Wanna Watch the Football?

Jul 4 2010

After only a week on the new chemotherapy protocol, it seems that we have already managed to get into some sort of rhythm. In all fairness it’s not actually me that has anything to do with the rhythm as Hayley now tackles all of the hospital visits by herself with Camille, an arrangement that we just had to put into place after Camille’s septic shock episode. So now, three times a week, Camille goes to Addenbrooke’s for an hour to have her chemotherapy and then she is free to go until the next day. It might sound less restrictive than being an inpatient and in many ways it is, but when you are driving for twice as long as the treatment actually lasts, it is not a pleasant day.

Hayley has been really struggling with the driving. I don’t know whether it is because she hasn’t done that kind of mileage for some time or whether the sleepless nights are catching up with her, but she has a real fear that she is going to fall asleep on the road. My cousin and his girlfriend live just around the corner from the hospital, and have been great with pretty much an open door (which is particular generous for a lusty young couple). However, nothing is simple as Hayley is allergic to cats and the one pet that Stevie and Clare have, is a nostril twitching, throat scratching pussy. The offer is too good to turn down so I’m sure Hayley will be packing the antihistamine and enjoying the good company of the young couple who I may have mentioned are young and in fact lusty.

Camille is managing this chemotherapy like she does all of her treatment, but it seems to have given her the ability to stay up to ungodly hours. Now, from the time she goes to bed at 7.00pm-7.30pm, we can hear “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” Relentlessly for up to three hours. Luckily Lucia has the ability to sleep through all of this and quite often, Lucia will have been asleep for two hours before Camille finally accepts the Sandman’s offer of a dream. It has become a daily dread for Hayley and I as we hear the first utterance of the little words coming from her little mouth. She is generally pretty cute and pretty funny as she skips into the living room every few minutes but even parents of oncology children like to have a few minutes to themselves at the end of a day. This situation generally results in me taking Camille to bed because if Hayley were to do it, Camille would insist that Hayley lies with her and “huggles her back”, shortening Hayley’s evening by a good hour.

We are still waiting to have a proper sit down meeting with Amos and Mr Garnett about surgery. It seems to me that we are not imminent as I feel they would have maybe called us in for a meeting a little sooner. It was also strange this week as the anniversary of Camille’s diagnosis arrived. I actually expected this to have a greater effect on Hayley, but she seemed OK on the day. Hayley is a closed book with her feelings but you do know when she is really low, well some of the time. My theory is that it’s just another day that we are trying to get Camille better; it is no different to the day before and no different to the day after. However, a year ago I actually expected that we would be nearing the end of treatment now, with the chemotherapy protocol due to finish in early August, but as we edge forward towards that date, Camille still has a tumour (although somewhat smaller) and the chemotherapy that we were on could still be used for some time if and when her kidneys get better. The anniversary doesn’t make any difference to that; it just seems to force you to review how far we have come in twelve months.

We seem to have extremely busy weekends at the moment and this was no exception. Lucia’s tennis lessons continue on a Saturday morning. Lucia had been pretty quiet and moaned a lot that morning and when we arrived I could tell that she was tired from the late night her and her sister had had the previous night. Camille and I popped off to do the supermarket shop and when I came back I sat in the car park watching the final exchanges on the junior tennis court. Lucia was patiently waiting by the net; she waited, and waited and got up, grabbed her racket, put it down again and sat down. It turns out that she was just too tired and spent most of the lesson sitting down; she didn’t even want her half-time sweets.

We had been invited to our friends, Sally and Simon’s house for a barbeque today and Hayley was in charge of a dessert. So yesterday afternoon, we did something that Hayley had never done before and we went fruit picking at a local farm. Yes, Hayley had broken her fruit picking virginity. The girls loved it and I will probably always remember seeing Camille trotting down the tractor tyre furrows holding her punnet with great care and attention. Lucia was a pretty awesome picker, but every so often you’d hear silence apart from the smacking of top and bottom lips. A glance over the plants and there would be Lucia wiping the strawberry juice away from the corners of her mouth.

Last night we made a giant leap away from the world cup and watched a film. I wanted to make sure that the film could take our minds away from the dismal England showing in South Africa and would keep both Hayley and I entertained for a couple of hours. So, I fired up the DVD player and inserted The Damned United disc. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see another great Michael Sheen performance, the Damned United is a film about Brian Clough’s ill-fated stint as manager of Leeds United. Needless to say, Hayley spotted the subtle hidden link to the world cup within seconds and I was immediately given the “you must be joking” look. We did end up watching it, but I fear Hayley concentrated on the computer a little more than Sheen’s Midlands accent.

Today, we set off early to go to Music in the Park, an annual music day in Christchurch Park, Ipswich. It was really well put together, with six stages, acoustic and poetry tents as well as many other family attractions. We were holding a Camille’s Appeal stall to try and get a few more Bungee Jumpers signed up for our event on 28th August 2010, so most of the day was spent networking and leaflet dropping. We had a great response but it was ruddy hot. My brother-in-law James and I took the kids onto a pretty daring ride for the kids, a drop from 30 feet repeated eight times. It was a little “stomach in the mouth”, but not too bad, but James is now reconsidering the Bungee Jump he is down for after he squealed like an old sow throughout each and every drop.

Come on James, grow a pair.