Aug 8 2010

Some weeks fly by and some seem to last forever. This week has most definitely been the latter. Hayley had to take Camille in early this week for chemotherapy and spent all day at Addenbrooke’s with her. While I was at home working I had a text from my brother-in-law asking if there was any news on Hayley’s brother. He had been having headaches and was being sick over night so I assumed that was what Shane was asking.

When Hayley arrived home she received a text from her mum saying that James had been taken to hospital and the doctors were concerned that he may have a bleed on the brain. As you can imagine this news was not particularly welcome and Hayley went down to the hospital with her sister as soon as visiting time commenced.  Luckily the original fears from the doctors proved to be way off and he had just come down with a rather nasty bug.


It wasn’t long before we realised that this bug was going to spread as Monday night was spent trying to get Camille to relax as she vomited constantly throughout until morning. Hayley spoke to the hospital who advised us that we should take her to Ipswich before going to Addenbrooke’s for her next dose of chemotherapy.  After a bit of deliberation Ipswich decided to keep Camille in and overnight to try and clear this bug. Ipswich did start to give her some antibiotics but very quickly they were withdrawn and another type given as Addenbrooke’s had been concerned that her kidneys would not be able to take the standard broad antibiotic.


Hayley stayed with her throughout, even into Hayley’s birthday. That was also the day that Addenbrooke’s were happy for her to go over for the chemotherapy, so on her birthday, Hayley took Camille and Lucia to Addenbrooke’s where she stayed all day, arriving home past 6.00pm. As you can imagine, she was well past having a happy birthday and as I had planned something s for the weekend, I hadn’t done anything to make her feel any better. So Hayley’s birthday was a right off; all I could hope was that Camille would be well enough for all of us to celebrate Hayley’s birthday at the weekend.


Friday came and although Hayley had to again take the girls to Addenbrooke’s for the final dose of chemotherapy in this cycle, Camille was officially discharged. This meant that Saturday was on as long as she could remain well. While all of this was going on earlier in the week, Lucia had also come down with the bug and was laid at home with me looking rather poorly; she also managed to get herself together before the weekend. Lucia is a very sturdy little girl and does tend to bounce back very quickly.


On Friday night I started to feel a bit queasy. My stomach was beginning to burn a touch, like you feel when you want to be sick; my legs were also aching and all I wanted to do was go to bed. When I woke up on Saturday morning I was determined to enjoy the day as well, it was a real family day that we always want to aim for. We arrived at Ipswich railway station to head off for London and after a bit of searching on the internet, I managed to get first class tickets for only a few pounds more than standard class. This was great as the seats are so much bigger and you don’t feel so enclosed. It probably wasn’t as positive experience for the other travellers who had to endure Camille and Lucia talking constantly for the hour and fifteen minute journey at a volume you don’t normally get in first class. We don’t want those smelly little kids in first class now do we?


We arrived at Liverpool Street and made a mad dash to Regent Street where a booking at Pizza Express was awaiting us. It’s not that we are particularly colloquial, but the girls do like Pizza Express (as do we) and it was perfectly placed. As we sat down and ate our pizzas Hayley arched her neck around a pillar near the window and spotted a woman in an extravagant outfit; it only happened to be Vanessa Feltz. We immediately acknowledged that she doesn’t look as big in real life and went straight back to our food; each bite making my stomach gurgle and burn like never before.


For Hayley’s birthday I had booked her an appointment at the Coast shop on Regent Street for Coast by Appointment. Basically, you get taken upstairs to a smart looking room where you get a personal assistant to get you dresses and advise you on what would work. It was great and the girls loved it, in and out of the cubicles and swishing mummy’s dresses around. They laid on bubbly and chocolates for us and Hayley tried on some great dresses with the Christmas Ball in mind. The only issue is you feel you have to buy something. I think it was just us that thought that though as I noticed the assistant was talking herself out of a sale during every other sentence.


We left Coast a little later than we had hoped and with just over 40 minutes until our next appointment, the matinee of Mamma Mia, we skipped down Regent Street as quickly as we could. Regent Street was heaving with shoppers and as we walked past Hamley’s the back draft of tourists walking into the magic emporium sucked us in. The girls had five minutes to scan five floors for a toy which Granddad had subsidised; Lucia was struggling to take in all the toys she had seen and decide on something she really wanted. She settled on a poorly dog and vet kit and Camille went for a Tea Set. From there we sprinted through the hoards of slow moving, dithering and quite frankly annoying punters. We arrived at the Prince of Wales Theatre with eight minutes to spare and planted ourselves in our seats just before the curtain raised. The show was brilliant, and Lucia especially was glued to the stage as the actors performed a magical production. Camille did get a little bored towards the end; how dare they keep talking when we have more Abba songs to get through.


As we left, with an hour to spare before the train, we made a quick dash for one last shop on New Bond Street, although when we got there, the shop was nowhere to be seen. The only thing that did show its face was the rain that required Noah to build his big ruddy boat. Lucia didn’t have a rain coat, Hayley and I were wearing a single layer and Camille was happily tucked up under a blanket in her tripper. We rushed down the street lined with boutiques desperately trying to find a taxi to take us out of this rain drenched hell and back to the salvation of Liverpool Street Station. Unfortunately the whole of London had hailed every available taxi as they felt the first speck of rain minutes before and we were left stranded under a doorway opposite BAFTA on Piccadilly (which I kept referring to as Piccalilli all day for some reason). When the rain finally subsided to a mere downpour we made a break for Piccadilly Circus as it was flooded with cabs earlier on. We made our way past the first street to the left only to see a man jumping into an empty cab yards from where we were standing. I’m generally not an angry man, but my see-through wet salmon shirt was burning an untamed fire in my soul, but as normal I carried on without beating that man to a pulp. We finally got a cab half way down The Haymarket and made our way to the station.


Hayley’s birthday treats went into today as she was booked in for a pedicure at a well known top class local hotel. As we waited in reception for the spa team, Camille opened her mouth and vomited all over the carpeted floor, me and the rather expensive looking sofa. Poor little thing is still very sickly and really unable to keep much down. We cleaned her up (and me) and after Hayley had been suitably pampered we made a beeline for my home village where I was due to be playing in a Camille’s Appeal cricket match played between the Cricket Club and Football Club. I and Hayley’s brother had been called into the Cricket Club’s team due to a holiday or two. Having not played for up to ten years I was quivering like a leaf when the fourth wicket went down and I was due in to bat. I stepped out to the wicket and slashed at one or two, managing to nick a few runs before being caught attempting to pull one to the square leg boundary. James followed soon after and saw the ball as big as the Moon, but as he tried to spank Lunar into a new orbit he managed to find the fielder at Mid-on and was out for a golden duck. He did redeem himself when we were put into field by taking a long looping glorious catch, but then I started to feel the heat. How was I going to make amends for my dismal batting display? The captain Gary tossed me the ball and I lumbered up for my first bowl in many years…..WIDE. The ball was stopped by the slip catcher and I was beginning to think I should have quit while I was losing. As I skipped up for my second ball I saw the red missile heading back towards the slip when the batsmen leant out to skew the ball straight into my old football partner’s bucket like hands. I was feeling pretty good, and after another wide, I managed to get another batsmen caught behind I was walking on air.


We won the game with ease and it was the end to a great weekend. Camille remains pretty sick. We do have the scan and kidney test this week so we really need some positive news. Fourteen months down and we need to be moving forward.