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Intuition & Instinct

I took a deep dive into boxes and boxes of old photos and memories this weekend whilst looking for something in particular. Anyone else keep absolutely all kinds of stuff from years ago that you just can’t part with? kids school reports, drawings, achievement certificates and cards from their birth, 1st birthdays, 1st Christmas and so on? 😆

Talk about a walk down memory lane, very emotive actually. All these photos and memories feel like they were just yesterday and here we are, my kids are now 30, 25, 21 & 14 and I have 2 grandchildren! Where did my little babies go? 🥹

The particular something I was looking for was this diary I made for my youngest son Joshua (now 21) when he was just 4 years old. I started it in March 2007 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer in the lymphatic system). This month always has bittersweet memories of that time, which reading the diary again today transported me right back to that time, all those emotions, the shock, disbelief and fear 😧

Josh is now a strapping 6ft odd young man who is healthy, the cancer was caught early and responded well to treatment. He was cancer free later that year and has been ever since 🥰

One of the biggest memories I have from this time is my worry when I found this lump, being fobbed off for a long time by medical professionals who said he was fine and probably thought I was a neurotic mother. Weeks and weeks went by and many Drs appointments of being told it’s a virus, swollen glands, he will be ok, nothing we can do etc whilst I sat and watched this lump get bigger and my worry grew 🥺

I KNEW it wasn’t “nothing”, my instincts were screaming it was all wrong, there was something serious going on. My intuition told me I needed to do something.

I had just started my 2nd year at uni and I remember this particular day I had a breakdown at uni, I cried to my friend on the phone and knew I had to do something. I was sick of not being listened to and being dismissed.

That day I took him to A&E and demanded someone take us seriously as I was really worried. This particular Dr listened and arranged a chest xray. This xray showed a shadow on his lung (turned out to be nothing sinister, just a shadow from his position) BUT that xray created a referral to the RVI paediatric oncology team for which I am forever grateful for because I dread to think of the outcome if they didn’t.

I dare say, if that xray had shown clear we would’ve been discharged home with no follow up. Even at that point, all the doctors were saying he was too young for it to be anything sinister, and you kind of believe that. We have trust in medical professionals, we think they are the experts and they know best, I felt inferior in their presence like what did I know, they must be right because they are the experts!

NO, we are the experts of our own children, our bodies and our babies. When you feel something isn’t right, nothing you can easily distinguish but that something feels off, your instincts and intuition are telling you something is amis, trust that feeling. Listen to it and act on it, it’s usually right.

Had I not listened to my instinct back then, I know his cancer would’ve spread and we would’ve most likely not had the same outcome as we did. I guess the point I’m making is medical professionals sometimes are wrong, and despite my parenting and life experience at that time, I still felt they must know best.

Question everything and whilst I acknowledge that intuition and instinct don’t always produce answers or lead to anything conclusive, they are not to be dismissed and it’s sometimes all we have to go on. I wish I had more confidence back then than I do now but I utilise my past experience, knowledge AND my intuition in supporting the families I care for to help advocate for the best care 🥰

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