Posted on Thursday 30 August 2018

Seb’s story – It’s just a different world, a cancer world

Seb was diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer at just 18 months old. His family was supported by CLIC Sargent while he underwent treatment.

Seb wearing a Superman costume

Seb wearing a Superman costume in hospital during his cancer treatment

After noticing blood in Seb’s urine, his mum Natasha took him to various GP appointments and to the hospital but was only given antibiotics. The family were on holiday and Seb was in so much pain that they had to cut the holiday short and come home. 

After a scan, more examinations and tests, the doctors confirmed that Seb had bladder and prostate cancer.  

The family were transferred from St George’s Hospital to the Royal Marsden, where Seb started chemotherapy. 

Side effects 

Natasha said: “There were a lot of side effects from the chemo. All his hair fell out quickly after his first round of chemo. Small amounts started to come out at first and they irritated him so whilst he slept on my lap I gently stroked out all his hair. 

“I was amazed how easily it just fell out in my hands and after about two hours he was completely bald. I remember thinking the chemo is working and doing its job. When Seb woke up he didn’t even notice his hair was all gone.” 

Seb then had surgery to remove the tumour, which was coming out of his prostate and in to the top of his bladder, before undergoing brachytherapy, where he had to lay still for three days in a cast, unable to move.  

During Seb’s treatment, the family were supported by CLIC Sargent Social Workers in both London and Brighton. 

Seb really kept us going, when he was laughing or giggling it would lift us all and make us laugh. If he wasn’t in pain and the meds managed to keep this under control he had a smile on his face and wanted to play. I called him our superhero son.

Seb's mum Natasha

There for you 

She added: “CLIC Sargent helped us massively. They gave us two grants for £250 and helped with our car parking fees in Brighton and at Royal Marsden. 

“We also stayed at Paul’s House and Claire, our CLIC Sargent worker in Brighton, did all our forms for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), to help with all the extra costs we had. She was amazing, so emotionally supportive too. I used to just go in and cry on her and she wouldn’t mind, she was brilliant. 

The support from CLIC Sargent was amazing, they were just always there and they had me in tears every time because they were so lovely

“With doctors and nurses you don’t want to take their time because they’re so busy, but everyone at CLIC Sargent has the time for you. Whatever you need, they’re there for you.” 

Seb is now doing well and has regular scans and biopsies. 

Natasha added: “When you’re in it you don’t see anything else. You just live your world as cancer and it becomes the norm. It’s just a different word, a cancer world. When you’re back out of it, it’s bizarre. It took a while to get used to not waking up in the night to give Seb his medication. 

“When you get back to reality it takes a while to just think we can go out to the park and it will all be ok. You get so used to living in hospitals, it becomes your norm. It’s very strange coming back to the real world.”

Find out more

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families.

To find out more about how we support young cancer patients, please visit our what we do section. If you need support yourself please contact us.

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