Regrettably we had to take Charlie back in to hospital yesterday, only two days reprieve at home, due to Charlotte not eating or drinking. Given that she still has toxins from the chemo in her system, if she does not drink it will adversely affect her kidney's as well as the obvious negative effects of dehydration.

It was quite a blow to Beck and I as we were hoping to have at least a week at home, so we were not mentally prepared for a revisit to hospital.

The Portacath is prooving not to be as pain and trauma free as we had hoped. The last round of chemo it leaked which is of great concern as some of the chemo drugs can eat away the skin cells, so they had to monitor it regularly, this meant waking Charlie constantly to check. Then today it "occluded" or had a blockage so that situation was tendered to causing great discomfort. Then once that was fixed it was later noticed to be leaking again, so they had to reinsert the needle. Contrary to what we were led to beieve this is not a relative pain free ecercise, it causes her a great deal of distress, Beck and I have to forceebly hold her arms, legs and mid section down.

I personally see the design of the butterfly needle and the method by which it is secured to be far from adequate. Imagine a needle about 25mm long, half of which is inserted into the port, half of which sticks out, with the butterfly part (the size of two 5cent pieces side by side) attached to the end, encompassed by some gauze and sealed with clear tape!!

An older child is aware to be protective of the area but how can you expect this of a 18 month year old? especially if she decides to sleep on her stomach. Anyway after today's debacle we ensured an excessive application of gauze to support the prone area.

On a lighter note. The room we are currently in is an isolation room due to the fact Charlie has influenza. These rooms are climate controlled and well sealed. As such, they need an intercom system so the nurse can hear any monitor alarms or distress from the room at the nurses station. I had momentarily forgotten this and let one of those common bodily function noises excrete from my lower abdomen. I instantly heard all of the nurses at their station laughing with a comment about "adequate relief", then I realised my noise had been amplified for all to hear.

Cheers.

Rod, Beck Maddy and Charlie