It's the Italian's fault

Jun 27 2010

The agonising wait that ensued on Monday continued into Tuesday. It does seem crazy that with today's technology and skills that we still have to wait so long for an accurate result from the hospital. I dropped Lucia at school on Tuesday morning and arrived back at home talking on the phone to my colleague; as I pulled up onto the drive Hayley walked out with the phone; on the other end was Amos.

Amos was actually on holiday all week and had phoned us especially, knowing the situation was pretty critical to get resolved. Amos had already explained to Hayley the current state of play but was good enough to start afresh with me and go through where we were. The scan the previous week had not shown any reduction. However, there were a number of dark patches on the scan, which indicates that the cells in that area are not active and unlikely to multiple. This was not great news for us as we had seen such a substantial reduction at the last scan. On the flip side, it could have been worse; the problem remained the kidneys after the septic shock she had experienced a number of weeks ago. Amos had spoken with Nottingham, the kidney specialists, who had said confidently that they expect the kidneys to recover over time. Camille has been put onto the “Plan B” chemotherapy which was out worst fear. The chemotherapy would be given for probably two cycles before they would test the kidneys again. Hayley was really low again for the majority of the week and she did not take the news well. I didn't feel particularly positive, but I had to try and focus on the hope that this would be a temporary measure and that the kidneys were going to recover without to long a period of this new chemotherapy.


Amos also talked about surgery; the conversations with Mr Garnett about surgery were becoming more real and less hypothetical. Between the two of them, they would be discussing how many operations, their approach and who would actually do it. This was a step forward from their previous discussions. “Plan B” chemotherapy was due to start the next day and lasts for an hour for three consecutive days for three weeks. Hayley and Camille set off on Wednesday morning for the first dose.


Hayley came home on Wednesday but had decided to stay in Cambridge on Thursday night; the mileage from our house to the hospital would cost us in excess of £70 per week in petrol. This chemotherapy is not an in-patient treatment, so no provision is made for Camille to stay. It is slightly annoying that someone without a car would get free transport to and from hospital without question, whereas we have to pay £300 a month. Perhaps we should sell the car.


Camille handled the treatment like she does everything else. No complaints, she just deals with what is put in front of her. She was sick a couple of times, but as per always, she managed to dust herself down and get on with whatever she was doing. Whilst Camille finished off her weeks treatment on Friday, I took Lucia to her new big school for a settling in day before she starts full-time in September. I stayed on for a while afterwards to talk to the headmistress about Camille's situation and how that may affect Lucia. After lunch I went back to pick Lucia up; unexpectedly she came out looking upset and quiet. Worried that she hadn't enjoyed herself, I looked up despairingly at her new teacher for any sign that I could be wrong. The teacher simply said that Lucia was upset to be leaving and that she had really enjoyed her lunch. On second inspection I could see the layers of ketchup splattered around Lucia's mouth. Phew, thank goodness for that.


We have just had a rather busy weekend. Yesterday morning, Camille and I took Lucia to her weekly tennis lesson. Being the rather forgetful person that I am, I happened to forget to apply any sun tan lotion to Lucia's shoulders before she stepped out onto the court. So after canvassing a host of equally unaware parents I approached the instructor, again without any luck. The only thing for me to do was to visit the local shop to purchase a bottle. It really does surprise me how much sun tan lotion costs at RRP. However, you notice that they are always at 50% off or buy one get one free, without exception. This tells me one thing; it tells me that they are overpriced by at least double there true value. We must look really stupid to the corporate world. Once back and the lotion had been smeared on Lucia, Camille and I went on an adventure that started at Staples.


Soon after getting home, we were back out on the road to go to the BT family fun day. As soon as we arrived, the kids were desperate to get on the carousel and other rides. After watching Lucia, Camille and their cousins Jake and Sonny fly around various horse based attractions we made our way through the BT site to where the train was setting off from. As we walked past the music pavilion, we were lucky enough to hear probably the worst band ever to strap on a Gibson. The guy at the front warbled like Roy Orbison would now, the bass and guitar players hit more bum notes than Whitney Houston at her recent O2 gig. I actually recorded thirty seconds of their set to post on You Tube (which I am yet to do) as the worst band ever to set foot out in public. When we arrived at the train queue, my sister in law Kristen had to take her son Jake and our nephew Sonny over to some pasture for a tinkle. As they tiptoed out of the paddy, the train arrived to take the group of people in the queue ahead of us. Sonny was having none of it. Like a true action hero, Sonny shrugged off Kristen's grasp and stamped towards the train with purpose. Jake, continued his movement in the opposite direction. So as Kristen was desperately trying to tame Sonny the train fancier as well as ensuring Jake made it over the road in safety, I did what any respectable man would do. Yes, I fumbled for my mobile phone to film the situation as it was far too humerous to go and help out.


Today, we had sixty courageous people stepping out to walk the 25 miles of the Orwell walk in Ipswich. I made it down to the start line at 7.00am (after my friend Emma had woken me with a phone call). For the next two hours, I handed out t-shirts branded with Camille's Appeal, and tried to meet our participants at the closest checkpoint. The weather was so hot that it must have been unbearable to complete, but we did, we had no end of people complete the full distance. We did hang around for a while before we headed over for a little girls birthday party and completion of treatment party. The problem was that it clashed with the England v Germany match. There was a TV set-up in a room upstairs, but the room was tiny, and I was out on the landing. One of the other dads suggested going to another pub to watch the match before returning. I made the brave move and asked Hayley and before long I was watching England getting battered by the Germans. Hayley said I would be in trouble if I went; they could have made it worthwhile.


Unlike the girls (who were up late once again) I feel shattered and at the beginning of the week. Camille will be back at Addenbrooke's later in the week for dose two of three, Lucia will be coming towards the end of pre-school. I only have Andy Murray to hand my sporting hopes on and Hayley will probably forgive me for watching the football when hell freezes over.


Amos is back from his holiday this week and I am pretty sure that he will have his meeting with Mr Garnett tomorrow. I expect that Amos will pop in to see Hayley when she arrives for Camille's chemotherapy later in the week.