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Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay of my weekly blog. It has been a very hectic week, as you will read below.

Another week has been crossed off and Jess’ star chart at Proton is filling up. Our little girlie is half way there. What a great way to celebrate the half way mark with the arrival of Nanny and Pops.

During the run up to my parent’s arrival, I couldn’t help wondering if Jess would actually remember who Nanny and Pops were. We have been doing regular calls using Skype with all the Grandparents, but it did get me thinking that after six weeks of not actually seeing them in the flesh, would she have forgotten them?

All my doubts quickly faded away as soon as I saw the look on Jess’ face when she clapped eyes on Pops at the airport. Her little arms and legs started flapping with excitement. Jess was desperately trying to undo the safety belt on her stroller in an attempt to get to him quicker. After greeting Pops we then found Nanny. Jess was just as excited to see her Nanny. She was giggling, pointing and shouting ‘Nana, Nana’.

Sometimes I really don’t give Jessica enough credit. Of course she would have remembered them. She’s not a bleeding goldfish. Come to think of it, she is actually quite a clever little thing despite all the set backs she has had in her little life. She must take after her Daddy, as I have to say, I’m not the brightest flower in the bunch, unlike Jess who most certainly is and in more ways than one too.

With each general anaesthetic she has, every doctor examination she goes through, every MRI she has to encounter and every single does of Proton beam her brain takes, I become more and more proud of her. She is so brave and a true inspiration. Yes, we have the odd spout of tears, but she really does just get on with it. Nothing seems to faze her. Nine times out of ten there will be a smile that brightens up the dullest day. Even if she does get upset when a nurse takes her blood pressure, it quickly becomes a thing of a past. Well, at least until the next morning when we have to go through it all again.

I’ve found myself thinking a lot this week about what a normal life would feel like yet I can’t seem to remember. Before Jess got sick I couldn’t believe what stupid, unimportant stuff I used to worry about. What I wouldn’t give to just have to worry about what colour to paint the bathroom. To get depressed because I can’t afford this season’s must haves. Be in a mood because I’ve missed Monday’s Eastenders. Swear at the TV because Strictly Come Dancing clashed with X-Factor. Boy, I had it good back then. Now, my days are spent worrying whether or not the next MRI will bring good or bad news. Can I have my old life back please? I’ve learnt my lesson now.

If I ever had to give anybody any advice I would say please don’t spend your days worrying about the unimportant stuff in life. Appreciate what you have. Don’t worry about what you haven’t got and enjoy every single second with your kids.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow – Albert Einstein

Week six was a good week for Jess as we had the results back from her second MRI since treatment started. It showed that her tumour had stayed at the same size as week five. This was brilliant news. In an ideal world we would have loved them to have said that it had shrunk slightly but we will take no growth any day of the week. Well-done Jessie! She had a bit of a meltdown last Monday but once she got it out of her system she was back to her happy little self again. A massive improvement on week five. Her sleeping leaves a lot to be desired, so sleep deprivation has kicked in for Ben and I. You should see the size of our morning coffees and I’m not even a coffee person.

It has been great having my parents about to help and they have really enjoyed spending time with their precious granddaughter (and daughter and son-in-law). It has been a rollercoaster of emotions this week for me. I’m so happy to see them, but yet at the same time, so sad. Them coming out has made me a bit home sick and made me realise what I’m missing back home. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to them again. At least we only have a few weeks left until we see them again. I can’t tell you how much I’m missing all my family and friends back home. It is going to be so nice to see you all again.

Week seven was struggle at the RMH. Even though we were and still are extremely grateful for what all the house/staff/volunteers have done for us during these past seven weeks, I got to the point where I felt that we all needed our own space.

It didn’t help matters when we heard that a few people had complained about Jess crying in the middle of the night. This really pissed us off. So we packed up our things and moved into a lovely two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment complete with a pool and a gym! All courtesy of the NHS. I’m very proud of us all for doing seven weeks at the RMH, as I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t be able to handle it, but now we are on the home straight, we just want to have a bit of family/private time and act like a normal family – whatever that is – again.

Things such as being able to eat when and where we want to eat, sleep when we want to sleep and for Jess to make as much noise as she bloody well likes. She is a 19mth old receiving radiation to her brain ever day for God’s sake. I think she is entitled to have a cry every now and then. Don’t you?

We are so blessed to have this apartment but we will miss our dear friends Carley, Tyler and Tucker. These guys only have a week and a bit left and then they are off to be reunited with South Carolina and all their amazing family and friends. We are still going to hang out with them for the next week or so. Y’all didn’t think you could get rid of us that easy did you? Their little boy Tucker is such a treasure and doing so well. We are going to miss his sweet little American accent. Brightens up my mornings when I hear him say apple juice…so cute!

We all enjoyed last weekend with Nanny and Pops (even if it did make me a little homesick). The RMH held there 11th annual family festival that was kicked started by a 5K run at 8am. I’m proud to say that Ben and I did partake in this and were left blown away by the number of people who were taking part. There must have been over a thousand runners! Ben crossed the finish line in 36mins and I followed closely behind him in 38mins. Not bad considering we were running in 80 degrees heat (yes, 80 degrees at 8am). Mental note to ones self… do more pelvic floor exercises!

After the run, Jess then took part in the ‘tot around the block’ and received her first ever medal. So sweet. It made her Pops cry and it was a very proud moment for all of us! The RMH then laid on a few activities for the kids and a large buffet for the runners. I found the buffet a little strange as it consisted off pizza, cookies, cans of full fat Coke and slabs of chocolate cake. I mean this was at 8.30am!

However, I did find myself tucking into a few cookies. What? My sugar levels where low, what can I say? Pop’s enjoyed his first ever American cookie and it definitely didn’t turn out to be his last. Dad took to American food like a duck-to-water, much to Mum’s disgust. Mum on the other hand is struggling a bit being the size zero she is (why-oh-why couldn’t I have her genes).

So with week seven nearly in the bag we are on our family count down to coming home. It looks like Jess is going to finish Proton around October  17th so fingers crossed our flights home will be brought forward by a week.

Looking forward to seeing y’all soon!

 

 

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  1. Mel reynolds

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