The face behind the smile.We often hear comments about smiles, these smiles remind us that these are children first and foremost, they are children who want to enjoy their childhood with all the innocence and laughter childhood brings. Sadly in the world of childhood cancer much of that innocence is replaced by the harsh reality of life with all its ups and downs, successes and losses. Those moments are rarely seen in a photo or on a video.
That smile has nothing to do with cancer, it’s only there because this is a child, who no matter what traumatic experiences they have endured and will continue to endure will still smile, because in amongst the pain and suffering there is joy and love, there is childhood.
Childhood often left in tatters, as they are left to question their own mortality, make decisions that may lead to a cure but with significant losses, physical changes, emotional challenges and mental scars. Loss of privacy, lack of dignity, an enormous amount of pain, isolation and loneliness often perforate their lives.
When comparing a child and adult both suffering cancer you must be reminded, there is no advantage for the child, younger in this case does not mean stronger, a faster recovery and easier time through treatments. It’s totally the opposite for childhood cancer. They often are treated with drugs meant for adults, their little bodies and brains not fully grown are immediately impacted.
Unlike a broken bone or a childhood cold, once a child has been treated for cancer their bodies are not left stronger, they often suffer things that only a long life and old age might bring, frail and weak bones, muscles, sight and hearing losses, memory fails and cognitive abilities slow, nerve damage and damaged teeth, emotional disturbances, fatigue and anxiety are not uncommon.
There is no aspect of their young lives that is not impacted by this.
There is nothing nice in childhood cancer, it is horrific, terrifying and traumatic.
As confronting as this reality is we must have the ability to see the child in this, to turn away from the suffering, to not look because it’s painful for you to see is denying this child the respect they deserve to be acknowledged and heard. We as adults are charged with the guardianship of these children, we are their voices when they cannot speak.
These are children all with a single wish to just get better.
We advocate today for the children of tomorrow
Awareness=Funding=Research=Treatments that HEAL and do no harm💛
These stories can be read on The Other C Word Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AnotherCword/