Christopher's Story

10th July 1997 Christopher’s dad lost his job (redundant) any family’s fear but little did we know worse was to come!


Christopher was a strong 15 year old boy played rugby cricket and basketball.


He started to complain with a pain in his left side we put in down to his paper round (heavy bag) after a week went by we took him to our gp yes possibly that is what it is.


After another week we noticed Christopher starting to lose weight and he was not eating as usual Christopher ate like a horse. Back to the GP and saw another doctor who referred him to our local hospital that night 17th JULY 1997 that date I will never forget.


Water sample x-ray showed problem with left kidney. I could live with that!!! Early hours Christopher was taken to Royal Victoria Infirmary for ultra sound found a mass round his left side???? CT scan and biopsy showed tumour they knew it was cancer but what kind? It took nearly a week (felt like a life time) to give it a name RHABDOMYOSARCOMA stage4.


Within days Chris was admitted for central line which would administer all chemo and drugs.


Clinical trial was tested on Christopher and treatment was going well but side effects made him very poorly. Sore mouth incredible weight loss potassium low trouble walking (splints had to be made for him) stem cell transplant you name it Christopher had it all 5 weeks radiotherapy followed the hospital was now our home Dad at the same time looking for work.

 

  • October 1997: Christopher was the first patent on the new teenage cancer ward at the hospital we met Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York)

  • December 1997: Chris was newspaper boy of the year and the newsagent federation sent us to Florida for 3 weeks.

  • January 1998: Christopher’s weight loss giving the hospital reason for concern so decided Chris had to be tube fed which we done at home because of the length of time already spent in hospital we wanted him home.

  • Feb 1998: treatment finished and line was taken out.

  • March 1998: Chris started a graphics course for a City and Guilds certificate and achieved!!!

  • April 1998: Chris made front page headlines BRAVEST BOY IN BRITAIN

  • May 1998: Chris went to Wembley through contacts of the hospital to see his team play NEWCASTLE he was treat like royalty picked up in a limo and everything was first class.

  • June 1998: CT scan clear and Chris sat his GCSE exams.

  • July 1998: Chris started driving lessons and gaining weight everyone thought he looked great.

  • August 1998: GCSE results and Chris passed all teachers said he got higher grades than pupils who had never missed school (Chris missed nearly a year) he made us really proud!!!!

  • October 1998: CT Scan clear things were really improving.

  • Dec 1998: Florida was fantastic it done us all good.

  • Jan 1999: gave Chris Citroen SAXO for his birthday. More worry he now has his own car.

  • Feb 1999: Chris got shingles and was poorly for a long time but we were told a lot of cancer patents can get shingles but we get over that and things pick up again.

  • March 1999: Chris started his first job a trainee graphic designer which he loved.

  • May 1999: Chris found lump and ct scan confirms RELAPSE readmitted to hospital for central line \and more chemo and 5 weeks radiotherapy AGAIN .Long boughs of sickness sore mouth high temperature not eating. Feed tube again (what have we done to deserve this). Depression was an issue now how to keep going how to keep Chris motivated and positive but we done it through help from the hospital it took some time but things picked up AGAIN.

  • March 2000: Chris booked his first holiday with his friends to Benidorm 23 July this year something for him to look forward too.

  • May 2000: Chris found lump!!!! Not again. Clinical trial was mentioned but the side effects were horrific and how much more could my son take? After long talks it was decided radiotherapy might keep it at bay until he has his holiday but that was not to be as the lumps came day after day. All we now wanted was Chris to have this holiday.

  • June 2000: Chris went to his friends 21st birthday (this was his last night out). More lumps came on his body now the radiotherapy stopped doing its job.

  • July 15th 2000: The cancer took our son away from us.

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