Otto has become quite a famous bear! This is his perspective on the childhood cancer, embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma in the head, of his best friend Caroline (narrated by the bear himself, of course!). He’s writing in instalments when he and Caroline feel up to it during her treatment and I am very proud to present the first chapter which they wrote in America in June.
It’s Caroline’s second post for Kids of the Wild (her previous about kayaking). This time she (Otto..!), is writing a kind of therapeutic journey through her cancer treatment since diagnosis in March 2017. After translating bear language(!), Caroline dictates, I write it longhand before she types it up herself as I read their words back to her.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as they enjoyed writing it!
If you have a wild child who would like to write us an article, see bottom of page.
* *************** *
Now! Over to Otto..
The Beginning – To The Doctors and Earache
Written 20 June 2017, Oklahoma City
Hi I’m Otto, Caroline’s bear.
This is my story of Caroline’s cancer treatment.
I didn’t always belong to Caroline, I belonged to her Mummy first. Caroline is my BEST FRIEND and she takes me everywhere she goes.
She has taken me to lots of places for example :-
- Universal Studios, Orlando
- Harry Potter World (which was AMAZING)
- Swimming and canoeing in Guernsey ( I got VERY wet! )
- Newcastle football club (Caroline was team mascot!!!)
And I sat in a Cockpit with Caroline and I’ve climbed a tree about 60’ high. It was a bit scary but fun!
It’s VERY fun being Caroline’s friend because she does lots of adventurous things. I LOVE IT!
These are some of the cool things that Caroline has done since having cancer:-
- Been in a musical show (Treasure Island)
- Been in a newspaper
- Been in a magazine twice
- Has a kayak
- And she owns me which is by FAR the coolest thing of ALL!
My story begins when Caroline started getting earache in November 2016 and then a lump by her ear. The lump got bigger and then in January we went to the doctors and they said it was an ear infection called Otitis Media and they said if it wasn’t gone in a couple of weeks come back. That happened twice more.
I could tell Caroline was poorly and wasn’t herself because she wasn’t playing with her friends as much as usual and she didn’t want to go to home-ed meets and she seemed to be a lot more tired. I got more cuddles than usual which was nice.
Caroline’s Mummy got VERY cross with the doctors because they said the same thing every time but eventually I think she might have shouted at the doctor over the phone and the doctor referred us to Cramlington Hospital for a mumps blood test. Neither Caroline nor me knew what mumps was but her Mummy told us that it is a childhood disease that makes your face swell up near your ears.
It all changed that day. I noticed that Caroline’s pain seemed to get worse quite quick. I felt sad for Caroline.
When Caroline was in hospital at Cramlington I noticed she was quite nervous and she cuddled me a lot. She told me some of her deep feelings and I said I wouldn’t tell because they were private.
They put some weird cream on Caroline’s hands and then put sticky tape on top of it. They said it would numb her hands for the blood test.
I was very confused because the doctors kept talking about MRI and I don’t think Caroline knew what that was either.
But it was late so they took us to a weird room in the hospital and Caroline, her Mummy and me squashed to sleep on a hard bed all night after they left needles in Caroline’s hand!
I think Caroline was mostly scared because she didn’t really know what was going on or going to happen, like fear of the unknown. She told me that knowing doesn’t always make it less scary but kind of makes you feel better sometimes, but sometimes you’re still as terrified…..
I think Caroline is very brave.
AND NEXT TIME – Otto will be learning about tests, scans and operations… Until then, bye from the bear and have a grrreat day!
Read Chapter Two HERE!!
* ************** *
Thanks Otto (and Caroline), can’t wait for the next chapter.
To read more about Caroline’s cancer journey click Caroline’s Rainbow.
Reach Out for Support
If your child has been diagnosed with cancer, or anyone you know has been affected and is looking for support, help or information, PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch with me – you can use the contact form on the website or message me via Facebook at Kids of the Wild and I will respond personally.
If your child would like to write for Kids of the Wild about a nature adventure, activity, animal or outdoor event please complete the contact form and I’ll be in touch. Your email will not show publicly or be used for any other purposes.
To read more posts written by children click Children’s Writing.