Sally talks of her experiences when her seven year old son, Neon, was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma (a brain tumour). The medical professionals explained that he would need immediate surgery to remove it. After the surgery the news was good, the tumour had been removed, had not spread and he was free from cancer.
However, Sally was told that despite the diagnosis, Neon would still need to undergo six weeks of daily radiotherapy and then a year of chemotherapy. Upon asking why such treatment was necessary Sally was told that it was the gold-standard treatment of the NHS and had been since the 1940’s. It does not differ from person to person and applies in every case. Whilst an adult can refuse treatment, a child cannot and nor can a parent on their behalf.
Sally was understandably concerned about the short term and more worryingly the severe long term effects of radiotherapy with no proven benefits for a seven year old who was free from cancer. The statistics on children of the children of this ‘gold-standard treatment’ are woefully limited.
Sally tried her best to fight for what she believed to be best the treatment for her son but nobody was listening to her.
Sally comes across as an incredibly sensible, caring, loving mother who was treated appallingly and vilified by the media. She writes incredibly well and makes it clear that everyone facing the situation she did, or making any health decisions must do their own research and make their own decisions.
The Treatment is a very interesting and inspirational book.
by NetGalley review
A very hard read but well worth it. A very traumatic experience her son went through, but on top of that what she had to deal with as well, is admirable. I hope that her story gets the much needed attention it so truly deserves!
A haunting true story of a mother who's child develops cancer at a young age. Sally defies medicine and advice from experts to ensure her son gets a chance to have more advanced medical treatment with less stunting side effects. To be quite honest, I have no knowledge of cancer treatment and this enlightened me to how medical staff, especially in the UK, immediately gravitate towards Chemo and radiotherapy. Many consequences of these for young children affects the way that they develop and mature into adults, both mental and physical implications.
People underestimate a mothers instinct. Knowing her child, and knowing he deserved more she risked legal action/imprisonment/and a hefty fine, to fight for a real chance that her child deserved.
A heartbreaking true story of a mother’s fight to get the best treatment for her son, it makes for quite a tough read but absolutely worth every page!
Before reading this I didn’t realise how little control parents had over treatment for their children, and it must be the most terrifying prospect to have no say in what happens to your child.
It was quite difficult to read because from the very beginning you can see Sally only wants the best for Neon, to keep him safe and not subject him to such an invasive and damaging treatment when there was no remaining evidence of cancer, but is being fought against every step of the way and made out to be a bad parent. I was really rooting for her to succeed and be able to take him abroad for treatment so it was heartbreaking to read on and find that didn’t happen, and that as of the end of the book Neon was still suffering the side effects of radiotherapy and probably would for life.
As a family they have been through and overcome so much, and Neon seems to be an incredibly brave little boy!
Overall a very eye-opening book, will definitely tug at your heart, extremely well written. It’s interesting to see all the alternative treatments that just aren’t mentioned by doctors. Highly recommend this book, but have tissues at the ready as it’s very emotional!
by NetGalley review
I was young when Sally Roberts was enduring legal battles over informed consent for her son, Neon, and so I only had a vague memory of hearing about it on the news when I went into this book. Having just lost a loved one to their treatment for AML, cancer is no stranger to me, nor are the conventional treatments given to cancer patients, but it was still chilling to see the ignorance, arrogance, and biases Sally experienced from professionals at the hospitals where Neon received his care.
This book deals with Sally's relationship with her ex-husband, her hardship when she had become single once more, her fear at Neon's diagnosis, and her search for a better treatment - what would later become the gold standard in cancer care for children in the UK, but at the time was regarded as quackery. Unfortunately the ordeal this family went through is not unique to them. The same overstepping of the medical establishment happens today, the same ignorance of nutrition, toxicity, and better wellness, the same disregard for a patient's (and in a child's case, a parent's) informed consent.
There are good doctors out there who are just as much held captive by a broken medical system as we patients are. Cancer isn't the only area of medicine where this happens. I can only hope that Sally's story - and the many, many stories like hers - bring awareness to this issue so that we can finally see lasting change.
by NetGalley review
Sally J Roberts already had the breakdown of her marriage and moving home to contend with when her seven year old son, Neon, was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma brain tumour. To be faced with every parents nightmare was made more difficult by an inflexible protocol which threatened to do more harm than good. Sally absconding with Neon led to a High Court judge identifying Sally and NeonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s identities, resulting in a distorted story told worldwide. Sally tells us in her memoir, the treatment, what happened in her own words.
Sally has spent equal years in the United Kingdom as her birth place, New Zealand. She lived a short time in London and a decade in Devon, before settling down in Brighton.