By the time I had finished work on Wednesday evening the plans for Charlotte’s surgery and planning for radiation had changed numerous times. It was finally arranged that we had to be at the hospital on Thursday morning by 8.30 to collect bloods forms, have bloods taken and be ready for admission to Ambi Care by 9.30 am. Charlotte then had to go to Prince of Wales for a vascular scan to ascertain which side her central line would be inserted. Previously, Charlotte had been given chemo through a portacath which had become compromised and the second port was punctured. By the time she had gone through her four operations for the insertion and then removal of the ports; one of the arteries had become compromised. So, her third port was inserted on the right side. Therefore, it was decided that her right side was the best option for the new central line. The surgeons, as you can imagine, needed to get this right.

Starving and getting tired Charlotte was ropeable by 2pm, when she finally got to surgery. She hates the anaesthetic mask and was screaming until she held the mask on herself while I held her on my lap to calm her down. I felt so sorry for her. She was exhausted and simply hates the whole anaesthetic mask situation. Also starving, I ran to the café to eat. Those of you who know me well know that I cannot go for more than two hours without food of some description!!! Charlie came out of surgery a little grumpy and very sore. She was bruised, tender, tired and ravenous. Once on the ward Charlotte proceeded to eat toast, most of her dinner tray, a little sushi, and fish and chips. A great effort! She certainly made up for missing breakfast and lunch. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she would have to starve herself again for her radiation planning in the morning.

It was a busy and noisy night on the ward with six kids and six parents in our bay. All things considered, Charlotte slept really well and settled immediately after each of her obs. I woke this morning to her little hands tapping me on my head asking what I was doing. I had finally fallen asleep huddled in a ball on the chair next to her bed. I peeled open my eyes and replied; “trying to sleep”. Looking a bit bemused by my body curled-up strangely in the chair and my head on her bed she just wanted to know when the breakfast trolley was arriving. Things went downhill from there!!! She had to fast again for her mask planning for radiation, which is done under general anaesthetic.

When she went into theatre at 10 am she was somewhat relieved that she didn’t need the mask this time and the doctor used her new line to administer the anaesthetic as she sat on my lap. Easy - in Charlotte’s standards. The line worked well, her other cannula was removed and her mask planning was completed! After final obs, recovery and some time on the ward, we arrived home late this afternoon. Both of us were relieved for various but different reasons. Charlotte now has to have some quiet time at home (I smiled when this was suggested to Charlotte – oxymoronic!) before radiation commences on Tuesday morning. Charlie went to bed a little quiet and tenuous about sleeping on her central line. When Madeleine saw the bruising and blood oozing from under her dressing she became very quiet and went to bed swiftly!


Beck and Rod xo

PS I have just hit 26 000 words about Charlotte’s journey. Thanks for still reading and checking the blog.