Through My Eyes is a series in which those affected by childhood cancer share a behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like to be in their shoes. Read every perspective. Become aware and donate to help create solutions for kids fighting rare pediatric cancer.
- Perspective: Cancer Mom
- Name: Dianna Lariviere
- Son: Max Lariviere
- Cancer: Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma
- Diagnosed: 08.05.18
- Treated at: Levine Children’s Hospital
UPDATE, JULY 2020: We are thrilled to share that Brinn is currently in remission and there is no evidence of disease.
Max has had a rough year with many setbacks, delayed treatment schedules, prolonged hospital stays and high anxiety. These are just a few thoughts from her son that scares this cancer mom. Dianna was featured on our social channels (Instagram & Facebook) on 9/6/19. It’s real and it’s raw… just like childhood cancer.
My Child Now Wants To Keep His Cancer…
He lost his friends because of his cancer and his new friends, his nurses, he will lose, when it is gone. He will be 4 in October. So now he has to see speech therapy to retrain himself that it’s ok to eat food by mouth, he will need speech therapy for hearing loss and he will most likely need therapy to realize that he does NOT want to keep his cancer. All he knows are these nurses. Those are his friends because he’s been isolated for a year now, and it’s not over. A 3 1/2 year old thinks this way. Max is pretty advanced. He knows exactly what is happening to him and that’s what scares me. He’s not going to forget all of this.
It’s All My Fault…
He’s stuck in the house all the time like bubble boy and has no childhood. It’s just awful. He says “It’s all my fault” and “I’m sorry” all the time. He thinks the cancer is his fault and shuts down when we try to talk about anything.
I’m Never Going to Get Better…
“I’m never going to get better.” – Max
That’s how our conversation home from clinic today began. So much emphasis is placed on the physical side effects of cancer and not the psychological. I can’t tell you how many times people have said Max won’t remember half of what he’s going through. They are wrong. He was almost 3 when he was diagnosed. He’s going to be 4 next month. He has spent the past year living in a hospital… living a complete nightmare all while in his toddler years, when developmental stages are so crucial.
People don’t think a child Max’s age can have severe anxiety or PTSD but they can, and he does. I only hope one day he can have less of it, that we all can have less of it, but he has to live with this for the rest of his life as well. Every what if.
Photos courtesy of Dianna Lariviere. You can follow Max’s journey with neuroblastoma on his Facebook Channel Max’s Fight With Neuroblastoma
*** THROUGH MY EYES: THIS IS CHILDHOOD CANCER