On the 20th December 2013 I shared another of katie Dalgoutte’s very moving poems on my Facebook page. Katie lives in the UK and her handsome son Henry was diagnosed with a grade 3 ependymoma ( brain tumour) at the age of 13 months old in January 2013. Henry is currently doing very well.
Katie speaks for so many of us “oncology mums” with her poetry. I previously published her very powerful poem Imagine on this blog.
Katie’s poem ‘Parenthood’ describes exactly how I was feeling when I posted it on my Facebook wall that day in December 2013. Sadly eight days later, Leah was critically ill in Intensive Care.
Being a parent is such a privilege and joy,
Such years of fun and love to enjoy.
But sometimes with joy comes worry and strike,
A fear that threatens your beautiful child’s life.
We hold on to the reigns, but we lose control,
We are forced to take on so many roles.
Today I’m a counsellor, I’ll comfort my child,
I’ll provide cuddles when they’re going wild,
I am a physio, helping move on,
Support them in learning skills that have just gone.
I am a researcher, searching for answers,
Praying for cures for these horrible cancers
I am a nurse handing out drugs,
When all I once knew was dealing in hugs.
I am a doctor using medical words,
Vocabulary not long ago I’d never heard
I am a dietician praying that he’ll eat,
Avoiding sickness and nausea becomes a treat.
I am a therapist encouraging speech,
Loving and nurturing, trying to teach.
I am a psychologist, doing my best,
When inside myself I’m feeling distressed.
I am an actress pretending to be
A strong happy parent, with no cracks to see.
I am a clown creating laughter,
I’ll strive to make memories today and hereafter.
But most of all I’m still just a mother
Living each day at a time.
All I want in life is for him to be here
My child, my world, my life, my all.
By Katie, Henry’s mummy. 16th October 2013 ©
Katie Dalgoutte is an amazing person, as are so many parents of very ill children. Katie has set up a charity called Henry’s Holiday Help. It is a small charity that provides local children (Bury St. Edmunds area) diagnosed with cancer from 2013 onwards, with some money towards a holiday to enjoy during or after treatment.
During this season of goodwill perhaps you would like to make a donation; their gofundme page can be found here. Alternatively, you can contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HenryTheHandsomesJourney/.