Marmaduke’s Story – Childhood Cancer
“When you realize how uncertain life is , you do begin to appreciate the value or family and friendships and enjoy those moments while you have them because you don’t know what’s around the corner,” Simon Waring.
Marmaduke’s Story highlights the importance of holistic care for all members of families containing children living with potentially life-limiting illnesses. We hear the first hand account of family members reflecting on the importance of children’s palliative care, including home-based care and effective pain control for childhood cancer patient Marmaduke from Melbourne, Australia.
Marmaduke was diagnosed with childhood cancer at 15 months of age. Marmaduke was treated with chemotherapy for 3-4 cycles followed by surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital – the treatment ultimately ended with ‘sledgehammer chemo’. After 10 months Marmaduke was declared “in the clear”. Three months later, during a family holiday, Marmaduke’s mother Millsom found a lump of her breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Four days before Millsom finished chemotherapy, Marmaduke relapsed with presentation of an aggressive tumor.
“We decided to live in the moment and bring him home and he spent four or five months having a fantastic time,” Simon Waring.
CHILDHOOD CANCER & CHILDREN’S PALLIATIVE CARE
When Marmaduke’s condition became terminal., home-based palliative care and the effective treatment of his pain became critically important.
“The only way I could get him home was with palliative care… The end of his journey, to have him at home in his bedroom with all his own colors, his own toys, his sounds, have his brothers climbing in an out of his bed – it was as normal an environment as he could possibly have,” Simon Waring.
The strong pain relief Marmaduke received at home was essential to his quality of life.
“It was almost natural for me to be with him every second,” Charlotte Lang-Waring.
Childhood Cancer featuring Simon Waring, Charlotte Lang-Waring.
Filmed in Melbourne, Australia. Deep thanks to Simon Waring, Charlotte Lang-Waring and Palliative Care Australia.
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