The Swine

Nov 15 2009

The early part of the week was spent trying to work out how we were going to catch Gordon Brown mentioning Camille's name or at least letter in his NHS speech on Tuesday.....

The early part of the week was spent trying to work out how we were going to catch Gordon Brown mentioning Camille's name or at least letter in his NHS speech on Tuesday. I was in a meeting all morning that day and came home hoping that Hayley had managed to hear the Prime Minister utter our brave little girls name. Hayley hadn't listened to the whole speech but was pretty sure he hadn't mentioned her as the majority of the press conference was based on the letter to the mother of the soldier who died in Afghanistan. This turned out to be the case, and the Prime Minister's plan to announce some important additions to the NHS charter was scuppered by the vile exploitation of a grieving mother by the Sun newspaper.

Later that day I received a call from Downing Street just to confirm that this was the case. The Prime Minister's adviser thanked us for our support in allowing Gordon to mention the letter, and because they had all been overwhelmed by Camille's story she invited us to visit Downing Street in December when the Christmas trees are up so the girls can experience this wonderful treat. Hayley and I were amazed that one letter praising the NHS could result in such a lot of interest from the Prime Minister's office. In addition, they have also managed to sort out an auction item for the Christmas Ball which would arrive in the next day or two.

Sure enough a package arrived the following day (good old Royal Mail), I opened the box to see a Teddy Bear wearing a 10 Downing Street jumper. Underneath that was Gordon Brown's Courage book with a unique personal message from the Prime Minister and finally a letter with the envelope signifying that it was from the Prime Minster. The letter was a very personal, sweet and supportive message from Gordon Brown. Taking into account recent news stories, both Hayley and I were appreciative of the sentiment and the Teddy Bear has been christened Gordon Brown Bear, much to the disgust of Camille's Grandfather who is, let's just say, more right than left; I wouldn't be surprised if he has corresponded with David Cameron to try and better the effort made by his red counterpart. We now will look forward to the visit to Downing Street in a few weeks time; Gordon is unlikely to be there that day but we should be meeting his wife Sarah.

While all of this was going on more serious matters were taking place at Addenbrookes . It was a non-Chemotherapy week this week but we did have to go in on Wednesday for the second review MRI scan. Our expectations have been set by our consultant Amos that their is unlikely to be a vast reduction at this stage, it is normally six months into treatment that this becomes more probable. However, it doesn't stop you hoping and believing something positive is going to come out of this scan. Hayley and I both admitted to one another that we feel Camille is improving in herself, but as soon as we say the words we both slam our mouths shut so as not to tempt fate or become too confident. Remember, a positive result at this scan or the next is great, and a major step in her recovery plan, but we have to be realistic that there will be many more rungs in the ladder. We are both aware of this and we know that this won't be over in a month or two, Camille will be a regular patient of Addenbrookes for some time to come.

The scan was run of the mill. She is given sedation so that she goes to sleep throughout the process before being wheeled in to the large doughnut shaped machine and scanned for twenty minutes or so. We won't get the results until we go in for Chemotherapy this week and for Hayley especially, this has been as nervous a wait as ever.

Camille is also now undergoing Physiotherapy to make her more mobile. This is again another positive step and she seems to be getting more confident and stronger as a result. We are still some way off having her walking again, but even seeing her crawl across a room is a sight that could bring tears to your eyes; my sister's jaw was scraping the floor this morning as she saw the new, mobile Camille.

Hayley and Camille went for their Swine Flu injection this weekend; Camille who was jabbed in both legs has been bright eyed and bubbly ever since, whereas Hayley couldn't scrape herself out of bed this morning, feeling as rough as she has for some time. She doesn't believe it to be the affects of the injection and in all fairness there wasn't a curly tail or snafflely snout obvious to the naked eye.

The Christmas Ball is now only a few weeks away and we've managed to get some cracking auction items ( Sally, our Chairperson and all round Brick has also landed a professional auctioneer to take charge on the evening. This is a real coup and could help increase the potential revenue by whipping the crowd into a bidding frenzy .

I would also like to lastly say congratulations to Hayley who received her degree this week whilst we were at Addenbrookes . The whole thing is bitter sweet for her after everything that has happened in the last few months, but the hard work she put in should be commended.