I have put this in bigger print, as some of my YOUNG friends are having trouble reading it if they can't find their glasses!
Well, we arrived in New Zealand's largest city last night... I'd like to say I know it's Maori name but I don't.... not even sure if it has one... The lovely staff checked us in to Ronald McDonald (RMcD) house and told us they had given us a large room down a quiet corridor. GREAT!!!! The corridor is indeed quiet... thank goodness... but after our luxurious accommodation at Grafton Mews (the other RMcD house) our room is exceptionally tiny. Logan's and my bed are exactly one bed space apart... under his bed is a pull-out bed should another person stay... they either have to be very thin (so they slide under the bed) or we squish them sideways against the wall... not much room anywhere else!
Last night, neither of us slept. Logan unfortunately had a very sore jaw/tooth and his gums were swollen in two places. I had taken him to the dentist on Monday. They took x-rays, but could see nothing but slow growing wisdom teeth. Consequently Logan was awake most of the night in pain... and I was awake listening to him being awake! He is not a quiet awake person.
This morning we got up early at popped up to see the doc at 9am. His mouth was unbearably sore. She took one look and said it looked as though the disease was back!
She popped out for a bit to get him a script (she said) but whilst out, Logan's pain became severe and he became dizzy with it - that combined with the walk up the hill from RMcD house was all a bit much for him. I quickly popped him on the bed and raced out to get some milk for him to take his pain killers with. Whilst out, I spied the doc. She was having a chat with the other cancer doc's about Logan... so much the script.
When she came back in, she checked him over and then told us the following:
- She is putting him back on dexamethazone twice daily (the steroid) to see if that will reduce the tumours
- With the disease coming back, she had had to choose one of the following three choices for Logan: 1 - to continue as planned for the next two months but adding dex for the above reasons; 2 - delay the bone marrow transplant and put Logan through another series of chemo the same as he has just already had in the hope of eradication the disease; or 3 - cancel the bone marrow transplant (when she said this my jaw dropped and I felt profoundly sick). Luckily she said she had decided on option 1 and that everything was going to go ahead. But she also said two other things: firstly, literature (little as there is) says that there is still a chance that the bone marrow will be effective even if he still has some disease at transplant time, and secondly, that unfortunately, the return of his disease has decreased his odds of total remission again....
- She will review him on Wednesday
11am saw us at the Radiation clinic. I must admit, both Logan and I were a bit apprehensive about the treatment... tears formed in my eyes as they clamped him to the table... and we made our exit. The staff are so kind, they let me watch him on the monitor. The entire treatment took approximately 4 minutes... it took longer to set him up and clip him in! Afterwards, Logan said the mask was very tight... and when he turned and looked the other way I could see what he meant... where his head had been resting, there were bright red blotches! They gave him 4 beads afterwards... one for being brave during his first session, one for the radiation itself (it glows in the dark), one for the x-ray that they took at the beginning, and the forth for dressing changes which actually applies to the cream that he is going to have to apply to his head twice a day to stop it getting irritated... I'm such a proud mummy :)
A quick visit back to clinic after the radiation, and we are told to come back at 3pm to have Logan meet with the diabetes nurse... blooming heck! Come 3pm... Logan is sound asleep, and when I suggest he wakes and comes up to the hospital, he says things to me that aren't very nice (or was that a song I heard), anyway.. I went to his appt without him. The nurse was a lovely lady... who provided me with another kit (as I had not brought our one, not thinking we would need it), and sent me on my way... Logan not needed after all... Also asked for them to organise a wheelchair for him as the hill up to the radiation is more likely to be the end of him than the disease at this rate! They are getting back to me on that one. . .
The dex seems to be working as this evening Logan is again pain free... the tumours in his mouth are still visible, but not causing him any pain now.... the dex has (again) begun to make him diabetic, but we are keeping an eye on his sugar levels and will see how it goes during the week....
Went grocery shopping this evening with Emma (a childhood friend of our family), who is a 2nd year med student. At least I know where to go now.... and we have a full pantry, thanks to Aunty Nola, and Deborah.
This evening we are chilling in our room... trying to pretend we are at home... we are grateful to the people who cooked dinner tonight for all the 120 residents in the house tonight.. they are a church group... lovely people. Tomorrow night the Kiwani's are cooking for us... it saves heaps of money, and it is fun to eat with lots of other people around... we are slowly making friends...
RMcD have kindly allowed me internet access on my laptop to keep up with emails and update the blog... Evan will also be able to use it for work, when he moves here next week.
MORE GOOD NEWS:
On Saturday we were told that they had found Brad's car. Details are sketchy, but we think the newspaper article may have done the job (big thanks to Maryanne Twentyman). Will keep you updated on what happens with it... hoping that the insurance company comes to the party and doesn't do him like a dogs dinner... he is with Club Auto, and it appears there is more fine print in their policy than in an Englishman's handwriting!
OUR CONTACT FOR MAIL:
C/- Ronald McDonald House Auckland
PO Box 110119
Auckland Hospital 1148
Direct dial to our room: 09 3658300 ext 827 (please leave a message if you miss us, so that we can text you when we are back in the room and you can ring again).
Logan and I will be here till Monday, then Evan takes over the room.
I will post the phone number for Starship in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit next week so I don't confuse y'all.
Keeping Logan smiling is our number one priority now... please phone, text, send cards, letters... anything positive...
As we end our day in readiness for tomorrow, we are grateful for all the friends we have... for the love they show, and for the life we live....
Arohanui everyone... photos coming soon :)
Tracy and Logan