I do, They do, We all do!

Aug 15 2010

Monday morning saw Hayley and I take Camille to Addenbrooke’s for her kidney test and MRI scan. On this occasion we had been dealt the perfect scenario where our scan would be viewed and discussed by Amos and Mr Garnett that very day and we would be able to stay on for a meeting in the afternoon. The morning and afternoon was like a military operation trying to get each element of the two tests organised in the correct order. The initial hiccup occurred as the doctors tried to get a cannula into Camille’s foot. She was beside herself with fear as the doctor poked and prodded her foot with the small needle.

Eventually it was decided that we would swap it around a little bit and she would be able to have the cannula inserted whilst she was under anaesthetic for the MRI scan and follow on to have the kidney test afterwards. With the kidney test, Camille is injected with a radioactive fluid (which they duly test with a Geiger counter) and then she has bloods taken at two, three and four hours after the sample is inserted. We hadn’t expected to see Amos and Mr Garnett until the end of clinic so during the third and fourth hour we went for a walk around the hospital grounds. On our return I was slapped on the hand by a stressed Harry (our specialist nurse) who had been trying to hunt us down as both Amos and Mr Garnett were sitting in a room waiting patiently for our arrival. Unfortunately the clinic waits for no man and they had to continue their appointments and we would have to slip in at a later time.


When Mr Garnett came back down to see us, we asked if I could go in by myself to start with to see the scan pictures. Hayley has done really well since Camille was diagnosed fourteen months ago never to have seen a scan picture and I don’t blame her. The original image I saw stills haunts me to this day and probably always will. It’s not what I could see inside the head necessarily, it was Camille’s side profile perfectly etched on the screen. Mr Garnett and Amos went through various images that revealed a slight improvement from the last scan. Nothing particularly obvious to an untrained eye but they did point out various things that were very encouraging, including brain fluid moving around the area where the tumour sits. They were both extremely happy as the chemotherapy Camille has been on is the “plan B” chemotherapy and in Amos’ words, he would have been happy with a stable scan result. Hayley and Camille joined us and we discussed where we are going to go from here. Mr  Garnett is now starting correspondence with Alder Hey hospital to investigate whether there are any benefits in Camille being operated on with the intra-operative MRI scanner they have in-situ. Whilst the conversations and meetings are taking place, Amos is going to deliver another round of chemotherapy over the next four weeks; this will then suggest that we will be looking at approximately six weeks until the operation.


It’s hard to know what to think about the operation being so close. We’ve sent Camille up to the neuro-theatres so many times, but never has the outcome been so important. I’m relieved that we are getting to this stage, it seemed like it would never arrive. We will be very scared and apprehensive for the next month or so, but as Amos said “that’s phase one complete”. We will be one step closer to our little girl getting better.


This week has been Camille’s week off chemotherapy but for the whole week she has been threatening illness as the chemotherapy has knocked her blood levels for six. She did manage to hold off and have a whole week playing with her sister and going out with mummy.


Last week when I wrote the blog my cousin was in Rome with his girlfriend for the weekend. It was her birthday and we were privileged to know that my cousin was going to pop the question on Saturday. By Sunday when we hadn’t received a confirmation of the pre-nuptials I was getting slightly concerned that things hadn’t gone to plan. All was fine in the end and they came over to Ipswich on Friday night and we were able to go out to a restaurant to celebrate with them properly. Half way through my pan fried scallops Stevie said the words: “We just wanted to ask you a question; how would you feel about the girls being our bridesmaids?” Well, Hayley’s hands were splayed across her face within micro-seconds. She said later that these were the first happy tears she’s had in a very long time. We were all welling up with Hayley’s reaction and of course thinking about how wonderful it is going to be with Lucia and Camille walking down the aisle. We did get the happy couple to ask the girls in the morning whether they wanted to be bridesmaids and to be honest, we weren’t greeted with cartwheels and whooping, but they probably just need a bit of educating.


Stevie continued, “Which leads me on to something else. I would be honoured if you would be my Best Man.” I am over the moon that he asked me to take on this job. Stevie is a great guy and has lots of great friends who could have equally have been worthy Best Men for his wedding; but we grew up a few doors down almost like brothers; he was the one who would look after me because he was a year or so older, he was the person that I always looked up to, although he is ironically shorter than me. So, it was a treble celebration, and we managed to drink enough to make it seem like three celebrations. The planning now begins for the two of them and we are very excited for them and can’t wait for the wedding to arrive. As Hayley said, it’s great to have the really happy positive event to look forward to.


To top off a really positive week, Amos called to say that Camille’s kidneys are now back to where they were before the septic shock episode. This means that we have all options open for treatment again and we are not restricted if it depends on it. We can handle weeks like this, this has been great.