This is Kieran. Kieran was 8 years old when he was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) in May 2016. The treatment he has received are oral, intravenous and intrathecal chemotherapy and steroids.
Prior to his diagnosis, he was a very happy and extremely active little boy (he was in the gymnastics squad - training a couple of times a week and competing at weekends, he also went swimming and kick boxing and was always outside on his bike or the trampoline).
It was such a shock when he was diagnosed and it completely changed his character.
He didn't have the energy or feel well enough to take part in any of his hobbies, at times he couldn't even walk from his bed or the sofa to the bathroom so he definitely couldn't keep up with his friends. He resented his brothers (because although he would never want them to go through what he was, he didn't want to be going through it either!) He became very nervous and anxious and became very angry (especially when he was on steroids!)
The first 6 months went by in a bit of a blur - frequent hospital visits and still trying to get our heads around it all.
After about 8 months, he'd had enough and frequently told me that he wanted it all to end, that he couldn't live like this anymore, he hated his life and what he was going through and how we would all be better off if he was dead, even threatened to kill himself. He was referred to a clinical psychologist who was brilliant with him and helped him deal with his problems and his anxiety.
Kieran has suffered a lot with side effects to treatment. He has peripheral neuropathy in his hands and wrists and is working with an occupational therapist to try to help with this. And we have recently found out he has got AVN (avascular necrosis) in multiple vertebrae of his spine due to the high doses of steroids he has been taking. We don't know how bad it is yet and we are just waiting for an appointment with the spine specialist.
It has taken a long time to get his pain (mostly in his back and his legs) under control and due to this he has struggled with school attendance and usually only manages 3 half days a week so I have been unable to work.
Kieran is due to finish treatment in July and I really hope that we will then be able to get back to some normality!
Thank you once again for your help! I can't tell you how much it means to me!
Thank you so much to Kieran's mum, Rachel, for allowing us to share his story. What an incredible young man. Team MSS xx