Rory Gardiner's Webpage

10, Aug, 2009

Monday 10th August 2009


Rory's immune system is at rock bottom.  The doctor today said it couldn't get any lower, but will hopefully show some recovery by Friday as a result of the daily GCSF injections to boost his transplanted stem cells into action.  Rory is at high risk of infection and I have to take him straight to the ward if he gets a temperature.  The doctor advises to keep him away from people, although very small numbers of healthy people is ok  We already wash and sterilise our hands 10+ times a day.  The doctor said it isn't worth wearing a mask as they aren't particularly effective.  This poses a dilemma.  I can't keep Rory confined to the room at RM House for days on end, yet everywhere we go there are people (this is Auckland).  So I have made the decision to avoid crowds and enclosed places, be paranoid about what he touches, and avoid being around unwell people.  Other than this I try and get him out into the fresh air doing something new and enjoyable every day.  It is hard to fill in his day away from home, devoid of other children (the RM House school is now a no go). 

This morning we walked down to the Auckland Art gallery to see the Rita Angus paintings.  I never realised there were so many, several I recognised.  Rory and I both liked her colourful oils on canvas.  There was also a collection of Goldies, and we stopped in front of Rorys ancestor Tamati Waka Nene, a Nga Puhi warrior and chief.  Rory thought the fact he was related to this man was something to be proud of.  On the way to the Art Gallery we stopped at Albert Park and fed the rock pigeons.  There was one white pigeon amongst the grey which Rory thought was special (see if you can spot it in the photo)!  We got back to RM House in time for me to administer the GCSF for the first time.  Apparently I'm not too bad as a nurse.  After lunch we met with two of the staff from the Make a Wish Foundation to discuss Rory's wish, and how the Foundation makes it a reality.  Dr Stephen has to sign off when Rory is well enough to go.  If his wish is granted it won't happen until early 2010.  This may sound like a long way off but all we can focus on right now is getting him through each chemo cycle, and home for Christmas.  We know it can take months for chemo children to fully recover. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the hospital.  We saw Dr Scott as Dr Stephen was away.  Rory's platelets have recovered as a result of the transfusion, but will fall again over the next 2-3 days until everything starts to recover later in the week.  The daily GCSF injections continue until this time.  Rory was given another dose/push of Vincristine (the chemo drug), and the dressing on his Hickman line was changed, as was the Insuflon (plug) the GCSF is administered through.  The doctors have given me some Tramadol (stronger pain relief) for Rory over the next two days in case his leg pain returns as a result of the Vincristine.  At the moment he only takes Pamol when he needs it.  He has eaten a lot better today, but has little energy or stamina.  We met a lady from Dargaville today, Amy, her 2 year old daughter Indy has leukaemia and is being treated on the same ward as Rory.