives.  It's the constant fear of 'what if?'  Not just now, not just for the 3 years of treatment, but in the years to come.  At 2 and a half Hugo is thankfully too young to understand the mental fight and I am relieved that myself and his dad are the ones to take this on for him.

I know I can't allow myself to think like this, that it would end up consuming me, but perhaps, just briefly, I need to go to that dark place.  To think 'what if?', to acknowledge all the worst case scenarios in order to move on.

The doctors advised up to take things one day at a time and we have been trying to live by this mantra, but now I fully understand why.  So, that is what we are going to do.  Today was a good day, we all had a wonderful time.  Today Hugo is well and happy and that is enough for now.

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