I’m very lucky to have a close family around me – in both my wife and children, and my extended family. Which is why I wanted to tell them that there might be a problem sooner, rather than later.
You see, both of my parents died from cancer.
My mum – Elizabeth Mary Donbavand – died from lung cancer in December 2005.
My dad – Brian Thomas Donbavand – died from prostate cancer which had spread to his bones in June last year, 2015.
Here they are on one of their first dates…
I was able to discuss my worries and fears with my wife Kirsty, of course. My brother and sister were obviously concerned when they heard the news, and they asked that I keep them updated. Plus, the lump was really showing by now. They couldn’t have missed it.
Then it came to my children – Sam (9) and Arran (16).
What on earth do you say to kids in these situations? I wanted to be honest with them; they’d both be hurt if I lied to them, even if it was to protect their feelings. Plus, Sam suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, and he processes information in a different way to the rest of us. He can get upset at the slightest hint of change in his life – and this might be a biggie. I’d have to be cunning…
So, I told them I had Schrodinger’s Lump.
You might know the story of Schrodinger’s Cat – a scientist placed a cat inside a lead box, along with a vial of poison. While the box remained locked, there was no way to tell whether the cat had broken open the vial and, therefore, whether the cat was dead or alive. As a result, scientists decided that the cat was both dead and alive at the same time.
I sat the boys down, and explained about the lump, and how much pain it was causing me. I gave it the name Schrodinger’s Lump because it might be something serious, but it also might not be something serious. Therefore, we agreed that the lump was both a concern, but nothing to panic about until I had undergone further tests.
I don’t know who that conversation helped more – me, or my kids.