I get up around 7.30am when Erin wakes me for a cuddle which is lovely. She finished two and a half years of treatment for leukaemia at the end of April, so night times are starting to become more normal.
Throughout her treatment we did many night time dashes to the Countess of Chester Hospital if Erin was unwell. It is crucial to treat any infection straight away, so if she spikes a temperature of 38C or above she usually requires intravenous (IV) antibiotics.
Thankfully this is happening a lot less now because Erin’s immune system is becoming much stronger. Having said that we rarely get a full night’s sleep because Erin’s sleep is still very disturbed - a side effect of her treatment.
However Erin is really missing all her favourite doctors and nurses from the children’s ward because they have been a big part of our lives, she quite often asks to go to the hospital to see them.
Once we are up we have breakfast, which has also improved greatly since Erin completed her treatment. During her treatment it became very hard to find foods that she liked due to her tastebuds being effected by the high dose steroids, Her appetite is slowly improving which is fantastic.
We then try to cram as much as we can into the day to make up for all the days we have spent in hospital.
Family day's out
We go to the zoo, or have fun in a park or go see a film. Erin loves meeting up with her friends for picnics or craft sessions, and it’s great for me to meet up with other mums and have a good chat.
I’ve made very good friends with mums who are in a similar situation to me and it’s good for all of us to get together and have a good heart to heart. Most of the time they are the only people that understand how it feels to have a child that has been so poorly, so I get a great deal of support from our play dates.
As it’s the summer holidays Ant (a teacher at Bishops’ High School) is at home with us too, so we are having lots of family fun together I feel like I’m on a bit of a mission to get Erin out in the fresh air as much as I can, but I think that lots of exercise is crucial in keeping Erin well.
We’ve been to Delamere Forest, the Countess Country Park, Parkgate, the Ice Cream Farm and many walks down by the River Dee. A year ago I don’t think we could have ever imagined getting to this point, and we are starting to put all the pain and bad memories behind us.
As I watch her play and run around I find myself getting quite emotional because I’m so proud of how strong she is and I still can’t believe what we have been through. I also worry about the future, probably every second of every day, but things are looking very positive with regards to Erin’s treatment at the moment – so I just try to tell myself that and move on.
We have also had a visit to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for a routine clinic appointment. During Erin’s intensive treatment we were there nearly every day and it was exhausting, but now she has completed treatment she only has monthly clinic appointments.
When we arrive Erin has to have a finger prick blood test to look for any signs of the disease returning – she hates the finger prick test and finds it extremely traumatic.
After everything she has been through she has reached her limit of being prodded and poked with needles, so it takes a lot to try and get her to calm down. I am incredibly anxious at this point obviously, until I get told everything is OK.
After her blood test she also has a heart scan to look for any problems caused by the chemotherapy and then we see her consultant or advanced nurse practitioner for a full review.
The focus of the appointment is to look for anything that shouldn’t be happening, and also to make sure Erin is leading a normal, healthy life. So I usually end up having a huge discussion about Erin’s diet or sleep pattern and Erin usually ends up making everyone laugh!
Erin has received fantastic treatment at Alder Hey, so this is why I have taken part in as much fundraising as possible for the hospital
When Erin was diagnosed many friends wanted to help, so they started running marathons and taking part in things like the Tough Mudder to raise funds in her name for the hospital.
I am now at the stage where I have set up an official Chester support group for the charity, and we have many events in the planning stages.
Every day I receive emails or messages from supporters on our Facebook page ‘All About Erin’ asking how they can help and every day is different with fundraising. A few days ago I stood in the entrance of Morrison’s Chester with a charity bucket and raised £205 and Ant abseiled down Liverpool Anglican Cathedral dressed as Frenchy from Grease and so far has raised around £500!
Since Erin has been diagnosed we have found ourselves doing things we would have never dreamt of doing before. After you’ve watched your two-year-old daughter fight so hard your whole outlook on life changes.
T-shirts with Alder Hey on them!
What is the favourite part of your job?
Every part about being mum to Erin is amazing. At one point we thought we would never have children after going through nearly eight years of fertility treatment. Erin was the result of our last attempt at IVF. The day she was born was the happiest day of our lives and every day is still like that no matter how tough some of them have been.
What is your favourite film?
What is your favourite book?
Probably a Julia Donaldson one! I’m hoping to get some time to read a book for myself at some point!
What is your favourite song?
Anything by Take That.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet?
We’ve met many celebs: Luis Suarez, Pepe Reina, Robbie Fowler, Prince Charles, Pixie Lott, Sally Dynevor, Will Mellor, Les Dennis, Chris Jarvis from CBeebies, Simon Rimmer, Mark Radcliffe and many more and Erin has her own autograph book! She and I were also part of a huge Matalan fundraising campaign for Alder Hey and I won the Parent Of The Year Award at the Dee 106.3 Local Hero Awards. 2015.
- Name: Sarah Cross
- Job: Devoted mum to Erin & fundraiser for Alder Hey Children's Charity
- Where were you born: Chester
- Where do you live now: Chester
- Education: Blacon High School with A levels at Upton High School, Art Foundation course, degree in 3D Design from Wolverhampton University
- Family life: Married to Antony for 10 years and mum to Erin, who will be five on Sunday
We want to hear from people from all walks of life – to take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below