Forgive me, friends, for not telling you what has been happening with Isita and with us for several weeks. Since she got out of hospital in early June after the third cycle of antibodies, we have had the best three weeks since she first got sick, although not without the odd hiccup.
A week ago, Jamie fractured and badly cut the top of the middle finger of his left hand in a freak bowling accident, so on Tuesday we were anticipating having both children simultaneously under general anaesthetic in different hospitals. In the end the plastic surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster wisely added up the pros and cons, decided the tendons were undamaged and settled for a protective splint and a course of antibiotics, with frequent check-ups.
Isita did have her GA for the mid-treatment bone marrow aspirate and trephines. This is when they take samples of marrow and bone to test for the presence of cancer cells. We learn the result tomorrow (Monday) when she goes back in to start the fourth cycle of antibodies. We feel that Isita has never been better since all this started, but every test has the potential to provide an unwanted result, and so we hope for the best.
We are very pleased to be taking Isita back to GOSH on time and in great shape. It is one of our mini-ambitions to get her through the last part of immunotherapy with no more upsets or delays. Of course, we’ll roll with any changes to the schedule but it will make managing a manic summer much easier if we achieve this.
Isita will spend her last couple of hours at school tomorrow morning. She has gone in quite a lot over the past three weeks and loved it. The other amazing progress is that she is actually eating a bit of food and not spitting it out. Her favourites are potato salad with red onion, spicy doritos and hot salsa, and chicken soup. But she has also enjoyed venison and partridge – maybe because of their stronger taste. Over the past couple of days we have witnessed an important change in what comes out the other end – frequently number four on the Bristol Scale. Everything is so much easier when you don’t have to worry so much about accidents. Yesterday, we had a picnic under some oak trees in that wonderful wild corner of Hyde Park near Lancaster Gate where no one ever goes. It was like being in the countryside less than 100m from the Bayswater Road.
All being well, we’ll manage a week in the genuine Shropshire countryside in late July with a total electronic device black-out before Isita has to come back for her fifth and final antibodies.
A lot has to go right to make that possible. Both Marta and I are trying to work full-time and mostly succeeding. I have a lot to finish before I can go away. Then in early August, with Isita back in hospital (we hope) we are going to move house.
Mad? Possibly. I have to confess that nine months into our Shepherds Bush renovation project it is beginning to take up quite a lot of Marta’s spare time and energy – but honestly not yet mine. We have got this far without it taking up headspace – for instance I haven’t even mentioned in this blog – by simply outsourcing the management to our excellent architect/project managers and friends Michael and Sylvia, both from Sevilla but here in London and totally on our wavelength. The Ukrainian builder is pretty good too. They have just got on with it. Moving will be a different story, But Marta’s whole family are coming over from Sevilla and Cordoba in early August – not to move boxes – but to look after Jamie and Isita and to enjoy some cool damp weather. We are lucky to have them.