This week has been a tough old week, the toughest so far in terms of George’s mood and well being. It’s on a different level to the initial shock of your child being diagnosed with leukaemia. No, this is a different kind of heart break, the kind you might experience when your child is feverish and not themselves, and that 24 hour bug seems to be going on forever and all you want for them is to be themselves again. Only imagine they’re in so much pain they can’t talk, they can’t drink and you know they want a hug, but they keep pushing you away because they’re angry, they’re sad and you can’t take it away for them.
Then imagine that it’s not for 24 hours, you don’t know when it will end and you’re completely helpless. That’s the kind of thing we’re talking about this week. George has a temperature and mucositis, it’s causing ulcers and sores through his gastrointestinal tract from his mouth down to his bottom. It’s even been affecting his tear ducts so his eyes are sore too. Imagine those one or two ulcers you might have because you’re feeling a bit run down and times it by 100. That’s how my baby boy is feeling. He’s three and dealing with the probably a million times better than I ever would.
He did pick up a little for a day on Thursday this week and enjoyed having his little mate round to play, Seth, which I’m really glad he had the pleasure of doing. He was back for a couple of hours, chatting and playing normally. He misses his friends and he misses Playdays.
We’ve tried to appreciate the small ‘normal’ moments at home but have been back and to, to Alder Hey when I followed my gut out of sheer worry about him. What I do need to point out is that this is a side effect of George’s treatment, not something rarely seen and it’s something the hospital know how to deal with.
There are things I could Google all day long about what Mucositis can lead to, but i’m just listening to the other parents who’ve helped their children through it and of course the doctors at Alder Hey. “Barry” the port is in full swing and has currently got three or four extensions to it for fluids, IV antibiotics, paracetamol, saline and a PCA Pump for his morphine. There’s a little button we can press for an additional boost of morphine prior to George attempting to drink and following him coughing…
This isn’t really something i’d prepared myself for, if I’m honest I was just expecting vomiting and sleepiness but I realise now I was naive and this is the sh*t people are talking about when they say how hard it is.
We’ve had lots of reasons to smile this week around George’s feeling dog rough. I don’t think i’ve officially had to cook once due to all the little fairies who’ve delivered hot pots, bologneses, casseroles, bought us pizzas and invited us round for fajitas! We’ve not been short on visitors to keep me sane during the long days i’ve been at my wits end, nor offers of support while we’ve been at hospital. We even had a delivery from next door of bacon flavoured cupcakes just for George’s savoury tooth! He has also enjoyed his little lego gifts from friends who’ve made his day – he’s been re-building his sea-plane and caravan in hospital over the past few days 🙂
But never mind the smile on Georgie-Roo’s face, can you imagine mine when 10 bottles of wine arrived in the post this week!? Obviously i’m ready to neck the lot but have to bear in mind emergency dashes to hospital so we’ll gradually make our way through it bit by bit. I could do with a button on a PCA for that too but maybe that’d be frowned upon in certain circles :-/
The wine helps but the community nurse has been a massive saviour when i’ve felt like i’m tipping over the edge with what is normal and what is not. Plus support from other parents on some of the online groups for children in Oncology.
Oliver and Harriet have been amazing. It’s a word I over-use I know “amazing” but seriously… they fight most of the time and drive me bonkers, but when push comes to shove and i’m flapping about, Oliver suddenly steps up to help and Harriet will quietly retreat. I know this isn’t necessarily a positive, but i’m so proud of them… not because they’re the best at maths or brilliant at a particular sport but they’re so emotionally aware and mature in spite of everything.
So with our bank holiday weekend plans to add the finishing touches to our dream garden out of the window… Oliver and Harriet had a nice play with some of our neighbours children when all hell broke loose last night. Poor Damo’s one chance to let his hair down and go out to watch rugby was scuppered with George’s temp reaching 38 degrees and me having to abandon ship and rush him to hospital. The awning can wait until we actually need it when Georgie is home… and I can shop for any additional bits online when in hospital tomorrow with George if he’s sleeping.
Today, running on approximately 3 hours sleep and 1 round of toast, I’ve liaised with the electrician over lights in the garden and took Oliver and Harriet for a bike ride for treats from the shop. We managed to geg in on a barbecue at our good friends The Appletons on the way home. We’ve Facetimed Georgie and Daddy at hospital since we’ve got back and it was great to see George managing to swallow some noodles 🙂 he shown us his lego and now the kids are snuggled up watching X-Factor.
Totally appreciating my own bed for one night, can’t wait George is well enough to come home and we’re altogether again under one roof, hopefully that will be during the kids school holidays this week x