Jack’s Journey told by Mum Tracey
Jack is 8 yrs old and our youngest son – we have 8 children, 5 girls & 3 boys! – the cheeky smiley little gentleman, as his teachers call him!
Jack is asthmatic along with our other children, so I’m used to Jack’s chest problems.
Jack had been feeling a little under the weather for a couple of weeks. He had a bit of a cold and an upset tummy just after Christmas 2013/January 2014 which was nothing he hadn’t had before. He had the usual childhood symptoms so I didn’t think too much about it.
Jack seemed to get a little better, but then during February half term school hoilday Jack started to complain about tiredness, leg/shin pain, not being hungry and feeling full-up, these symptoms he’d had before, so thought he wasn’t quite over his previous illness, although this time his chest was playing up, so managed to get Jack an appointment at our General Practitioners, on Wednesday. I explained Jack’s symptoms, he was examined and I was shown tiny little pin prick like dots on Jack’s shoulders, (which I hadn’t noticed before!). It looked like a viral rash, tummy was quite hard, he had bruising on his legs, which Jack had said about but couldn’t remember how they got there, his chest had a little rattle but he’s had that several times before with a chest infection & when his asthma has been bad.
The GP referred Jack to the paediatric unit at our local hospital and told us to carry on with Jack’s inhaler and wait to hear from the hospital.
I had a phone call on Friday to say Jack had an appointment on Monday 3rd March 2014 at the paediatric unit. In the meantime Jack was very poorly over that weekend with his chest. I took him back to the GP on Monday morning. Jack was given anti-biotics & steroids for what was said to be a bad chest infection, which we later found out he should not have been given, as it can speed the growth of tumours.
Monday afternoon we took Jack to the hospital appointment. Jack was put on a nebuliser straight away – his sats were very low with hardly any oxygen in his blood.
After a few very long hours of blood tests, sats tests, I was taken into a room and told he had Leukaemia, they were not sure which one, (I didn’t know there were different types!). Jack was so very poorly and had to be transferred to a bigger hospital who deal with Childhood Cancer.
As you can imagine, our world turned up side down, our poor little gentleman Jack was very poorly and we had no idea.
Jack had to have a platelet infusion in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Once at the hospital Jack had chest x-rays, ultrasound on his tummy, more blood tests, which found there was so much fluid around his heart & lungs that he went to ICU to have a chest drain inserted. Jack also had a tumour between his lungs – we were absolutely devastated.
Jack was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on 3rd March 2014.
Jack has had lots of chemo, spent 6 weeks in hospital – I stayed with him, which was very difficult to be away from my 7 other children & my husband, although they did visit as often as possible.
Hairloss, mouth ulcers, lack of appetite, leg, back, bone, muscle pain are all part of the side effects of the chemo.
Lumbar Punctures, injections, blood transfusions, platelet infusions & chemotherapy are all part of his treatment.
Jack has 5 phases of treatment, he is almost at the end of phase 4 (delayed intensification), his maintenance treatment (phase 5) will start in a few weeks and continue for the next two and a half years, if all goes to plan!
This is Jack’s Journey, not what I had wanted for my 8yr old son but Jack is a fighter. We are fighters and together we will do our best to help our little gentleman Jack beat this terrible disease.
Jack Warboys Journey told by his very proud mum Tracey Warboys. X