How did you find out about your diagnosis with a rare childhood cancer? What were you diagnosed?
On the 6th December, 2019 I noticed a tinge of red in Lincoln’s nappy and while in the bath he passed a blood clot. I took him up to our local GP who took a urine sample, sent us home and said to just keep an eye on his wee (if it was to get worse to take him to the hospital). As the day got on, his wee became more and more red so I took him to Campbelltown Hospital where he was admitted for 2 nights.
On the 10th of December, they sent us for an ultrasound. I walked in and there was a beautiful lady singing to him so he would lay still while she scanned his tummy. The song she sung was “Twinkle Twinkle little star”, which was crazy because that was his favourite song at the time and we actually called him 'Twinkle'. She chatted away to me while checking over his left kidney however, when she got to his right kidney she was silent. My mama instincts kicked in and I knew something was wrong.
The next day we were called into the doctor's office where our lives changed forever “we found a tumour in Lincoln’s right kidney”. Lincoln was later diagnosed with a Wilms Tumour stage 3.
What are some of your fondest memories of hospital life?
It would definitely have to be the beautiful nurses that cared for Lincoln during his journey, they become your new family, it blew me away how much they genuinely cared for our boy. I could never thank them enough. And also seeing all the other amazing children coming in while in remission with all their hair grown back, laughing and smiling. It gave us hope and kept us going.
What were some challenges of being a family diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer? Financial and emotional?
One of the hardest parts during Lincy's journey would have had to have been watching how chemo affected him. He would be walking down the hallway and just trip over himself or fall over as he was so weak. Another big challenge was missing out on our baby, Lockyer who was only 6 months at the time. We were so fortunate to have our brother and sister in law who would have our baby as we would be stuck in hospital for days sometimes weeks meaning we missed out on some of his biggest milestones.
If you could give any advice to a parent of a rare childhood cancer, what would it be?
I would say as much as it hurts your heart as a parent to see your babies go through this they are more resilient than you think. Trust in them, trust in the doctors. You may think you’re not strong enough to deal with the challenges thrown your way but you find the fire within you to step up for your babies.
Did you have some issues settling back into "normal life?" What advice would you give a family that is in remission and about to embark on "normal life?
I feel like we will never fully settle back into normal life until our baby is out of remission. Every scan brings back all the uneasy feelings and anxiety. However, once Lincoln had finished chemo I couldn’t wait to get him into daycare and for him to be around other children his age. Fills my heart to see my baby smiling and laughing with other kids. My advice would be not to be too hard on yourself, it takes time to discover the new “normal” but to always look for the positives and to be grateful.
What are Lincoln's dreams and aspirations?
He’s a bit young at the moment but he has the biggest heart and loves caring for others. He loves putting plasters on everyone. I always laugh and say he’s going to give back and become a doctor.
What did you take for granted before diagnosis that you will never take for granted now after going through cancer?
TIME! Just being at home spending time together as a whole family. Another big thing would be the importance of family and friends, the amount of support we had around us without even realising it was quite overwhelming. And to be kind, you never know what people have been through or what they are going through.