When Rhys was unwell he spent long periods at home with regular hospital visits, inevitably often without the company of his friends who were at school.
During this time, although he continued with his studies where possible, like many young people Rhys would occupy himself by playing video games, watching DVDs, listening to music, and keeping in touch by using his laptop and mobile phone – all things that Rhys’ extended family were able to support and provide for him, but that other families in the same situation may struggle to afford.
Rhys’ parents were, thankfully, able to cover the additional expenses that family life disrupted by cancer brings, but many families may struggle with the often unexpected costs that can rapidly drain the bank balance and increase the high levels of anxiety already being experienced.
Rhys’ parents and siblings would regularly travel out of the area to be with him in hospital, which meant that – for many months – the routines of normal family life simply did not exist. Regular mealtimes became a thing of the past, and – when arriving home late in the evening – the last thing that anyone wanted to do was start cooking.
Family and friends were very supportive, rallying round to help with some meals, but often there was no practical alternative to having to spend money on takeaway food – and, particularly if there are several mouths to feed, the costs can very quickly mount up.