While a Kiwi dad sits in a quiet hospital room alone getting a potent anti-cancer drug infused into his body, his pregnant wife waits nervously at home unable to hold her soul-mate's hand.

"It broke my heart. I don't feel like anyone should go through that alone," Isla MacDiarmid told the Herald while holding back tears.

Her 37-year-old husband Arlo can stay at home with his family during lockdown but has to go to hospital alone for chemotherapy treatment every two weeks.

He also has to take extra caution while living with his pregnant wife and 2-year-old Indigo, such as cleaning up his own vomit.

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When their baby is born, Arlo won't be able to hold his newborn for two days after each chemo treatment. The couple are hopeful he will be able to be there for the birth next month, but it will come down to how healthy he is at the time.

MacDiarmid said she understood the reasons she couldn't be there to support Arlo. There were hundreds of people in the same position and if all were allowed, lives would be put at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just three weeks before lockdown, her family's lives were tipped upside down "after it finally felt like things were looking up", knowing their a second baby was on the way.

MacDiarmid's "selfless" and "dependable" husband was diagnosed with stage four parotid gland adenocarcinoma - a rare form of salivary gland cancer.

Kiwi dad Arlo MacDiarmid fighting cancer for his toddler Indigo. Photo / Supplied
Kiwi dad Arlo MacDiarmid fighting cancer for his toddler Indigo. Photo / Supplied

"I was distraught. It came as such as shock. He'd been feeling very fatigued for a while but I just put it down to him being a hard-working, I never thought it was cancer."

By the time Arlo's cancer was discovered it had spread to his neck, armpit and chest.

"He was offered this 'give it a go and see' treatment or palliative care. With our second baby due next month he says he's never had more to live for."

Arlo has completed two of 16 rounds of chemotherapy - one every three weeks - but his survival remains unknown.

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Arlo MacDiarmid is fighting a deadly cancer during lockdown while his pregnant wife Isla prepares to give birth next month. Photo / Supplied
Arlo MacDiarmid is fighting a deadly cancer during lockdown while his pregnant wife Isla prepares to give birth next month. Photo / Supplied

The Auckland mum wants to tell her family's story in a bid to share information as she's yet to find anyone with the same type of cancer as Arlo.

"It feels really lonely. There doesn't seem to be much information out there. A friend whose family member has bowel cancer will tell me they feed them this and then another friend with breast cancer says they eat this - but it's not the same.

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"Even with our oncologist, it doesn't feel like there's much precedence because of his age and where his cancer is. So far it feels like trial and error."

Despite the hardship, Arlo continues to remain positive and keeps fighting for the love of his life, Indigo and their second baby on the way.

Arlo MacDiarmid remains positive for Isla, daughter Indigo and baby on the way. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Arlo MacDiarmid remains positive for Isla, daughter Indigo and baby on the way. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

"He's the rock of the family and hates people feeling sorry for him. Even when people were bringing round lasagne he didn't know how to handle it because he's usually the giver.

"When we went on our big OE I used to get so annoyed at him because he'd be buying other people drinks and I'd be thinking we need that money for travelling but that's just who he is- a real shirt-off-his-back type of guy."

MacDiarmid said her biggest fear was that they would find a cure but wouldn't be able to access it because of the expense.

"It's awful that an illness can make someone go bankrupt."

A Givealittle page has been set up to help the family cover the costs of essential (non-funded) medical treatments. Already, more than $51,000 has been raised.

"Arlo didn't look at the page for a couple of weeks, and when he did he was totally overcome, but since then it's given him such a morale boost - not the money but the outpouring of support and love.

"He even had a donation from a hitchhiker he picked up years ago who saw the page via a mutual friend they didn't know they had in common. People are amazing."