To Spend a Day in my Walking Boots

Sep 13 2009

Camille's treatment this week was pretty hard going . Not only was she on a drip pretty much non-stop for four days but this one made her sick. After breakfast, during her afternoon nap or during the night, it didn't matter. Camille went through so many pairs of pyjamas during the week that we made our first use of the laundry equipment on the ward.

This week was also enlightening the things you see on the C2 ward and around the food court area of the hospital. As an example, on Wednesday I witnessed a guy who was clearly drunk at 9.00am, wrestling with security at the front of the hospital and covered in blood; I saw a couple in their twilight years dancing ballroom to the Scandinavian starlet Robin, outside the Burger King. I even saw a guy wearing Salmon coloured jeans with a white shirt; seriously, you wouldn't believe it unless you saw it.

There were also various things that occurred on the ward this week that have made me think. Firstly, for one of the days that Camille was in, another little girl was in her room. She was a sweet little girl, but sometimes you fear for how long this innocence can withstand all of the other influences around children like this. She was fine for the first few hours, but all of a sudden I heard the three year old tell her mother to "f*** off". She didn't just say it once, it was repeated during the day at least thirty times. As the Ward Manager said, it's something that she could learn at home. Poor girl.

Secondly, I felt so sorry for another little boy on the ward. He was only around eight or nine years old but his parents (or any family for that matter) visited him for a maximum of an hour a day, usually in the evening. The boy was undergoing Chemotherapy, not able to walk with any confidence and had little entertainment. This is upsetting itself, to think how lonely he must be in a place where there are hundreds of patients each day, but we also have to remember that it may not be a simple case for the parents to spend all day there; people have mortgages that need paying and other children that need feeding. It does make you realise how lucky we are to have my parents available for Lucia all of the time so that I have the freedom to work while Hayley is at the hospital. Other family members would do anything to help, but it's that backbone which has made this possible.

Camille herself remained quite chipper considering how sick she was feeling and towards the end of the Chemotherapy began to get quite tired as well. There has been a major change in her this week and that is the hair. She is now losing hair at a considerable pace and we feel that by this time next week it will pretty much have all gone. This doesn't bother Hayley or I too much, we know that the hair loss is a sign that the Chemotherapy is killing cells. We nearly shaved her hair while we were at the hospital, but decided against it until we have had time to prepare the family. Hayley is now ensuring that we have enough head apparel for Camille as the weather begins to turn to Autumn.

Our Consultant returned back from three weeks away towards the end of the week. It was good to have him back as he always manages to offer a calming word to proceedings. Throughout the past few weeks where Hayley has had the major lows, I feel a conversation with Dr Amos Burke would have helped, a lot. On Saturday, just prior to us being released he came to our cubicle to finish his daily rounds. Luckily we were the last bed he had to visit as we do tend to get into some rather lengthy conversations that ranged in topic from surgery, Proton Therapy, medical seminars and the fact that Amos Burke was also a 1950's television detective. He did manage to pick up on Hayley's anxieties pretty quickly and hopefully he will now be able to guide how Hayley deals with this. Hayley thinks that this isn't about her, it's all about Camille, but actually it's not. My, Lucia's and Camille's life becomes far more complicated if Hayley is not managing her anxieties.

Finally, the intrepid Three Peakers hiked to Blacks to purchase some of the required equipment for the challenge. Never in my life have I looked at the price tags with so much shock. I had already bought a pair of hiking boots off the Internet but feared that I might struggle with them on the day. I soon weighed up the possible pain on my feet against the flaming hole being burnt into my wallet from the extravagant purchase of a new pair of boots. Hey, I've never had a toenail drop off, why not give it a go.