A Night In Her Shoes

Oct 11 2009

So, this week was the long one, the Chemotherapy dose that takes the whole week to get through with all the hydrating and flushing involved.

So, this week was the long one, the Chemotherapy dose that takes the whole week to get through with all the hydrating and flushing involved.

The normal procedure was once again followed; phone the ward first thing on Tuesday, promised to be called back with a time to go in, have to call back yourself in the afternoon as you haven't heard anything. I must say, it works like a dream, the afternoon call generally delivers a bed within the next two hours.

Due to the uncertainty of actually getting to Addenbrookes , I decided (after consulting Hayley I must add) to attend a meeting "darn in Essex" that afternoon, knowing that Hayley would probably end up taking Camille herself while I was there. I told Hayley that me meeting would probably end at 4.00pm and I could be over to the hospital for 5.30pm. The afternoon transpired as we had expected, call to the ward at 14.30pm, "come on over" was the reply, and away they went.

I happened to look at the clock at 4.00pm and decided that it was time to attempt the meeting wrap-up tactic that I've been working on for a few years. I looked at the clock at 4.30pm, 5.00pm and 5.30pm before I finally managed to get out of the door and away on the road. I'm pretty clear that this skill is not quite the finished article and more effort is needed to fine tune my exit method. As I sat in traffic, I popped a one liner over to Hayley knowing what the response would be. I was going to be an hour and a half late, and due to arrive around Camille's bed time. I was neither popular, welcomed or on time.

Camille's chemo started on the Wednesday and lasted for 24 hours. I was about the Wednesday and the Thursday which enabled me to regain a slice of goodwill from the Mrs. We had gone into Addenbrookes with a list of questions around the Neurosurgery element of Camille's treatment. The previous week, Hayley had spoken with Harry one of our specialist nurses, who in turn was going to attempt to set up a meeting with our team of consultants. The meeting is tomorrow and I feel pretty positive about being able to sit down and go through our position in more detail. Hayley is a little more nervous about the meeting and how it could affect her. The support Addenbrookes have given her again this week, even getting to a place where she may be comfortable attending this meeting, has been superb. She's still a long way from being able to tackle every element of this situation, but that's OK, she doesn't have to, we are a team, and we both have our positions and skills to tackle this together.

Hayley has spent every night in hospital with Camille except a single night when Camille was in Ipswich. This has been more comfortable for Camille, but obviously Hayley is tired and slightly frustrated of being couped up on a ward. This was compounded this week by Camille's night terrors returning, and Hayley not getting much sleep as a result. This followed on to a second night as Hayley had to sit up and film her mid-terror with a hospital provided video camera. She got some great footage and tomorrow we are due to see the Neurology team just prior to our other meeting with the surgeons.

On Friday, Hayley had made utterances that she would like me to spend Saturday night in hospital with Camille. I could see it being beneficial to her, Lucia (having her Mummy home) and for Camille, as she has become super clingy to Hayley. I asked Hayley to text me if she wanted me to, in the theory that I could bring some stuff with me. Hayley waited until I reached the hospital to confirm her plan and therefore I was at Addenbrookes with no supplies. Two days in the same under-crackers, socks and T-Shirt is enough to make me squirm, but that's what I had to do. The ward was quieter than I expected, and when the poor little girl opposite heaved her final heave of the evening the lights dimmed and the volume lowered, all was left was for Camille and I to have a Strictly / X-Factor night followed by sleep, and a good sleep at that.

We got home this afternoon at 5.30pm, only a week and a bit away from our next trip. We've now only got two more doses to go before scan number two, the date of which has now been arranged for the second week in November.

Finally, a conversation with Amos last week alerted us to the issues we have with Camille's sleep patterns. The first sign is us having to lay with her to get her to sleep, secondly, this graduates into middle of the night sessions of laying with her to get her back off and finally, the straw that breaks the Camille's back is Camille sleeping in our bed, full-time. As we are dangerously close to point three already, I have taken it on board, with support from Hayley, to sort this out. Tonight was tense, with Hayley nearly giving in a couple of times, but we did it, all I had to do as a compromise was to sit in the corner of the room facing away from her. I hope it's a few years before she watches the Blair Witch Project, this tactic would totally freak her out.