After having two very positive days, we were wondering what Tuesday might bring, especially as we were heading to Velindre Cancer Centre first thing, and the prospect of more General Anaesthetic (GA) ... something Cian hadn’t woken well from in the past!
So Tuesday morning, I encountered severe grouchiness and moaning!! But thankfully that was not from Cian but from Mum. However, she can be forgiven, as her sleep had been disturbed by Cian’s faulty mattress and the growing fear that we would experience similar transport issues to Velindre that we faced last week.
I know what you’re saying, “How can a mattress be faulty?”, well Cian’s mattress is self-inflating, and the air within it changes position every few minutes, which is supposed to minimise bed sores for those who are immobile for long periods.
Ordinarily, this is absolutely fantastic; but like all technology, when it goes wrong it can be a pain. So the faulty mattress sounded a very loud alarm at regular intervals throughout the night; which didn’t seem to bother Cian, but did have an adverse effect of mum’s fragile mood.
So to compound this, there was some confusion about what form of transport Cian would have to take him the mile to Velindre and at what time could it be expected. In the end, it did turn up later than hoped, but at least the transport was suitable.
So although mum was very edgy, Cian was in surprising good spirits considering he had been ‘nil by mouth’ since 2 in the morning, except for a few sips of water until 6 am.
When we arrived at Velindre, Cian was given GA and went to sleep. This process was administered through his Wiggly (I can hear you all say, ‘ah the Hickman Line’). This was much smoother than previous GA doses, as it didn’t need a gas mask (which frightens Cian), or through a cannula (which I’m told can sting a little).
While Cian was ‘under’ and the radiologists did their thing, we were sat down with the consultant to go through ‘consent’. This process I refer to a ‘positivity-ectomy’ as you are subjected to all the nasty side effects that are likely to happen both in the short term and the long term. These are things that are not only uncomfortable, but also life changing.. But however bad these are, we know that the end goal is to have Cian with us, and cancer free.
After about half an hour we were allowed into the recovery room, and wait for the moment of truth… Cian’s awakening… would he wake throwing punches as he has previously or would he surprise us.
While we were waiting, I asked a question that made mum wince a little and seemed to surprise some of the medical staff. I asked whether I would be able to see the images taken by the camera of the inside of my son’s body… which they happily obliged.
I was taken through each of the images by a radiologist and explained what each of them represented and how they would help in the treatment. This was fascinating, and although some may find it a bit creepy, my philosophy is that we are not just being subjected to this treatment, but that we also get involved in it. I don’t pretend to want to be an expert in any of it, but hopefully a greater understanding will bring a better appreciation of what Cian is going through and why.
Cian quietly woke from his slumber, not fighting, but craving… you guessed it, a ham sandwich and milk!
And the day just got better!! Amazing!!
Much less complaining about pain, and more just being Cian, which is just an incredible feeling.
Once we got comfortable back at the ward Cian was visited by a Santa from Caerleon Childcare based in Llanishen, Cardiff;
and Lee Selby, the IBF Featherweight World Champion! Cian, although hasn’t really been introduced to boxing as yet, he does know a fair bit about wrestling so he knew the significance of the belt that Lee brought in to show him.
Another plus point this afternoon was Cian’s cooperation with the Physio team, who had him, me and mum playing on the floor; which involved a few games whereby Cian had to stretch for toys.. he especially liked hitting his toy dinosaur who was attacking his helpless parents, and also shooting me with a nerf gun.
Yet another positive, was when the consultant asked Cian to wiggle his toes, and then he preceded to wiggle his foot… which was a surprising reaction.
We have to thank our friends (I won’t embarrass by naming them) who live within the short journey from Noah’s Ark to Velindre, and looked after Dylan and Bethany for most of the day. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves there. When I picked them up at 4pm, I was on strict instructions from Cian to return with a McDonalds.. which I duly obliged and treated the other 2 to a McFlurry each.
We also have to thank our ‘Essex’ family who sent us a parcel of goodies that arrived today. In fact we have received a few such parcels, gifts and treats from a number of friends and family; for which we are extremely grateful. It’s not necessarily the goodies (which are very nice) but the sentiment that always comes with them. We are truly humbled by everyone’s generosity, and I hope these posts go a little way to repaying some of that!
Cian fell asleep before 6pm this evening which has allowed me to finish this post a little earlier than usual.
It has been a very positive day that has smashed our expectations. We, and the rest of the ward has had a chance to experience the funny and mischievous Cian that close friends and family love.
I hope to share some of that pre-cancer Cian with you all in a later post.