Call Me Mitch

Feb 7 2010


Another week begins and another trip to Addenbrooke's for chemotherapy beckons.


A normal Monday at home preceded the Tuesday morning phone call to the ward to see if there was a bed available and as per normal we were told mid afternoon that Camille could go in.


So as to better divide our time, Hayley took Camille in by herself and I stayed at home with Lucia. Going forward this will be a more common approach, we're very aware that Lucia really needs us as well, and the further we go through this process the more it's becoming apparent. So poor Lucia was stuck with me rather than getting a few days at Nanny Patsy's Emporium of Delights. All she had to look forward to was half cooked frozen chips and burnt pizza (it's a talent).


Lucia goes to pre-school on Tuesday's and gets out late afternoon. I always seem to struggle to remember the exact time she gets out and I always have that fear of Lucia standing there with her teacher waiting for Daddy to show up. Luckily every time I've been there ready for the Munchkins to be let out. Lucia always mid-pack beaming with smiles at the sight of her favourite old Dad.


As Camille settled in at Addenbrooke's for her pre-hydration before the chemotherapy could be delivered, Lucia settled in to her half cooked chips and burnt pizza. I'm not sure what her problem was, I opted for the half cooked chips with matching half cooked Linda McCartney false-steak pie, and I must say, take away the evening on the toilet and you've got a pretty good meal.


On the Wednesday morning we got up bright and early to go to the swimming pool for a quick splash before I started work. As we arrived I noticed a mass of Portacabins positioned to the rear of the building, one displaying the sign “Reception”. Lucia and I tentatively tip-toed towards the ugly facade of a builders office and walked inside. The Reception of the swimming pool was just inside the door and was laden with all of the normal tills, rubber rings and uniformed staff as per normal but as we were guided towards the changing rooms I realised all was not as it should be at Ipswich Baths this morning; the changing rooms were also in the block of Portacabins. Cold and cramped, Lucia and I changed into our swimmers and walked through to the pool area. The pools were empty, not one smelly, snotty nosed little blighter in sight. Crown Pools in Ipswich has a lagoon style leisure pool and as I demonstrated the perfect Hasslehoff run to Lucia, I turned to see a rather heavily tatoo'ed woman with her rubber ring adorned son entering the pool area. I thrust myself forward in an attempt to submerge myself only to find that I wasn't in as deep as I first thought. Lucia thought my pain was funny anyway.


Hayley and I swapped our roles on Thursday afternoon so that she could go to work. As I arrived at the hospital I was horrified to see the sight of my beautiful daughter curled up asleep in her bed. For the last few weeks we've been keeping Camille awake all day so that she goes to sleep a decent time in the evening. If she has a sleep, it normally means a torrid night. Hayley did apologise for letting her go off, but the chemotherapy had caused her to be a little lethargic and there was no other option. Flash forward eight hours; as the clock ticked past 11.00pm Camille launched into her sixth recital of the Balamory theme tune. Luckily Camille had got a “loose” stomach and we were about to be moved to a single room instead of the four berth we'd been entertaining all evening. At 11.30pm the nurse came through to move us into our new room, Camille glided through the corridors, sitting up in bed, giggling and getting ready for a verse of Edie McCreedy – Rolling Down the Road. Soon after we parked her bed in it's new home, I switched the lights off and crawled into my bed. Camille stayed sat blot upright in her bed until after midnight, believing I was fast asleep just across the room.


Friday dragged on and on, but we got through it unscathed and Camille did manage to get to sleep a decent time that night. The chemotherapy only lasts a day on this particular dose but because of the damage it causes to the kidneys, she has to be flushed through for three days afterwards. Hayley swapped with me again on Saturday just hours before she was discharged. All of us home again, Camille in the bottom bunk, Lucia on the top, Hayley and I actually seeing one another in the week of our wedding anniversary.


Lucia went to her friend Abigail's birthday party this afternoon. We did decide to keep Camille at home because her immunity was pretty low when we left hospital yesterday, which was a shame because Camille does love a good party. Lucia only really knew the birthday girl and was pretty shy throughout the whole party; when it came to musical statues Lucia stood in the middle of the cavorting group not moving a muscle. I had considered that this was a clever tactic to win the booty but as the first tune commenced Lucia decided that enough was enough and bailed out for good.


Camille and Lucia finished the week with a bath and bed. Ready for a week at home again, unless a high temperature stops us in our tracks.