I am sorry that there are not going to be any jokes about my flatulence problems (I can’t believe Rod wrote that on the World Wide Web?!) but if you are eating perhaps don’t read this post right now.

There are some days that you are glad come to an end and Thursday was one of those days. We really had to prepare ourselves mentally to go back into hospital and what should have been a straight forward and routine chemo appointment became more and more exhausting as the day progressed. After arriving at SCH by 8.30am for bloods and the routine clinic appointment we then waited three and a half hours in an isolation room for a bed for Charlotte to have her chemo. She still had a nasty cough and cold so she wasn’t allowed to have chemo in C2West as she would infect the other patients who are already immuno-suppressed. Whilst waiting she had her nose aspirated, more bloods taken, her port accessed and re-packed. It was then 2pm by the time we were in the ward (back in C3 West) and we weren’t going home, following what we thought was a one day chemo appointment. By 6.30pm Charlotte’s eye lids became heavy, dark circles were developing and the colour left her face swiftly. By 8.10pm she was coughing, crying and vomiting which didn’t stop until after 11pm. The nurses and I were covered in our purple (cytotoxic protective wear) gowns and gloves and here was Charlotte covered in cytotoxic vomit. Each time we would change her, wipe her down, bag her clothes, change her bedding and hold her until she stopped crying. By 11pm she was exhausted and my eyes welled-up when the nurse said; "it’s very hard, isn’t it?" I knew it would be but it really is very hard. There is a crisis of conscience when you see how sick she is yet it is the only viable option you are given to cure her of an aggressive cancer.

Between two hourly nappy changes (to monitor her urine output), four hourly obs and vomiting, there was little sleep had. She then began vomiting again at 5am and stopped by 6.30am. The nurses were amazing, once again, and were very sympathetic of what had been a very tiring day/night. As I write this post Rod is on his way home with Charlotte (Friday 9 pm) with more medications and hopefully a more peaceful sleep for our little fighter. I can’t really believe she has a year of this. It is not what you want for your toddler. Speaking of toddlers I wished Robin Barker had written "The Mighty Toddler on Chemotherapy" because I could really do with some tips. Perhaps that can be my project for the year!? As I sat holding Charlotte last night I was thinking of Madeleine at 18 months and how we travelled in Canada with Ann, Scott and Luke. I really look forward to sharing those experiences with Charlotte.

On a positive note, (no I didn’t do anything that was caught by the intercom system) Charlotte has eaten today and kept it all down and hasn’t had any fevers. We have been warned that her white blood cell count will drop considerably over the next few days and be ready to bring her back in if she becomes febrile. So, here’s hoping that she is okay at home and some peace and normality can be had.

I am happy not to have to live October 22 again. There is some character building that I can really do without!


Beck and Rod xxoo