I am not sure where to start but Charlotte is finished radiotherapy and I feel really proud of our little girl who has had another massive couple of months. I missed being proud of her in the end-of-year ballet concert, or revel in her preschool Christmas play, or watch her progress in swimming or complete the preschool year BUT I am proud of a little girl who deals with what she does and at the end of a huge day says to her big sister; “let’s go home Madeleine and turn Katie Perry on and I am going to dance!”.

The day began with the girls dressing up for Christmas Eve on the ward. Madeleine went as an angel and Charlotte as a lady beetle! Rod went as surfy Santa and I just wore green and red. We were all excited to be there to watch Charlie finish radio. Rod and I, however, felt quite on edge about the possibility of not having Charlotte’s central line removed. As we went to radiotherapy, the very lovely Dr Orlay (Aunty Ness’ favourite anaesthetic doctor) and Dr Upton realised that Charlotte’s central line op was still tenuous, and despite it not being their responsibility, they did everything in their power to get her a team and theatre space. She had radio and as she came out of recovery she was extremely volatile and aggressive. After six shots of fentanyl (same family as morphine) she settled and they found her a theatre, general surgeon and anaesthetic team to take out the central line. I thought I was going to cry and Rod had a look of sheer relief on his face. Aunty Ness and Madeleine did Ganghem Style up the corridor of the hospital and I taped the whole thing! We really don’t know how to thank those doctors, who really went out of their way to make sure Charlotte did not spend another month with a central line hanging out of her chest. It would have meant no beach, no baths, no pools, regular dressings, the line being flushed in hospital, aggravation of her eczema due to the heat and the bandages and the possibility of infection. We are exceptionally grateful!

So, after anaesthetic, radiation, an hour and a half of emergence delirium, six shots of fentanyl, another anaesthetic and surgery to remove her central line Charlotte returned home to play, dance, visit neighbours for present giving, see the local Christmas lights and carols and squealed with Madeleine as she laid out her Santa sack in anticipation of Christmas morning. She really deserves a gold medal of commendation, bravery and tenacity. Rod and I are exhausted!!!

I could not be happier for Charlotte who yelled; “woohoo” when she looked down to check that the line had gone. It was certainly our amazing Christmas present. Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and New Year. We hope that you have the opportunity to delight in the mystery of Christmas and the beauty of all the things you cannot buy.

There is much love and appreciation to those who have been steadfast and supportive of our journey. We are always grateful for the generosity that befalls our family.

Beck and Rod xo