I always struggled to watch adverts on TV about families being told their loved ones had cancer. Never really knowing how it must feel to hear those words; but now I don't have to imagine because it's our reality.
As of 12th October 2017 we became one of those families you hear about. We were told that our precious little boy had Neuroblastoma- a rare childhood cancer affecting fewer than 100 children in the U.K. each year.
As tests promptly started each piece of news seemed more devastating. I still find it hard to see Silone's name on paperwork next to the words: stage 4, high risk, metastatic neuroblastoma. As in 50% of cases of this aggressive type of cancer, his primary tumour was found in his abdomen but had already spread to bones and bone marrow before we had any idea.
Just weeks before he had played alongside friends at birthday like every other happy 3 months year old who was really looking forward to Father Christmas visiting.
He spent his 3rd month in hospital, has undergone MRI scans, bone marrow and tumor biopsies, a blood and platelet transfusion, two rounds of chemotherapy to name but a few procedures. There are lots of tears. Too many tears. Every single day.
His journey has just started. Everyone we have encountered working in our amazing NHS are doing their very best to help our little boy. But the statistics make for grim reading and there will come a time, we hope, when he will be in remission and eligible for further treatment not yet available in this country.
The numbers are just that, only numbers. And I have so much hope that Reuben will beat this horrible disease and live the life of a happy, cheeky little boy again. He's already taught me not to underestimate him- lots of it he doesn't like, but his smile soon returns and reminds me every time why we are doing this.
We have been overwhelmed by love, thoughts and prayers from so many people. There is no doubt that he is one very loved little boy.
Over the next year we will be turning our attention to fundraising efforts to help raise funds for overseas treatment once he is in remission. The initial costs for this are anticipated to be £250,000.
Thank you so much for reading his story so far. Please help us do everything we can to make it a survivor story he can tell in the future.
Thank you so much for your support