After packing Madeleine’s preschool bag, overnight bag for three days at Nanny/Dars, bags for Hospital and all of Charlotte’s gear, we arrived at SCH last Thursday by 8.30 am. Charlotte had her bloods taken and clinic appointment but by 10.30 it became apparent that there was no bed available to commence her scheduled chemotherapy. After waiting another two hours we were sent home - no bed, no chemo!

I left C2 North with tears running down my face and continued to cry for half of Thursday. It was a combination of dealing with poor organization, the lack understanding for the psyching-up required to go back into hospital (once again) and the fact that Charlotte had just started losing chunks of her hair. So, for those who were worried that I don’t cry and am coping really well, I had a good cry and it did feel good! For those who happened to ring that day thanks for indulging me as I offloaded.

Thankfully Friday was a new day. As Shakespeare wrote; "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so…" So after some tears and reflection I was ready to tackle Friday back in hospital.

After a few hours of round four (Cisplatin continuous infusion for 48 hours) Charlotte was expelling everything she ate. Vanessa was witness to the downside of chemo, all over her feet. A sort of character building that I am certain no one really needs! Following double anti-nausea medication Charlotte woke on Sunday far less grey and kept down scrambled eggs and milk. Yes, she still continues to try and eat her food. Keeping an 18 month old on a drip and in a confined space proves challenging for me and frustrating for Charlotte. On Sunday, this frustration manifested itself in bight marks on my neck. So after dreadful nausea (expected with this drug) and Charlotte’s toddler performances I was very happy to come home.

I keep reminding myself of something that I read prior to starting chemotherapy… protecting our children is not our jobs as parents. Our job as a parent is to hold our child’s hand and walk them through the harm. If we can do this with some things(small or large) when they are young, then they can learn how to face things when they get older. We need to do this with honesty and guidance. Hopefully, this way they will have learned some of the most valuable lessons we can teach them. That is true love…! So Rod and I are doing our best. Madeleine is doing her best too. She fights with Charlotte, takes her toys and screams at her. There is no special treatment at Daisy Avenue. This is usually coupled with tears for Charlotte’s hair loss, lamentation at Charlie’s return to hospital and random acts of cuddling and kissing as she exclaims my need to take a photo! You have got to love the egocentrism of a 3-4 year old.

If Charlotte can make it, we return next Tuesday for Clinic/bloods and if her toxicity levels are satisfactory we may commence chemo on Friday. That is just too far ahead to consider each day as it comes!

Love,

Rod and Beck xo