Kim shares her emotional story of her son, David, who throughout his diagnosis kept his amazing sense of humour and spent as much time as possible with his family and friends.
David lived with his Dad, but we kept in regular touch during the summer of 2014. He said he had a pain in his chest and had decided not to go back to the gym just yet as he thought he had strained something. Towards the end of summer holidays, we went to Amsterdam together on a short break. I remember saying to him whilst on holiday that he should go back to the doctors as he was always tired and did not seem to be eating much. I said it wasn’t normal for someone his age to be so tired all the time.
When we got back he went to his Dad’s, I remember saying to Gavin, my partner, I couldn’t understand why he got so tired. One night he’d just face planted onto the bed because he was so exhausted. I did say to Gavin, to my eternal regret, that I thought it was probably ‘teenageritis’. I now wished I’d said to Phil, David’s Dad, that I was concerned and that I thought he should go back to the doctors.
In September Phil rang me and said David had been admitted to hospital with suspected pneumonia. After a couple of days, we had a meeting with consultant who told us he had cancer.
He was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary and within a couple of days we found out he had Ewing sarcoma and as it had spread, that it would be difficult to save him.
I was in total fear and shock after the diagnosis and I seemed unable to ask for any clarification on how long he had and what to expect. I was just clinging onto the hope that he would get better. I don’t think I could allow myself to believe he might die.
David had chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink the tumour then surgery to remove the main tumour in his chest area. Finally, he had palliative chemotherapy before his death at home on 29th August 2015.
David’s life stopped during treatment he was being treated at Leeds General Infirmary and we lived near Hull. This would mean we would be at home for a few weeks before going back for more tests and his next rounds of chemotherapy. He was at sixth form college, but he was never well enough to go back.
Despite his diagnosis, David kept up with his friends. He had a surprise 18th birthday party and had a great time with some local bands playing for free at concerts. David still managed to go to band practice and socialise with friends as well as all the family events with myself and his Dad.
David kept his sense of humour which made it quite surreal at times that he was dying. I think we all started to believe he was just ill and would eventually recover.I really do hope that for other primary bone cancer patients, there will be light after the tunnel of diagnosis. ‘He was such a lovely young man and I miss him so much.’