Sugar, Honey Honey

Jun 6 2010

When I woke on Monday morning I expected my muscles to be throbbing after going on my first run in over a year. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised by my nimbleness as I waltzed down the stairs with the girls. It can be a real struggle to get in the frame of mind to step out onto the tarmac, but once you’ve done it and you’ve taken that rather long deep breath you feel pretty good.

I’ve really taken the bull by the horns this week and been out four times, only covering small distances but managed to total up 13 miles in the week. I’ve targeted myself to be running twenty miles a week by the end of the summer; I’m actually not that far away already. I did have one scare (in addition to the odd car not seeing my sixteen stone girth wobbling round blind bends) when, on Sunday, I felt a sharp pain in my knee once more. I had a similar issue when I was training for the London Marathon, an issue that put me weeks behind schedule on my training plan and an issue that I never really recovered from. To save my knee, I’ll probably look to keep to regular small distances instead of going for the long distances I was once able to do.

Camille has had a really, really good week this week. She’s now been off chemotherapy for four or five weeks, and she is over the illnesses that knocked her for six a few weeks ago. We had to visit Amos on Tuesday to check where we are and what the plan of action is going to be to get back on track with the treatment. On arrival, Camille had to have another needle in her foot to get her blood levels checked. She is petrified still, but she does do really well to hold it together. For any parent that has to go through this sort of thing, one of the hardest parts is holding or seeing your wife hold your child down to let a doctor inflict pain.

We ended up having to wait around for most of the day for the blood results to come back, as with the pharmacy the week before. When they finally did arrive back with Amos we were able to understand what was going to happen. Camille’s creatinine levels are back down in the mid 50’s which is within the normal range for children of Camille’s age. This is clearly great news and although she is higher than where she was before, Amos seems to think we will be able to continue with the same protocol that we were on before the illness but maybe not at the same concentrations as before. So now, over the next two weeks, Camille will have to go to Addenbrooke’s for hearing tests (which the antibiotics can affect as well), an ultra scan to see where the Hickman Line can be inserted, a kidney test and an MRI scan to see what has happened to the tumour in the last four months. The highlight of the meeting was when Camille, who was sitting on the floor, trumped and followed through on to Amos’s clean floor.

The rest of the week was clear for Camille. She joined Hayley and Lucia at the Suffolk Show on Thursday and seemed to enjoy herself, even after bailing out of the swing chair carousel hoojamaflip. I was in Ireland on Thursday, but by the time I arrived home they were exhausted and ready for bed.

This weekend has been extremely busy. Saturday morning, Lucia began her first tennis class at a local junior tennis club. It is funny, she’s been trying to hit balls in are back garden with my “daddy-sized” racket, which is far too big and heavy for her. When I arrived to pick her up, I kept to one side and watched how easily she interacts with people; she has a really amazing quality to just ignore any boundaries and become friends with the person in front of her. It is one of the things I least like about being a parent; the ever present fear that your child will either: be ignored, made to feel lonely or just picked on. Lucia is such a friendly, open little girl that puts herself in positions where these incidents could easily happen. She seemed to have a great time at tennis, so we’ve gone out and purchased a junior tennis racket for her and her first pair of Nikes. We’ve been in the back garden again today. I don’t know who is more excited, Lucia or me.

We’ve also had two Camille’s Appeal events on Saturday. Lucia, Camille and I went over to Stowmarket Football Club where the company BTS were hosting a charity football event for the appeal. It was roasting hot on Saturday and as I stood talking to my friend Ben, a paramedic arrived to treat a woman who had passed out next to the barbeque. She was lucky she didn’t land a few feet to the left, the two guys in charge of the food were looking a bit too handy with their flippers.

In a flash of fired iron, we whizzed back to Ipswich to get ourselves ready for the Camille’s Appeal 70’s night. The standard of the costumes were impressive and the event was of the highest quality with free chocolate fountain, a gourmet barbeque and locally sourced alcohol. I was keen to ensure that every barrel and every section of the barrel was OK for people to drink, so I ended up drinking a rather large amount of this wonderful blonde, Calvors; I am pretty selfless like that. The night went very smoothly with everyone seemingly enjoying the retro music, food and company. In fact, most of the women were swooning over the young buck on the sweetie stall, including my missus. Anyone can look attractive when dishing out free sherbet flying saucers anyway.

Camille and Lucia came along for a little while, which gave them just enough time to through a few shapes and have a run around. A number of the staff from Camille’s old nursery were there and for the girls that saw Camille, it was the first time since she was diagnosed a year ago that they had seen her. I’m not sure how much the event raised; but I do know that they sold in excess of £1,000 worth of raffle tickets. There were some great prizes and the young girl who sold a huge amount of those tickets ended up winning the Sony PSP. It was pleasing, but as I was hanging on for that myself, she had to be escorted out of the building with body guards through fear of me mugging her.

Today has been spent nursing a pretty staggering hangover. I still feel ill tonight, but with an early flight to Scotland in the morning it may just be worth going to bed instead.