How Lego helped our family through losing our child to cancer.

“Your child has cancer”, you have heard this on TV or the radio and it just breaks your heart, we never heard this exact line, it was more of a whirlwind of hospital, scans, surgery, tears, fear and then chemo, with the word Osteosarcoma bouncing around in my head, what! what is that? But the words I do remember and will never forget are “Sam has only two months left” A day that will never leave me, sitting in the oncology doctors office with my husband, social workers and pain. Two months, two months to fill a life time of love for this cheeky eight year old boy. What followed immediately was a blur of radiation to slow the tumour growth, a mountain of medication for the pain and nausea he was experiencing, so many meetings with our palliative care team, social workers, oncologist, district nurses, our local GP. But also there was the community who had followed our Samuels journey and were devastated. We were flooded with holidays, Make a wish gifts, kind words, offers to help in anyway, anything to make this time in our life a little bit brighter, and they did, Sam was treated like a king and was happy. I don’t think we stopped for a month! Then Sam got sicker, it was too exhausting for him and the comfort of our own home was all we wanted. The boys went back to school, it was school Christmas holidays and the routine of life continued, but in a different way. Sam was home with us, Kris was allowed to work from home, I was home too, but how do I describe this time in our lives, how do you describe waiting for your child to leave, not knowing when his last day will be, not knowing how this cruel disease will take him, when he will take his last breathe, the pain of knowing these are the last days with your precious boy. Before the boys went back to school we had a huge storm, ex tropical cyclone Oswald, it destroyed a huge amount of the mountain where we live, we were without power for three days, is was scary, Sam slept more and more, I thought no its too soon…and thankfully it was, once the power went back on and the TV went back on he was his chirpy self again. But while the power was out we got all the Lego out, now with a family of three boys, we have a lot of Lego, too much, we also have Kris’s old vintage space Lego. It had been all thrown into a box, so we spread a blanket out on the lounge floor and the sorting began! This was the best thing in the world. The hours of sorting gave us something else to think about, there were piles of colours, containers of wheels, so many little men, half build creations, it was endless. Sam loved his Lego, all the boys did, all through treatment he was building new creations and always seeing another he wanted! He loved it when we would complete an oldie but a goodie and he would have a play, but really this sorting and building going on out in the lounge away from Sam was our savour, we had something to take our minds off what was happening to our family that we had no control over, but here in front of us was a mission to complete, I loved it when we would all be there sorting and digging in all the piles of bricks to find that one piece. The simplicity of colours and sizes if only for a few moments helped us get through that complex time in our lives. I will always think of Lego in a different way now, it was always a big part of our boys growing up, but how it helped us in that horrible time was truly amazing.

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