Emotional Bombers coach relives the shocking moment he told his kids he has blood cancer: ‘The hardest conversation I’ve ever had’
- Dale Tapping has relived the moment he told his kids he has cancer
- Essendon’s assistant coach was diagnosed with myeloma last month
- Daily Mail Australia provides the latest international sports news
Essendon assistant coach Dale Tapping has relived the shocking moment when he had to tell his children about his blood cancer diagnosis.
Tapping last month revealed that he had been diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer of the plasma cells made in the bone marrow and found throughout the body.
The AFL coaching veteran, who has held positions with Brisbane Lions, Collingwood VFL, Sandringham Dragons, Old Scotch and Old Brighton, said the hardest part of his diagnosis was telling his two children – Summer, 17, and Mason, 14.
“It was a weird 20 minute drive home,” he said via Essendon’s official website.
‘I’ve spoken to my wife, had a chat – how do we deal with the children? Initially we thought, ‘Let’s get all the information and then tell them so they know’.
Dale Tapping has relived the heartbreaking moment when he told his kids he has cancer
“And that was our plan for the first few days, but then a family knew, and I started getting a few calls… (they said, ‘Are you okay?’
“Then a friend of mine called me from across (the city)… a guy I used to play footy with, a really good friend, and he called me and he said, ‘How are you? I heard you’re a crook.” So I don’t know how it got to (him).
“I thought we should tell the kids because if Scotty knows across town, I just don’t want the kids out on the street doing what they’re doing and somebody just saying it, in a good way , ‘How is Daddy? Is he okay?’ And they say, “Oh, what are you talking about?” And they find that kind of news secondhand. That was difficult,” he said.
“Talking to them, that was… I’m getting a little emotional right now,” he added, before taking a moment to calm down as he held back his tears.
“That would be the hardest conversation I’ve ever had.
‘Because I knew what I was diagnosed with… (but we) didn’t see the specialist until Tuesday, I had a really big week of testing to find out how far along this is or what the depth of this is. It’s Myeloma, But Is It Everywhere? I had to go in and get all the information and arm myself with all the right tools and information and plans.
“It was very difficult to talk to them and to share that (news) because I didn’t have all the information. And I was still trying to understand it in my head – or we were, not (only) me. That was very tough.’
Tapping said the devastating news had an immediate impact on his two children.
The Bombers assistant coach was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer last month
“My young fellow, he hasn’t said a word for about three hours. He just went to his room and then he came out… sat on the couch, sat next to us, and he was kind of there, but he didn’t want to talk about it,” Tapping explained.
“Summer, my daughter, was much more emotional outwardly because she was completely over it. She knew what that meant to some extent.
“It was a tough conversation, but they both took it differently. But I’m glad we had it because it would’ve been worse (if we didn’t) – I’d never have forgiven myself if I hadn’t had that conversation, they’ve come home and they’ve heard it, innocently, through a third party.’