Lily’s Story by her Mom Clair
Lily Emma Beswick was born at home on 10th February 2011. She has 2 older brothers called Oliver and Rowan and an older sister Amy who love Lily dearly
2 weeks after her first birthday we found a lump on her left thigh. It was about the size of a small egg and didn’t seem to be bothering her. It really just appeared overnight. After a trip to the doctors to get it checked out we were admitted to Royal Bolton Hospital for a couple of days to treat for an infection. During her stay the hospital carried out further tests to establish exactly what the lump was. It was after having an ultra sound scan they decided it must be a tumour and we were then told to go home and pack for a few days stay at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as they were referring us to the Oncology Department (Cancer Ward).
Terrified, we turned up at Ward 84 on 26th February 2012 and our journey into an unknown world began. But no matter how scared we were, we couldn’t help but feel part of an extraordinary, wonderful and positive environment. All around us were children with bald heads and wheeling their machines that they were attached to around with them, and the thing that stood out more than anything was how happy they were and how determined they were to get on with things. The other parents were amazing and supportive too. It soon became clear that we were all there for each other.
After further tests and examinations Lily was finally diagnosed on 13th March with a tumour called Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a soft tissue tumour mainly found in boys. She started a 6 month course of chemotherapy so had to stay in hospital every 3 weeks for 3 days. She also had surgery in June to remove the tumour, which by this time had reduced in size significantly. During the course of her treatment she also had to be admitted for infected and open wound after the biopsy, tonsillitis, a couple of raised temperatures and even chicken pox.
Lily sailed through her treatment and on 12th September she completed her last course of chemotherapy. Life was good and we were now entering into the maintenance stage. Routine scan appointments were booked and we were waiting for a date for her to have her Hickman line removed.
Then on 17th October, she had a temperature and had to be admitted to hospital for a couple of days to be treated for an infection. Everything went ok and we came home the day before Oliver’s birthday. But a week later Lily’s temperature had risen again and we were back in hospital. This time she also had a bit of a cough. More tests and xrays were done and on 30th October we were given the devastating news that Lily had relapsed and they had found 4 more tumours on her lungs. The cancer was back.
Lily was transferred the following day back onto Ward 84 to start more chemotherapy, but her breathing was deteriorating fast and she was put on oxygen. So on Saturday 3rd November, Lily was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and was sedated and put onto a life support machine to help with her breathing.
Lily stayed here for 3 weeks. There were ups and downs, good days and bad days but eventually we were told that even if the chemo worked and got rid of the tumours, they had caused so much damage that they were irreparable and Lily would never recover. Lily was also starting to deteriorate, and it was with great sadness that we agreed that her life support should be removed.
On 22nd November Lily died in my arms with her daddy at her side.
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