Lots of reminiscing in the first post of 2015. 6 years ago on Monday Herbie literally tumbled into my arms and our family was complete. Born just before the sun came up on a rainy day in January we were thrilled will our dark haired little bundle of loveliness. He weighed 7lb 1oz (the same weight as one of our twins (Lily) was at birth although he seemed tiny after Rufus who just shy of 10lb) and was perfect. )
Last January he turned 5. It wasn’t what you want for your child’s 5th birthday. Having been admitted into hospital five days earlier (with a rash that his consultants thought was shingles) he spent his 5th birthday having a blood transfusion and feeling pretty rubbish. He was thin, tired and although he tried to be enthusiastic about presents and the balloons and cake etc it was obvious that it was to keep us happy.
Fast forward to this year, on Monday he turned 6! The first difference was that he was at home. The night before he was more excited than Christmas Eve , he couldn’t sleep. In fairness there was more than just the birthday on his mind. More of that in a minute.
The big day arrived and it really was a big day. Herbie wasn’t just turning 6 but he was returning to school for the first time since pre transplant. There were a few uniform issues. He no longer fits the school uniform. His age 5 polo shirts were replaced for age 8 ones! His trousers were elasticated! But he didn’t care one bit…he was going to school!
The birthday continued with an hour and a half in school (I was in the building as the line safety training hadn’t been given to staff yet) and then we returned home with more gifts to open. Herbie loved being back with his buddies at school though. Was I nervous? Yes, every cough, sneeze or runny nose around him makes me a little anxious. Was he? Not a bit!
This year candles were blown out and cake was eaten and plenty of excitement was apparent ! He requested a roast dinner with sprouts! Dan made him one of course. Another milestone met, another sad memory overwritten. As I tucked him up in his bed that night he cuddled me and said “Today was AWESOME”. Can’t ask for a better verdict than that!
Today we had our first 2015 outpatient appointment at GOSH. As we drove there this morning we found ourselves, once again, thinking about our first 2014 GOSH appointment. We remembered the shock of the discussion about BMT being the best option for Herbie when he was better. The tears on the M40 as we drove home trying to digest what we had been told. Oh how 12 months changes things. There were smiles, ‘happy new year’ greetings with the now all to familiar staff. We bumped into one of our fab Robin nurses, Lucinda, on our way in. We bumped into Helen, his GOSH teacher, on our way out. As we waited Paul Veys came to collect some notes and Herb shouted “I’ve still got my eye on you Paul Veys” making us all chuckle and prompting a mini catch up chat. Then Catey, from the BBC crew came to talk to us about the final edit of the film and what we could expect to see. It’s actually quite exciting!
In the appointment, Waseem was happy with progress. A steroid reduction plan was made and for the first time the hint of a wean time for cyclosporin was released from the bag. It’s a slow process for Herbie but worth it. All in all things are headed in the right direction.
As we went to make an appointment for 6 weeks time we bumped into Juliet and Sebastien , our friends from our time on the BMT wards. After a catch up with them and Catey, Dollan & Sam from the film crew we had promotional photos taken for the series before heading back home.
We are feeling positive…maybe, at last, 2015 will be a year to remember for positive & happy things. Friday we hit the 8 months post transplant milestone and next Thursday Herb is T+250! Time is flying!