Things are still going well in terms of radiotherapy. Apart from the actual administering of the GA
(which literally takes seconds before he is ‘knocked out’), Cian is very
accepting. He also seems to be waking in
a better mood.

My guess as to why this is the case is that he is now more
alert and aware and therefore knows what is taking place. He also knows the majority of the people who
are around him. Therefore, the fear
factor has gone. I hope this will
continue as things will become much more difficult if Cian is reluctant to go
to Velindre.

The same daily routine takes place once we get back; Cian
has his medicines; Cian is visited by the physios; he has lunch; he is visited
by the play staff. The only difference
today, is that Cian is in isolation!

This doesn’t mean too much in terms of Cian because his
routine hasn’t changed… but it does make a difference for everyone else that
enters the room.

Once you are ‘isolated’ extra precautions are taken to
protect any persons entering the room and minimise the risk of spreading nasty
bugs. Also any waste leaving the room
must also be highlighted as coming from a room deemed ‘isolated’.

The bonus from Cian’s point of view is that these
distinctions come in the form of a colour code… and the colour that
represents isolation is…. Orange…. Cian’s favourite colour.

Therefore, all our bin bags are now orange and anyone
entering the room must wear an orange apron.
Unfortunately gloves don’t come in orange, and neither do face masks
(although Cian is not deemed sick enough to warrant the wearing of masks).

So first up today was a visit by the entertainer Jasper, who
in the style of Sesame Street, was brought to us by the charity Dreams & Wishes. Jasper’s delivery of non-stop gags, funny
voices and messing around has Cian in stitches (of the bellyache kind rather
than the surgical kind); and the fact that he also had to wear an orange apron
added to the fun.

Once Jasper was ejected, it was Physio Time. Cian absolutely loves physio, and has now
said to us all that his career ambition is to become a physiotherapist.. but
only to work with kids. It’s little
wonder at the moment, because all we do is sit around playing games! But the thing that he doesn’t realise is that
every movement is carefully choreographed so that his movement and strength can
be assessed.

Today was Caterpillar Scramble with the physios Ann and
Jamie. Cian likes Jamie, as he is the
only paediatric male physio that we have encountered.

Cian was also made to increase his unsupported sitting from 10 to 15 seconds, which he managed
relatively comfortably. Also, whilst
Cian was engrossed in the game, Ann regularly stopped supporting him so that he
was sitting and playing independently.

In the afternoon mum and I had a productive meeting with
representatives from Velindre and the Welsh Ambulance Service. It was to discuss Cian’s past, present and
future needs. So although it allowed us
to raise a couple of issues we first had with transport at the start of Cian’s
treatment, it also gave us the opportunity to highlight the great care and
service that Cian has been receiving daily from his NHS chauffeurs back and
fore to the Cancer Centre!

Just like all parts of the NHS there are challenges in terms
of resources, but the meeting was a demonstration of how committed everyone is
to make sure the best care possible is delivered; and where mistakes are made,
that lessons are learned and corrective action taken.

Just before I left to go home to look after Dylan and
Bethany, we were informed that ¾ of the ward patients were now in
isolation! It seemed more sensible now
to isolate the kids that were well and leave the others to happily spread their
germs… but on a serious note, there are a variety of bugs of differing severity
lurking… so some of the rooms (including the playroom) had been put on
lockdown and undergo a precautionary ‘deep clean’.

On the hope that Cian is allowed out of hospital for a short
time in the next couple of weeks, my mate Leighton came around to put some
finishing touches to Cian’s new room.

Just before Christmas I put out a DIY SOS to my friends and
family asking to help me convert a downstairs reception room to a bedroom for
Cian. I had help (in the loosest
possible terms as I hardly raised a finger except for making tea and coffee)
from a great group of lads who painted the room in orange and blue, and helped
move furniture around. My dad, eldest
son Andrew (who is 22 today, Happy Birthday!) and brother Gareth dismantled a
bed and organised the removal of ‘stuff’ from Cian’s ‘old bedroom’.

So Leighton, who is an electrician by trade replaced the
sockets in the new room, tidied up the woodwork, and helped put back up the
blinds and curtains…. although I’m sure Cian will want more kid-friendly
window dressings when he finally comes home to stay, as any trip home in the
next few weeks will be for a few hours rather than any overnighters!

So I would like to thank everybody who have helped, or have
offered to help in practical terms over
the last few weeks.