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The 15th March, 1970 was a very happy day for our family, I gave birth to the most beautiful little boy I named David.  He was my 4th child and the 1st son after 3 beautiful daughters.

My happiness was short-lived as he was taking cyanotic turns and turning blue, he went to a big hospital in Sydney until he was 1 month old.  I don't know whether delivering him all by myself had anything to do with these turns or not.  Anyway he stopped having them, and was a very happy little baby boy, I took him to the specialist a couple of times who could not find any problems with David and said he was a very healthy little boy.

Life went on very happy.  On the 1.12.71 I gave birth to Rodney, on the 11th I had an operation, and after being home about 1 week, I noticed a very small lump just near David's eyebrow between his eyes.  No doctor would do anything about it, just kept saying he had bumped his head, we took him to 3 places before anyone would do anything for us.

Finally my doctor said he looked a little lethargic and I was so worried about it, he sent me for X-rays.  Well the news wasn't good at all.  Straight to a specialist, on 24.12.71, we were told David had a malignant tumor above his kidney and it had already metastasized to his bones in his head.  In those days we weren't given any stage Neuroblastoma like the parents are given today, as this happened so long ago, but to me it is just like yesterday

I was very naive in those days and the only cancer I had heard of in children was Leukemia.  I asked the specialist what was going to happen to David, and he said he would just waste away and die.  I just went to pieces, as you can imagine, getting news like that when your baby is only 21 months old, and you have a new baby at home and also are recovering from an operation.

We then took him straight to the Children's hospital at Camperdown, which was in Sydney, and now is at Westmead.  The specialists there said they would operate, but not yet, as they would let us take David home for Christmas, as we probably wouldn't have him next Christmas, which turned out to be true.

On 31.12.71 David had a very big operation, his kidney was removed, it was terrible to see my small child with all the drips and things connected to him. I cried so much, it was so heartbreaking.

David recovered very quickly from this operations, and started chemotherapy, which made him lose all his hair. And the number of people who stared at him made me so terribly upset. People are so cruel.

By beginning of July 1972, the doctors were very hopeful of David getting better, as he was free of cancer.  Towards the end of July, I noticed David started getting fevers and looking unwell.  Back to the doctors at Camperdown.

Bad news again, David has cancer cells back in his bone marrow.  He was isolated, which was terrible for us all, and other treatments tried.

I think it was about September, 1972 that the doctors called me in to discuss David's future and treatments. They told me the news that I knew was coming, that they really couldn't do anymore for David. If I wanted to keep trying they would do it, but in their opinion it would be of no use. I sat there and I said straight out to them, no more treatments.  David and I had been through enough and that I would let him go to heaven.  He had been through hell, with all the treatments, blood tests, etc.

On the 2nd November, 1972, David went to heaven to be an angel.  It was 3.00pm on a Thursday and he was laid to rest on 6.11.72. David was born at 3.00pm on a Sunday afternoon, so you can see he came into the world at exactly the same time he departed.

My life has been so full of sadness at my loss, and I never will heal properly at the loss of my beautiful son.

Only a mother who has been through this same kind of heartbreak at watching their child die, could possibly understand what it does to your life, which is never ever the same. One member of your beloved family, is always missing. The heartache stays forever.

 

 

 

 

 

                              October 15, 2001

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