Thanks for all the comments and good wishes left on the previous posts. I’m glad lots of you are finding the blog useful and informative.
Tuesday night was relatively comfortable for Cian, and although he slept most of the day that didn’t stop him sleeping soundly for most of the night.
There were a couple of occasions where the nurses had to disturb him to perform their ‘observations’ , regular checks of his blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, pupil response etc, but he managed to drop back off after a few minutes.
I can’t complain, as those checks have been changed from every hour (which was necessary when he was very poorly at the start of the week) to every four hours. This allowed both Cian and I to have some well needed rest. I can’t say the same for the rest of the ward, as it would have been their first experience of my snoring!
It is always a lottery when Cian wakes up. Sometimes he will wake in a relatively good mood, but mostly (like this morning) he wakes in a degree of pain; whether it be from his head, back, tummy or legs. It’s then quite a challenge for us and the nurses to make him more comfortable, by adjusting his posture and/or giving him pain relief. Pain relief comes in the common forms of paracetamol and ibuprofen, but also some more specialist drugs to combat symptoms like nerve pain or stomach cramps. If all else fails there is a morphine based medicine we can call upon.
It is both heart-breaking and frustrating to see the little man in pain, as it is very difficult for us to assess whether any of our interventions are making the pain better or worse. It can also become extremely challenging to communicate with Cian in these circumstances.
His first job this morning was an ultrasound scan of his neck to identify juicy veins ready for his Hickman line operation on Thursday. Although Cian wasn’t in the best of moods, he was cooperative.
It was then back to the ward to see what the rest of the day held!
Nobody would want to spend time in hospital over the Christmas period, but if you have to like Cian, then there are lots going on to raise the morale of the children.
Today, we had visits by schoolboys from Barry (the place,
not a person) and Ospreys and Wales Rugby Scrum Half Rhys Webb who provided
gifts and chocolates on behalf of the Welsh
Children’s Cancer Charity LATCH.
Cian's brother and sister also popped into the ward to see how their baby brother was and spend some quality time with him in the playroom.
There was also a visit from players of Cardiff City Football Club, as some of you may have seen on the Welsh ITV News bulletins. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t have seen Cian in any of that footage as he slept all the way through it! That’s a bit of a shame as he really enjoyed going to watch the Bluebirds play Blackpool at the end of last season. This visit was organised by the charity Dreams and Wishes.
I also managed to miss the footballers as I was at Velindre Cancer Centre awaiting the arrival of Cian who was following behind in an ambulance.
This trip, Cian’s first venture outside Noah’s Ark since
being admitted almost 3 weeks ago, was basically a taster session and tour of the
place where Cian will be receiving his radiotherapy. Although he had already been ‘walked through’
in very simple language what radiotherapy is and what he will need to expect,
this allowed him to meet the people and see the equipment that would be
involved in his treatment. It also gave
the radiologists an opportunity to assess Cian as to how he is likely to cope
with what can be an uncomfortable process.
The session went OK, although there were some transport issues that hopefully will be rectified once treatment at the centre is commenced.
Cian was then taken back to Noah’s Ark where I treated him to a McDonalds, as he missed supper at the ward.
He’s with mum tonight, and I hope they sleep peacefully and
PS. I will expand on the work of some of the charities who are supporting Cian in future posts.