Rory Gardiner's Webpage

21, Aug, 2009

Friday 21st August 2009


When I look at Rory sometimes it is hard to see the little boy who is in the pictures taken at the start of the year.  He is losing what we called 'the fuzz' from his head, and his eyebrows and eye lashes.  His eyes are red rimmed and have dark circles underneath them.  He is very pale and a lot slower and weaker.  The two things which remind me on a daily basis he is one and the same are his beautiful big green eyes and his cheeky personality.  Gail on the front desk at RM House calls him 'Handsome' and he is always thrilled to bits (the male ego in evidence even at 7 years old)!  It has been heartbreaking seeing much of the old Rory slip away this year as a result of the cancer, and the gruelling treatments the doctors use to fight it.  I can only hope next year he will be able to rebuild, and re-enter the world of children.  He has walked in an adults world for too long and matured too much as a result of it.  Something else I find difficult is being away from Sam during important moments in his life; receiving the gold certificate, going to the Dargaville Primary Disco tonight, and playing soccer tomorrow morning after a four week absence.  All I can do is visualise these things in my mind, and hope he is smiling and making the most of every opportunity. 

I think Rory and I are adjusting to the midnight wakeups, but it hasn't resulted in him sleeping in, it was a 5.45am start this morning.  We headed down to Newmarket to check out a couple of the sales and to try and find a suitable massager for Rory's therapy programme.  We didn't manage to find the massager but came home with a small Lego Secret Agent set and a board game (Blokus).  Both were supposed to be saved for the round of chemo on the ward which starts next Friday but they didn't survive the day!  At 11.30am we went down to the Child Cancer Foundation to farewell staff member Carol who has looked after us so well for over 5 months.  We gave her a little card and gift to say thank you.  Rory picked out another couple of sibling beads for Sam (green and a frog) and was thrilled when Carol gave him a Tintin book she had found in the store room.  We will both miss Carol.  When we arrived back at RM House there was a lovely parcel waiting for us from one of 'the girls' in the Naki.  Jo Brimelow lives at Normanby (who knows where this is) and she had sent us up essential supplies (lollies and chocolate) which were very much appreciated. 

At 1pm we went up the hill to Starship and Rory received his iv antibiotic and I picked up more milkshakes.  They come in 1ltr bags and he goes through a little over one in a session.  He is connected to the pump for 16 hours over night.  The milkshake is fed in slowly at 65ml per hour.  Rory completed a physiotherapy session with Rachel, and Rebecca who organised fine motor skill activities at the end of the mat when Rory had finished crawling.  Rory was very impressed with the stiff stretchy sticky yellow putty.  When we got back to RM House we caught up with Jocelyn, one of the school teachers, to pick up some journals and activity sheets, and Rory spent some time doing school work.  At 5pm we had a lovely visit from another one of 'the girls' Mands.  Mands was up from New Plymouth for her archery training.  She is off to Korea next week for the World Archery Champs.  Mands was the one who designed Rory's website, and she is an ace archer.  She has her own website too so we can follow her progress as she attempts to qualify for the NZ Commonwealth team (  After dinner Rory and I cracked open and played Blokus and really enjoyed it.  Rory had made a start on the Lego set earlier in the day.  Lego still has amazing pulling power.  Rory loves it and we build for hours.  I remember doing the same as a child.  In fact Nana Honnor still has all the lego Guy and I played with as kids, and the boys use it when they are in New Plymouth.  I'm never very thrilled when they laugh at how old fashioned some of the creations are.