Monday, 31 May 2010

Another Update...

I’m afraid that The Weekend (Part Two) has been canceled. I did intend to do another blog entry, but alas I got to caught up doing ‘normal’ things like work, playing with the kids, watching television and then to top it all off (and this is the real clincher) I had a stint of going to bed at a reasonable hour. Apologies to anybody who has been particularly looking forward to the details of what we did the Sunday before last. All I can offer are these brief highlights.
If you can remember back that far it was hot and sunny and Adam very much wanted to have the paddling pool out. Swimming, paddling pools, and playing with water generally, present two problems. First Adam’s Hickman line needs to stay dry, and second it doesn’t matter what activity Adam engages in we always worry about the risk of infection.

But it was really hot, and Adam really wanted to have the paddling pool out. So after a bit of ‘shall-we, shan't-we?’ we decided to let Adam have some well-deserved fun. We wrapped him in a good helping of cling-film and sealed everything up as best we could with a number of surgical dressings. Not their intended use, but we didn’t really care. And for the next few hours Adam played and splashed and laughed and shouted. When the paddling pool started to lose its attraction I got the sprinkler out. Almost one year since he last played outside with it on Adam was running around like a little boy without a care in the world. It was such a lovely day. As the sun began to fade we all sat outside and ate tea. And just for a little while we stopped worrying or wondering and just enjoyed the day for what it was.
During the week that followed Adam spent longer at school than he had at any time in the previous 10 months. Monday through Friday he went for first playtime after 10am and then stayed through until 1pm, having his packed lunch alongside the other children. The last time Adam had lunch at school was early July 2009. He expressed a desire to stay for the whole of the afternoon too, but when his Mum went to pick him up it was clear he was ready for home. He simply didn’t have the stamina for a longer stay. However, after a couple of quiet hours at home resting up he was more than ready to start playing again when Jake and Jessica returned home from school.
Since Adam's last session of chemotherapy things have been different at home. The side-effects of these drugs have been less severe. Adam has been well in himself both during and after, and hasn’t required any supporting medication other than the normal pills and supplements. No transfusion, no hospital visits other than this morning for a full blood count. His counts had been holding up extremely well until the end of last week. They then dipped a bit so that his Neutrophils (the infection fighting component in white blood cells) fell to 0.8. His platelets are now 163, having been over 200 for most of the last two weeks. So we don’t yet know if he’ll be starting chemo again tomorrow, or have to wait until next Monday. The magic numbers are 1.0 (Neuts) and 100 (Platelets) so it’s borderline at the moment. Unlike several other occasions I’m less concerned that chemotherapy starts this week rather than next. I’m not entirely sure why to be honest.
Some of the changes we’ve made to support Adam - organic diet, supplementation, fresh juicing, goat's milk, apricot kernels, cutting out sugar, Life Mel honey, Traumeel S, and others are progressing quite well. The major challenge is Alison’s - trying to fit everything into some sort of daily routine. One of the supplements, for example, requires no other intake for an hour or two either side of it. We’ve made a start but there is still more to do. Nuts and seeds, in particular, haven't met with a very positive response.
This weekend has been another fun one, this time despite the weather. On Saturday Adam attended the Cancer Research UK Little Star Awards Party at London Zoo. Of the 301 children who received a Little Star Award in 2010 for their bravery in battling Cancer, 21 were invited to the party to represent the larger group. The party itself was held in one of the function rooms and both Adam and Jessica enjoyed themselves. Then afterwards we spent 2+ hours wandering around London Zoo looking at the animals. The Lions, of course, were sleeping as usual.

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