Sorry for the harsh titles of these blogs sometimes! I’m trying to use keywords so that other families with children with cancer can find us on Google if they’re looking for positive stories.
Latest hospital visit
We’re due an update as it’s been a while hasn’t it. It’s been quiet as I’ve been a busy little bee and George’s is on top form considering, so we’ve not been in hospital for sickness, just routine appointments – go George!
We went into Oncology at Alder Hey earlier this week after school for George to have bloods taken which were then discussed at his appointment on Wednesday. Barry (the port) was given a flush to prevent him clotting up, which was a good reflection of how well George has been – it’s usually accessed more regularly because he falls ill before it ever needs flushing.
The doctor mentioned this week that George’s neutrophils are quite high at the moment. The average Joe’s neutrophils sit between 4 and 11 but George’s need to be around 1 so that the doctors know his bone marrow is suppressed. His neuts are 3.8 right now so it’s a sign his bone marrow has started fighting something off (any virus or infection), or he needs his chemo dosage increasing. We’ve got another two weeks to see what the next move is.
What else is new… Sugar has had a hair cut…. oh and Harriet’s a vegetarian! that news has come as no surprise to a few of my friends. One day she just refused to eat “an actual chicken’s leg!?” as she put it. She’s never had an issue with meat until now… now she’s guilt tripping us all over eating defenceless animals. In her words “it’s like eating Sugar” – our pet dog. I get her point. To be fair to her, I admire the fact she’s made the choice herself, no one she knows is a veggie, she’s doing it purely because of how she feels. She knows her own mind this one.
Giving up work whilst George received treatment
As you all know, I stopped teaching my antenatal classes a few weeks after George’s diagnosis. This decision didn’t come easy, but it was the only way forward. The classes could be quite emotionally demanding and I got to the point where I felt my ladies weren’t getting the best of me anymore. Obviously they all thought I was completely mad still teaching whilst George had just been diagnosed with leukaemia…. maybe I was! I just thought it might help to keep in a positive place.
Anyway, no regrets on that front, I was released from a restrictive contract and free from the monthly payments to the franchise. I could relax and look after my children when they needed me the most. It was during those periods when George was an inpatient, and we were juggling Oliver and Harriet too, I couldn’t imagine being in a place where I could consider working again – and I’d previously only worked 12 hours a week tops!.
Ready to get back to work whilst treatment continues
Twelve months or so later and I know that I’m ready to get back in the game….not ‘on’ the game… those days are behind me 😉 There’s approximately 2 and a half years of daily chemotherapy and theatre for spinal chemo every few months but now we have our routines in place, I feel like there’s a little opening for me to get some of myself back. School are now well versed on what they’re looking out for, we know which friends we can rely on if we’re rushing to hospital and we understand the drill once we’re there.
We all know I love a good chat, I also enjoy helping other people and given my 4 years experience working with pregnant ladies, things are pointing in the same direction. I have had a chat with my friends in the local maternity services and the birthy world and found out that, you know what? I can do something birthy myself! I’m a qualified complementary therapist, and have now trained in a method of delivering antenatal workshops called Hypnobirthing. I have now set up my own birth programme and called it Birth Geek.
I have lots of ideas for Birth Geek, but for now am not going to bite off more than I can chew. I’m running antenatal workshops on a Sunday in Warrington, Lymm and Knutsford and offering mobile pregnancy massage a few days a week while the children are in school. I’ve loved getting my teeth into designing my own website… and final branding is almost there, do take a look.
Not lost the plot yet….
And so a new chapter is beginning, one I never envisaged even 6 months ago – working whilst my child is receiving treatment for cancer!? but look, anything’s possible. I’m just going to keep mindful of keeping a good balance. Given I’ve not been sectioned so far, something is obviously working for us! Celebrating every small achievement, every milestone, taking nothing for granted and living life to the full is not about to change.