By Laura WhelanIn Melbourne’s south-west, parents will never forget the first time they heard the word ‘mammoth’ and knew they had to take their baby home.
It was the start of a five-year battle to get her to her first Melbourne hospital.
A decade on, Melbourne has changed for the better and there are still plenty of parents struggling to cope with the devastating effects of this disease.
“You can never take a baby home from the hospital, you can never get them to school, you need to be there for the first week and the last week of their life,” said Anna, whose daughter was born in May this year.
“So when I first heard it, I didn’t know what to expect.”
Anna said the diagnosis was as bad as it had been the day before.
“The first thing you think is, ‘Oh my God, my child has cancer’,” she said.
“It was so terrifying.
It’s like a bomb went off and I was just thinking, ‘I can’t do anything’.”
Anna’s mother, Jennifer, has been a cancer specialist for 25 years.
“I have no doubt she would have died if she was alive today,” she said of the late mother.
“But we had to keep going, because I think the good news is it’s only getting worse.”
Melbourne’s malignancies are on the riseAs Melbourne has grown, so too has the number of cases of malignant breast, colorectal and lung cancer.
“There are now two or three cases a week that are really quite serious,” Dr Jennifer said.”[But] it is still rare.”
Dr Jennifer said it was the combination of factors that were the most concerning.
“We have a lot of new cancers emerging and they’re emerging in a lot more places than we would have expected, so there’s a lot that’s happening and there’s just a lot to be concerned about.”
Dr Anna said the family were grateful for the resources available to them.
“This is one of those things that we could not do on our own,” she says.
“If we’d had our own medical support, we would never have been able to go through this.”
Dr Anne says her daughter’s mother was the one to take her first-aid courses at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
“She would go up to the hospital and she’d say, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be able to take you home’,” Dr Anne said.
Dr Anne said the treatment was “the most amazing” she had ever seen.
“Her mum would go in, say she needs to get a chest x-ray and the next thing she knew she was in a hospital bed, in a gown,” Dr Anne says.
Topics:cancer,australia,melbourne-3000,melbourna-3000First posted May 21, 2018 08:54:21Contact Victoria Maternal-Fetal,Adoption,Advocacy,Adoptees,Children,Childrens,AdultsTopics:mother-and-baby,health,malaria,adults,childrens-health,melburn-3220,vicFirst posted May 21, 2019 07:58:24Contact Victoria Medical Services,Admissions,Admitting & Referral,Medical Care,Medical Staff,Services,Medical,ChildCare,Pregnancy,Child-care,VAC,Adolescents,Adolescent-Services,Fetuses-only,Maternal-InfantContact [email protected] stories from Victoria