Love My Girl
Hi, I am Charlotte's Mum and to say our world was ripped apart on the 12 July 2019 is an understatement.
I was looking after 12 teenage girls as the Team Manager for the Cairns Dolphins at the State Championships in Mackay. I received a phone call just as we were about to board the bus to the basketball stadium for our first game of the day. The words I heard felt like they were being spoken down a tunnel, far far away, Oncology registrar, tumour, Brisbane, Qld Children's Hospital, can you get here today? I could barely breathe, trying to put these words into some kind of sentence that I could actually understand, trying to get someone's attention in the room as I needed help, I needed Charlotte off the bus, what/how do I tell her, we still didn't know what it was. She was bought back up to the room and I was trying to pull my thoughts and word's together. She knew I had been upset, and she told me months later that she had thought something had happened to her Dad and Brother. I sat her down and I told her that they have found a tumour in her arm and we need to get home as we have to be in Brisbane for more tests, the words that came out of her mouth next, and I certainly wasn't expecting them, "Mum, am I going to die?" I held her so tight, and all I could come up with is, we are going to do everything we can so that doesn't happen.
Thrown into a world of appointments, medications, navigating accommodation and transport. I didn't know which way was left or right. The simple things were often the hardest to remember. It took me many weeks to come up with our hospital bag routine, the items that were essential, that I packed each time we were admitted to help us get through those long hospital stay's. I thought during our time there, surely I am not the only Mother struggling through this, trying to come up with activities' to kill the boredom, trying to cover up the smells in hospital that trigger the vomiting, nourishing hand creams to soothe their sore dry skin that aren't highly perfumed, sleep eye masks that don't rub on their eye lids as they have no eye lashes or eye brows, the list is never ending and it also took a lot of trial and error to get the right items. So that is where the idea came to life, if a carer can receive this pack for their child in the early stage of their child's cancer diagnosis, it will give them those initial tools to make those early weeks that little bit easier.
Obviously a teenage girls needs are a lot different to a teenage boy, and I am now on a mission to get the best tools to send out to teenage boys as well.
Charlotte saw first hand how lucky she is to have a loving family and amazing friends and community supporting her. Some kid's who are going through this horrendous time are not so fortunate to have the support network that she did, some children even younger than her often didn't have a parent or carer with them and as a Mother that was truly heartbreaking to see.
I know I am the lucky Mum, and I am so grateful and thankful everyday that I get to hold my girl in my arm's, that will never be taken for granted.