It's been a while since the last post - sorry! (Thanks to everyone that nagged me!)
Meg's recovery is going well, although a little slower that we were expecting. As I said in my last post we were home within a week of her surgery, but she was still extremely sore and needed quite a lot of help with things. Sleeping was a problem; she couldn't get comfortable because of the large wound, and she was having pain on the opposite side of her body where there was no incision. She did have us particularly worried at one point, because she came through to me in tears one afternoon. The pain had just become too bad, so I spent the next few hours trying to make her comfortable and speaking with the surgeons at the hospital. The pain did lessen somewhat, but even now she's still experiencing discomfort. One thing about children is that they think they can just carry on as normal after surgery, but I've recognized this time that even if Meg feels like she can plod around the shops, I need to limit that or else she ultimately will suffer with more pain. The other thing we have to remind ourselves of is that Meg went into this huge surgery, already on a down note. She was, and still is suffering the effects of chemotherapy, so it's totally understandable that her recovery is slower than if she had gone into the surgery on top form.
We had a visit from the local Lions representatives who came to meet Meg as she's been awarded a Lions Children of Courage Award. the ceremony is going to be held on Sunday 19th April at St Mary's Anglican Collee in Karrinyup at 10am. Meg's really nervous about it. She hates to be the centre of attention and thinks that everyone will be looking at her, but there will be lots of other children there who have also been nominated so hopefully she's feel more relaxed on the day.
Meg's behaviour has changed, and understandably. She's very fragile, emotionally as well as physically. She cries easily, sulks regularly and bickers with Ellie more than ever. As a parent, it's so hard to discipline a sick child. She can really "push my buttons" but I'm always so torn as to how to deal with it. She's been through SO much, more than even I can ever understand. On the one hand I want to wrap her in cotton wool and protect her from everything that could hurt her, and on the other hand I know the importance of keeping things normal, and to keep the discipline going as I would usually. But I feel so guilty if I tell her off for something and upset her. She's had enough upset in her short life, and I shouldn't be adding to that. Is this behaviour a symptom of what she's going through with her illness, or her being a normal 11 yr old pubescent redheaded girl, or a combination of both?
On 29th March, my brother Simon and his youngest daughter Jenny arrived for a 2 week visit from the UK. Ellie and Meg were so excited! We had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the airport which made it even more thrilling! It's great to see Simon and Jen, and Meg is having a great time being teased mercilessly by Uncle Simon which she takes extremely well! We also went down to Albany for a break and were supposed to be there for a week but we only lasted a day and a half. the weather was dismal, so after having sorted out all of our menagerie of animals, packed and travelled 5.5 hrs to Albany, we came home 36 hours later! Whilst we were there, our lovely big girl Ellie turned 14. As there was nowhere for us to get a "proper" cake, we improvised and made a stacked cake which we all ate for breakfast. There's a photo of Meg bringing Ellie's cake to her. Ellie got her first serious camera for her birthday and all of the shots on this blog were taken by her. So, Albany was a bit of a waste of time really but hey ho.....at least we tried! And it was good to see Kevan, Amber and Merrilyn who own Havana Villas where we stay. So we've been having a holiday from home. We've done Hillarys, the beach, Fremantle Prison and markets and went to the lovely Lisa's 40th birthday bash last night. It was wonderful to finally meet some of the gorgeous ladies who have cooked meals for us during Meg's illness, and to say thankyou to them in person. Today we're going to spend the afternoon with our lovely friends Ross and Tanya, for drinks on their beautiful boat and then dinner. Somehow we're going to have to try and fit AQWA in too before Wednesday, because that's the day we're back in for chemo and our freedom ends.......
So....we have three more cycles of chemo to get through and it just has to work. Our options are running out. Although they removed all of the liver tumour and there was no evidence of disease anywhere else in Meg's body, that doesn't mean that there aren't some rogue cells causing problems that can't be detected yet. So hopefully the next three cycles of chemo will blast any disease that may still be there and we can get on with a "new normal" life.
Thanks you all again for your emails, texts, facebook messages...... we truly, truly appreciate all of your thoughts and love coming Meg's way.