Continuing on from the first chapter of Maya’s Journey, which can be found at the end of the blog posted on the 18th of April titled ‘Everyone has a story‘, we would like to share with you the next chapter, which picks up from when she was about 11 months old. Maya had just finished 40 odd weeks of chemo and we were very positive about her future.

Thanks for taking the time to read this next chapter of Maya’s Story and keep your eye out for more chapters in the weeks to come.

Family photo taken when Maya was 11 months old - this is childhood cancer
Family photo taken when Maya was 11 months old

Maya’s Journey continues…

Last time I wrote forty weeks of chemo had past, two weeks to go, of which we hoped was the last.

Evaluation scan done and the results are all good, we celebrate like any family should.

Our celebrations are short as that night when I get you ready for bed, I find a small lump below the right side of your head.

Sleepless night and then into Canberra hospital we went, doctors think it’s a tumour so off to Sydney we are sent.

An MRI to confirm, but not one there is two, cancerous tumours are back, why is this happening to you?

Another operation but they can remove only one, the other is too dangerous, too much damage could be done.

Your Grandma, aunts and uncles come to be close to you, mummy’s good friends from Darwin and your cousins too.

Specialists are worried, your prognosis not good, we are given some options that parents never should.

We were given a choice that we will never speak about; we took it all in, tears but no urge to shout.

Radiation is harsh lots if things could go wrong, just to get through it you would need to be strong.

In the time between your operation and radiation is to start, another tumour appears, enough to break anyone’s heart.

You’re going downhill, the pain is quite bad, the biggest race against time that you’ve ever had.

Radiation begins, it’s like instant relief, the pain seems to subside, its working is what we have to believe.

Two sessions down and you’re doing great, let’s hope it’s the same for the next twenty eight.

Radiation treatment - Childhood cancer
Maya had 30 radiation sessions, each requiring a general anesthetic. As she was so little they would put her to sleep in my arms. As she drifted off to sleep, I cried each and every time. All up she had over 40 GAs in her short but full life.

A general anesthetic each day, a mask covering your face, they put you to sleep while still in my embrace.

It’s hard to hold you close and see you drift away, it will get easier with time is all that they say.

Morning is radiation sessions, afternoon family fun, making the most of each day, so you can tell cancer who won.

Six weeks of treatment, we all stayed together, we called Ronnie Macs home through all types of weather.

There were sunny days of smiles and rainy days full of tears, dreams of the future and bleak days full of fear.

We took respite at Bear Cottage, not too sure at first; they offer palliative care so we just thought the worst.

But it was amazing, we could relax and rest, spend quality time as a family, do whatever we liked best.

Family photo - This is childhood cancer
Family photo we took while staying at Bear Cottage – Love how much Maya is showing her love for her Daddy in this photo

We took walks to the Corso and played in the sun, our meals all provided no stress for anyone.

You turned one during treatment, we had two parties with friends, some travelled so far but that’s not where it ends.

They bought bracelets so gorgeous on each of them is your name, they don’t even know each other but their gifts are the same.

You wear them together, both on the same wrist. You love them so much, through your fingers they twist.

1st Birthday - Ronald McDonald House Randwixk
Maya enjoying her 1st birthday cake at Ronald McDonald House in Randwick

Treatment winds up its Christmas in just a few days, the lights shining again we can see through the haze.

Just after Christmas you started a new intensive protocol, for a moment cancer was winning, but you settled the score.

You had another scan to see what the tumours have done, the scans are all clear, so this time you’ve won.

Last innings has started, but this one’s for show, as who will come out on top, we already know.

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