No one can prepare you for that sheer delight of welcoming a newborn into your life.
So that morning I rang his GP and made him an appointment. The G.P asked for a blood test as he said he thought he was looking a tad pale. We had this at 3pm that afternoon and then I had to take him for a chest x ray. We got back home and carried on as normal. Hubby started having a few drinks as football was on that evening. At 7:30pm the phone rang, ‘withheld’ number, normally we let these ring but for some reason I answered. It was the ‘out of hours’ doctor calling from the hospital asking to speak to hubby. I heard a “well can it wait till tomorrow” come from him then he said “I think you need to speak to this doctor” so handed me the phone.
Doctor started saying that his blood count was abnormally low and wanted to admit him to hospital and if I couldn’t take him was sending an ambulance round. *cue panic*
We got him some gear together and got baby in car with us and I drove to the hospital which is about 45 mins from us. When we walked onto the ward I was a bit confused to see it said Oncology but brushed it aside thinking there must be no beds anywhere else. We waited for a consultant to come see us. He then delivered the news that his blood tests were ‘bad’ and the cause could have been anything from a vitamin B12 deficiency to Leukaemia. I saw hubby didn’t have clue what either was and I didn’t have the heart to tell him as I think he would have left. It hit me when the nurses said they were trying to find me a room so I could stay with the baby. I know they only do that when its bad.
Luckily he ended up being transferred that night to a single room where I could rest on a chair. He had blood transfusions etc and then they did a bone marrow biopsy and the result was Leukaemia. He was ‘lucky’ to catch the type he did (hairy cell Leukaemia) as this was a very rare type but one of the most ‘treatable’ ones. He was booked in for Chemo 2 weeks before Christmas. All was going well and he finished his Chemo the week before Christmas, it was a Friday and I think the last session took a lot out of him.
That night we all went to bed I was sleeping in the spare room so as to give him the space he needed. I was feeding baby when I heard an almighty bang. I had to quickly detach him from me and ran in to find hubby unconscious on the floor in the bathroom. I quickly rang the hospital and they said to bring him straight in his temp was 43 degrees. He had caught an infection due to the lack of immunity. The hospital were fantastic and were waiting for us (it was quicker for me to take him rather than wait for an ambulance). He was put on IV antibiotics and more blood transfusions. It really was a little touch and go.
3 days later he was recovering well and was finally allowed home at 10pm Christmas eve with lots and lots of restrictions. New year came, progressed, and he continued to do well. Myself on the other hand started going downhill but I felt I couldn’t tell anyone as hubby was still poorly.
I carried on for months but emotionally and physically I became a wreck. I couldn’t string a sentence together and I started feeling so much hate and resentment towards my husband. I would cry whenever I was alone I felt suffocated and at a loss. I started to have some very very dark thoughts.
I was due to start back at work in the September and my first day back was when I finally broke down. My day started by leaving my boy in nursery crying. It was heart-breaking as I had not been away from him properly since birth. I got to work and all I wanted to do was to ring and see if he was ok but there were other plans. I walked into the office and was promptly told I was in a meeting!!!! No oh welcome back how have you been.
Ok I didn’t expect it to be sugar coated but I was starting a new job and had no idea what I was doing. I couldn’t ring nursery till 10:30 that morning. I went to ‘see’ him at lunch (just spied through a window) and he was fine. I got back to work and the manager who interviewed me asked if I was OK it was then in front of her I completely broke down.
I left work and had to return the next day to see our occupational health department where they declared me unfit for work. I went to see my GP something I probably should have done months and months before. She diagnosed PND. It had gone undetected as there had been so much going on I never saw the signs.
It has been tough and even now 19 months after hubbies original diagnosis and 8 months after mine I still struggle to come to terms with it all. I still feel that resentment against him for ‘robbing’ me of time with my newborn. I never got to do any of the things I wanted to do or thought I would do; like go for coffee with my friends, or take nice walks etc. I have lost all my friends and have become quite lonely but I only have myself to blame. I isolated myself from everyone. We had to initially due to the lack of immunity but people stayed away. Whilst going through this I still had to care for my elderly in laws and still maintain my act of everything is fine.
This is one of the first times I’ve ever really told anyone how I actually feel. Only my hubby knows I have had to take medication. Out of my choice I didn’t tell anyone else as they had been through enough. I don’t want this to be a pity post as the decisions were all mine albeit very cloudy ones, what I want to say is you can get through it with the right help but you have to be strong enough to ask for the help. Don’t be pig headed like me.
This is my story.