The challenges of winter

This morning we managed to take the kids to the park. The past few days the weather hasn't been the best and this morning it was sunny. I do suspect it will be raining a little bit later on, so it was great just to get out of the house for a little bit.

I have to admit that I enjoy the way things are now. It feels pretty ordinary and that's great.

But I guess things will become harder as we go into winter. It tends to rain a lot here and of course winter walks hand in hand with colds and flu and lots of other bugs, so we will be a bit limited in things we would actually be able to do with Bianca and places we would be able to go to, as we do have to try and limit her exposure to people displaying obvious signs of illness.

That's where it becomes tricky meeting people or inviting people over or going to visit people - it always has to come with a "as long as there are no signs of illness" and more often than not unfortunately somebody has a runny nose or a cough and the visit has to be postponed. As I said before no matter which way you look at it it is always isolated - either we take many more risks, Bianca becomes ill and has to be isolated or we isolate her more to prevent her becoming ill.

Sometimes I wonder what things will look like when we are all done with treatment - will I have become this totally neurotic and overprotective mother or will I be able to relax and not care too much if Bianca gets a runny nose or a bruise or two (and the same for Caitlyn)? For over 2 years we would have been totally zoned in and focused on things like signs of illness, the possibility of picking up bugs, that swimming pools need to be avoided and so on, so it's like adopting a whole new lifestyle. But that's still many months away before we reach the end of treatment and for now, we'll just "protect" ourselves within the boundaries that this illness has set for us. At least it does feel pro-active, that we are actively doing something and at least it does feel safe, because as long as we actively treat the cancer, Bianca has a good chance to recover fully!

Last night Terence did a magic trick with a coin. One of those where he puts it in his hand, asks Bianca to blow and then it disappeared just for him to find it behind her ear or her head or under her arm or wherever. She was totally fascinated and asked him to do it over and over and over again. I love this age!

Terence started work on Monday and so far so good. The bus ride does take a bit longer than his train ride used to take, but it is easy enough so no complaints there.

And other than that we are still very much unpacking boxes.


LindaI said...

Gosh don't I know those feelings. What will life be like when we no longer have to Give our kids medicine?! Like clock work the chemo pills and steroids and more come... what will it be like with no more pills? I know on that day I am throwing a HUGE party!!!

And then there is, like you said, the caution of sick people and feeling like we are the party killers. Can't get our kids together if yours are sick. But kids are kids and everyone gets colds etc. I know... but life is different. a fever is not just a fever with us. It is a turn your day upside down trip to the ER in a split second fast ordeal. It is scary and I do not wish anyone to feel that fear.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lea,
Glad to see things are settling down. Laura is back at school today after her vincristine yesterday. She is loving this week of school as it is arts week so they are doing all sorts of cool things. I really hope you get one of the oncologists at Starship who will build up your confidence at letting Bianca be around people, as they did for us, there is a great team there. The other thing I wanted to mention was camp quality, Bianca is old enough to go on junior camp and it is coming up. She may love to go in a 'safe' environment and spend some time with other kids. I saw the co-ordinator yesterday and there is still places available.
Anyway take care

Annie Fox! said...

Hi Lea,

The ladies in my ward are all Leukemia patients, so I'm beginning to appreciate the length and difficulty of the treatments that Bianca is going through.

My niece was diagnosed with Hodgkins at 2 years of age and then at 4 years her liver failed and Hodgkins was found again. So although it wasn’t my child, I think I can understand the stress and grief you must have gone through. Six years on we are having our first problem with her bile duct. She’s been in hospital for a month now, but the liver is not rejecting, so that’s all good. Hodgkins hasn’t returned to date.

I’m up at Starship everyday I’m in hospital and I really enjoying watching the kids deal with their illnesses. Actually it is usually more of case of ignoring the illness, as they just solider on and enjoy their lives.

To be honest I think that it is harder for family and friends than the patient. I think it’s because they feel so helpless. But it’s the doctors and nurses that do the hard work – everyone else is just there for the amusement factor.

I know you would probably rather Bianca was on some Dexamethasone, but I’m jealous she isn’t – it is the hardest part of this treatment – which tells you that my treatment is not that hard at all really.

Feel free to link to my site – I’ve added you to mine.

I look forward to reading all your old blogs and keeping up-to-date with Bianca’s ongoing story. She really is very cute.

Kind regards
Annie Fox (aka Anna Woolf)