Side Effects

After getting the diagnosis, Dr Rachel sat us down for the chat. My family were busy entertaining Joshua in his room, while we were taken away for half an hour of brutal reality check.

This is where she talks us through all of the drugs that Joshua will be having to take and all of their potential side effects (now and in his future). I honestly can’t remember much of what was said, but I can remember the way it made me feel. After 20 minutes of this onslaught of upsetting information, I just wanted her to stop talking. I don’t want to hear anymore. Ben quietly commented: “this sounds like walking through a minefield”.

Of course, I want them to treat his cancer and make it go away. But there is also the thorny issue of consequences later in life.

I could feel the sadness brimming in my chest. The point of this chat was to gain consent from us, so they could begin his treatment. But if we refused to give it, they would divert to law and get a court order to force us. So essentially, there is no choice. Therefore, I think I’d rather not know all the details, thanks very much.

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