For me, it became something very practical. Step by step, dealing with arrangements for the children, making sure that we understood what the doctors had been telling us and what the choices and options were. Really summoning all my strength to support my wife and my family through, what turned out to be, the next two to three years of investigations and treatments.
I really had to look after the children much more than I had been – I’d been sharing that job with Waheed previously. So I got to know the mums at the school gate. I had to remember everyone’s names – which was not one of my strong points! People were very kind. I got emergency food parcels from various mums at school, and I got to take the children to all their clubs and parties and events. I really enjoyed stepping up to take on more of the childcare. It’s brought me closer to my two daughters.
Having gone through the experience that we’ve had with cancer – with Waheed and my parents – it just brings home how precious every day is and it gives you a renewed determination to make the most of everything. I didn’t think at the start of this that there'd be any positives with going through cancer. But it has really made me more appreciative of the children and of my relationship with Waheed. And just really made us appreciate every day that we have so much more than before cancer came into our lives. You really re-evaluate what’s important to you and work out what’s valuable, and you appreciate things so much more.
Now that she’s cancer-free, life still will not go back to how it was before, but things have changed and we’re in a better place. It’s brought us even closer than we were before. It’s another thing that we've faced together.
If I had advice for someone else, or myself at the start of this process, I’d just say take all the help you can. Do all the reading you can, and just take one day at a time. There is another side to it, and one day you will be looking back on it.