“EXCELLENT” is how Tamworth dad Randy Johnson described his Father’s Day yesterday – and his day was particularly poignant.
Mr Johnson’s wish was to have all four of his children around him on the special day for dads.
This was something that had proved elusive in the past five months as his son, Bailon, 3, is being treated for stage four neuroblastoma.
The past five months has been a harrowing time, logistically and emotionally, because Bailon’s treatment means he and his dad, a single father, have been spending weeks on end at Newcastle seeking treatment for Bailon’s condition.
This weekend is only the second time in five months Mr Johnson’s been able to be in Tamworth.
But the sounds of a typical family surrounded him yesterday, bringing some much-needed dad time, a healthy dose of normality and bonding between the siblings.
Rhyarna, 2, was making sure her voice was being heard as she pushed a point with big sister Tayla, 7.
The eldest child, Alysha, 8, was also there.
The family was on its way to a barbecue yesterday to meet up with several aunts and other family members.
“It’s excellent at the moment,” Mr Johnson said.
“It’s actually been really good this time – Bailon’s got a bit more energy and a bit more fight about him.”
He was loving having all four kids with him.
“It feels excellent –I don’t know, words can’t explain it. It’s better than presents.”
Mr Johnson and Bailon head back to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle today for more tests.
“It is operable but, at the moment, until his bone marrow is clear, they can’t operate,” Mr Johnson said.
He’s expecting the bone marrow test results by Thursday.
“If it’s clear, they’ll be able to operate on the tumour in the following week,” he said.
A web page has been set up for people to donate money to help Bailon.