Rory Gardiner's Webpage

23, Oct, 2009

Friday 23rd October 2009


The days at Whakapara pass by quickly.  It's quite a change to the slow days in Starship.  There always seems to be plenty to do, and we are lucky it is sunny and warn.  As much as I would like to keep Rory permanently away from a hospital I'm afraid it remains a necessity in his life.  Today we made a visit to Whangarei Hospital to get the plugs and dressing changed on his Hickman line, and for a blood test.  I was going to get the Nurse to put a new Insuflon in Rory's leg but he opted to leave it out.  Rory understands this means he will need an injection into his thigh if he needs GCSF before we return to Starship, rather than into the Insuflon plug.  It is good to be able to give him the choice, and interesting he would chose a little more pain to get less 'apparatus' attached to his body.  It will be wonderful for him to be free of it all by Christmas.  Rory's blood test today showed his white blood count had dropped to just over 6 in 48 hours without the daily GCSF injections, and his neutrophils to 3.6.  I discussed this with Nurse Nicola at Starship, and we will be giving him a GCSF injection on Sunday, then checking his blood counts again on Tuesday morning.  Dr Stephen also called.  Rory's heart and liver function tests show they are still operating within 'normal range' so there is no need to alter the chemo protocol.  This is good news, but I always remain wary until I see the reports, as operating within 'normal range' can disguise an insignificant deficit.  Rory's hearing loss is considered to be Grade 2, which translates to no change to the chemo protocol.  We will discuss this further with Stephen when we return on Wednesday.  The fourth round of chemo is almost certainly going to result in further hearing loss for Rory, increasing the likelihood of hearing aids. 

The boys spent the day playing around Whakapara yesterday (Thursday).  As well as making lemon juice, they made playdough creations, threw the Frisbee, built with the lego, snoozed in the hammock on the deck, and watched a little tv.  We made a brief trip into town and the boys enjoyed looking in the pet shop.  We received a letter in the mail from the staff at Leading Edge Communications in Whangarei (Hannah Milich, Diane, Josh and Summer).  They sent us some petrol vouchers to help out with our travel costs.  This was a lovely surprise and very much appreciated (thanks everyone).