The few weeks following becoming Mr and Mrs Rooza have become one of our all time favourite memories. We’d organised two weeks “Familymoon” in Cornwall with George’s consultant haematologist’s permission. This wasn’t something i’d ever envisaged being able to do during his intense treatment.
We usually camp but decided we’d make life a little easier not having pitch a tent etc by staying in a caravan. We’d stayed at St Ives Bay Holiday Park last year with all our friends so knew it had everything we wanted plus this time, a sea view to wake up to in the morning.
We packed all of George’s chemotherapy and pain relief, high factor sun cream (you can have this prescribed by the Oncology department for anyone who may find that useful), we knew where the nearest paediatric unit was and then where the nearest Oncology unit was too.
Choosing to have “Barry”, the port under the skin, was proving it’s worth as we didn’t have to worry about keeping a line clean, away from sand, sea etc. George was able to enjoy the beach as much as his brother and sister, we’re still finding sand in his ears now to prove it. Another thing that was also really helpful was our pop up beach shelter, twenty quid of Amazon. Sometimes all the running around would be just too much, so it was great for George to be able to crash out of the sun (or typically for the UK, was perfect to get under when it rained!).
Hayle Beach was as beautiful as we remembered, the kids enjoyed boarding down the dunes, building sandcastles and paddling in the shallows. Picnics on the beach each day made saved us a fortune and a couple of beers whilst we were down there made the honeymoon with 3 kids a little more relaxing!
Oliver is less of a paddling in the shallows man, and more of a bodyboarding in the waves kind of guy. Damien and Oliver boarded most days whilst I watched excitedly…. or maybe I sunbathed….
Obviously it poured down on a couple of days, we had to be reminded that this was not the Mediterranean cruise we booked. Being surrounded by sunburnt Northerners wasn’t enough no, some classic Warrington rain was sent our way as a cursory reminder to appreciate the sunny days.
What we saved on eating sandy butties on the beach each day, we basically paid the arcades’ overheads for them to remain open until next season. Harriet spent about fifteen quid “winning” her Catherine and Claire teddies which I suspect had been in the site’s gift shop since the names Catherine and Claire were trendy for young children. Oliver spent most of his time being a lurker, waiting for some poor kid is robbed of their last 2p at the 2p machine… only to jump straight on and make a killing – and what shall we do with 48p’s worth of 2p’s? let’s put them all back in again! Georgie was happy squirting water at duckies or just blatantly buying sweets with his spends and gorging on them.
On another grim weather day we donned our cagoules and hit the local bird of prey sanctuary, Paradise Park, and was pleasantly surprised. It helps that Harriet absolutely loves birds. We avoided taking George into the aviary where Oliver and Harriet fed little parakeet thingies, not only because it’s like a scene from “The Birds” and he’d probably freak out but just in case there was anything that would make him ill. The kids met penguins, owls and there were even flamingos walking about – beats the seagulls as big as dogs that we were used to back at the campsite!
The children flew kites and the big boys enjoyed the surf on the very windy days. Harriet would run like a maniac in the wind and George and I would cuddle up and appreciate our windbreak and beach tent.
We changed it up with some rock pooling at Godrevy on the first week, it wasn’t as successful as last year but just as much of an adventure.
Oliver and Harriet liked running around the rocks and coves while the tide was out and splashing in the clear pools while George would sit with his little net in a rockpool “fishing” like a gnome. Some standard wave jumping as the tide came back in violently before we did the five minute drive back to our site for some tea.
One beautiful evening we walked up to the top of the dunes to watch the sunset with a picnic blanket and a bottle of champagne and glasses. The sky was perfect, it was lovely and still and the ocean was calm. We opened the bottle, let out a little cheer, sipped the froth from the chilled bubbly then promptly had to help Harriet squat in bushes while she went for a p*ss. The kids ran around kicking sand at us, George screamed when he didn’t get his own way and Oliver went missing. You can imagine…. but of course we smiled for the camera anyway and pretended it was hours of romantic bliss rather than the 7 minutes approx.
It wasn’t quite a Royal Carribean Cruise but we did manage to book ourselves on a Mermaid Pleasure Trip in Penzance. The skipper was lovely, he let the children drive the boat, they pulled lobster pots, we saw seals at Seal Cove and got to see St Michaels Mount from the water. What made the day extra special though was the small pod of dolphins that came swimming along side us… The guys on board put a device under the water with a speaker which allowed to listen to the sounds of the dolphins communicating, it was so special and absolutely made our day.
The skipper chatted to George and found out his love of the emergency services. He kindly arranged for us to visit RNLI Penlee Lifeboat station in Newlyn a few days later for us to go aboard their Ivan Ellen lifeboat. Coxwain Patch Harvey, was lovely, taking time to chat to the children about the boat, how it rights itself in 3 seconds if it ever overturns!? showing us the engine room and letting the children sit up at the bridge… it was humbling to learn how many of the local fishermen and people in the community run the lifeboat station voluntarily!? and are on call night and day in shifts… what amazing guys taking time out to help people, risking their own lives, so selfless.
We crabbed in Penzance too but spent most of our time seagull dodging and came away stinking of the bait. Kids enjoyed catching seaweed though!
The second week of our holiday got even better when our good friends arrived with their children! not only was it fresh faces for the kids to play with but there’s only so much of my crap Damo can listen to. The kids were so happy to see each other and it was nice to have a wine buddy for after we’d hit the waves 🙂
There was more dune surfing, fits of laughter, beautiful sunsets, shooting stars and a day trip to Falmouth where we got to see the Red Arrows display! George spent most of it with his hands over his ears as usual.
The holiday was perfect and just what we needed, with the comfort of still being in the UK for George’s sake but still magical and memorable.
This evening George is in hospital with Daddy being checked as he’s spiked a temp for a second time since we’ve been back. We’ve been in for a consultant appointment twice too to have his chemotherapy altered as his white blood count isn’t recovering quite as fast as we’d like. The doctors aren’t concerned and feel he has a lingering virus (he’s had a bad cough for 3 weeks now) so have reduced his chemo to allow his own body to work it’s magic.
George’s next consultant appointment is on his first week at big boys school! I can’t believe we’re at this point already, it was something I couldn’t even compute not so long ago. His first day is going to be particularly poignant in this house, I’m sad he’s not going to be my little buddy at home any more, I’m worried for him like all the other parent’s will be for their babies… but he shouldn’t be having to undergo treatment for cancer, it’s not fair.
We’re hoping the next few years of maintenance will be kind to George and that we can continue to have more happy times as a family than difficult ones. We’re made up we got out 2 weeks familymoon and for now we’re enjoying the last days of the holidays at home together around hospital trips and preparing for all three children going to school… looks like George might even have some wisps of hair for his first day too!