Patterned Dress

Jul 18 2010

We all learn from our previous experiences and the events that have scared us down to the core of our bodies rarely happen again due to our ability to carefully avoid a repetition. So, this week saw Camille’s first infection since the septic shock episode in May, and this time we were quick, cautious and thorough.

This week was Camille’s week off chemotherapy, so she could spend a good quality week with her mummy and sister (and me to a degree) at home before going back to Addenbrooke’s next week. Camille has been on great form for some time now with only a little sickness from the chemotherapy; she is now at a very similar stage to her cousins, Sonny and Jacob, who are the same age as her. While I’m working and after Lucia has got back from pre-school, Hayley always manages to go off and do something with the girls, like go to the beach or to take them into town for pretty clothes. They do really enjoy each other’s company, but it doesn’t take long for the edges to become frayed when our two girls are in the house together all afternoon. They have got thousands of toys (most of which have been destroyed), but they only ever want the toy that their sister is playing with, meaning that a full scale war erupts every ten minutes.


On Wednesday Camille was a little bit quiet most of the day and after lunch Hayley thought that she would check her temperature again; it had crept up to 37.5°c. The rules for an oncology patient is that any temperature over 38.0°c requires us to take Camille straight to hospital for at least two days worth of antibiotics. After Camille’s septic shock episode Hayley was not willing to take any risks and as the temperature was well above Camille’s normal level she took her straight into Ipswich Hospital for some bloods to be taken. The results came back a little later showing that she did in fact have a high CRP level. CRP is not a definite indication that an infection is present but it is a very good indicator and with the temperature tiptoeing towards the critical figure Hayley made the decision to get her in there and then to start antibiotics.


We did think that it would be the normal forty-eight hours in the hospital room for Camille but after the first night, I called Hayley to see how they were doing and she was about to leave for home. Because her temperature was not too high, they were willing to let Camille come home in between antibiotic doses. This works well for us because we are so close to the hospital and if possible I can pop in with Camille over my lunch break so that Hayley gets to have the day away from the place.


The two days went really without a hiccup and by Friday afternoon she had finished her last dose of antibiotics and was free to leave. This was also quite handy as Hayley was due to go out with some of the other mothers of children from the ward at Addenbrooke’s. They all spend a great deal of time in and out of Addenbrooke’s and between them have managed to form a particularly good bond which must help all of them get through this difficult period in their lives. Lucia had a sleep over at Nanny’s house that night and I stayed at home with Camille just so we were close to hospital if need be. Just before Hayley left with one of the other mothers, Helen, Camille wanted a cuddle from her Mummy. As Hayley held Camille, she suddenly vomited. Hayley dressed in a wonderful full length dress looked like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix as she pivoted her body out of the way of the vomit and manoeuvred Camille into a forward facing position. It was mighty impressive to see such feline reactions. Little did she know that a few minutes later, when Camille was sitting on her lap that she would leak through her nappy and leave Hayley’s black dress with a shiny brown tag.


On Saturday morning we all loaded into the car and drove over to my nephew Sonny’s birthday party. The party was held at a farm near Hadleigh in Suffolk and was fantastic. The kids not only got to ride around in a tractor’s trailer (even though the heavens opened whilst on board). They also got to go around the farm trail and feed the animals. We had to be a little careful with cleanliness as Camille has a low immunity at the moment, but all in all, both Camille and Lucia thoroughly enjoyed themselves.


Not only was it Sonny’s birthday, but my brother-in-law Shane (or Uncle Popeye to the girls) was also celebrating his birthday. So, out of solidarity with Uncle Popeye I dragged myself out onto the golf course and whacked the ball around 18 holes for a few hours. Perfect.


Camille was again a little quieter again today as we went for a barbeque. Although she is doing really well and back running around everywhere she is still not fully confident playing with her cousins. The play got a little rough today, not anything really but just bumping blow-up balls on heads, so Camille went and sat inside. It does break my heart seeing her having to sit with the adults while the other children play outside. She doesn’t seem to mind and is really caring and lovely with the babies, but it still breaks my heart. I just want Hayley or I to be with her all of the time to make sure she is happy, I’d hate for her to be lonely.