Rory Gardiner's Webpage

19, Jan, 2010

Tuesday 19th January 2009


I know my experience with cancer has made me appreciate life more, and negotiate bumps in the road with greater calmness and acceptance.  This afternoon when the boys and I got back to our car after the meeting at the Ministry of Education a woman had hit the back of it as she attempted to park her car in the adjacent car park.  She has caused several hundred dollars of damage.  Thankfully no one was hurt, and the woman was still there so I was able to get her contact details for our insurance company.  I don't think I missed a beat during the whole situation, although the boys were nervous and a little afraid. 

This morning the boys and I went back to Kaitake Golf course with Nana for 9 holes of golf.  Rory played four out of the nine holes.  In between playing he and I collected objects for his science table; a magpie feather, a banksia cone and flower, and more gum emperor moth cocoons.  As I collected the cocoons two fat kukupa were sitting on low hanging branches above my head in the gum tree.  It was a pleasure to quietly watch them.  Sam is showing a talent for golf but gets frustrated when he has poor shots in amongst the great ones.  This afternoon we met with Special Needs staff, Linda Rawiri (Kaitakawaenga) and Sue Richardson (Occupational Therapist), from the Ministry of Education.  They will be making a High Health needs application for Rory to get assistance for his needs at school.  This would be in the form of a teacher aide to ensure he gets equal access to education.  Rory's Oncologist, Dr Stephen, has input, and his school signs off on the application.  If it is approved Rory will be allocated a set number of teacher aide hours per week.  There is a possibility I may be able to act as his teacher aide, but this is at the discretion of the school.  A Care Plan will also be developed for Rory at the start of the year to ensure his well being. 

Yesterday (Monday) Rory had his first session with Physio Sharon Taylor in the water at the Aquatic Centre.  He really enjoyed it and I think it will aid his recovery.  The activities Sharon prescribed were; holding a ball underwater, walking, frog jumping, climbing up stairs and sliding down the slide, duck squats underwater popping up and making a two foot landing, diving off the side (sitting and standing), throwing and catching a ball (two handed from the chest, over his head, from the shoulder), kicking on his tummy using a flutter board, kicking on his back with a flutter board, playing piggy in the middle.  Sharon showed Rory and I the correct way to complete the activities, and how I was to support him.  Rory has freedom in the water and it is a wonderful thing.  If he falls, stumbles or slips the water catches and cushions him. there is no pain or embarrassment.  He recovers quickly and continues the activity, often laughing.  Involving Sam means the activities become a game.  Rory managed 30 minutes of therapy.  It was a lot to take in and he has to concentrate and work hard to complete the tasks so gets tired.  Even so he still had energy for some free play and it made me smile to see him wrestling Sam in the pool, fearless.  After lunch Rory had a therapy session with Clare and Paula at Taranaki Base Hospital.  They had organised a cooking session so Rory made chocolate fudge.  He smashed up the biscuits, measured the ingredients, did the mixing, and pressed it into the time.  Lucky for us we got to take half home!  I discussed with the OT a couple of things I have noticed; Rory is struggling to position himself at a table i.e. push a chair in and out while he is in it, he cannot open doors with a closer on them, and he sometimes has to think hard to remember recent events.  When we got home it was hot so he and Sam cooled off in the paddling pool with the neighbours boys and there was a fair amount of water flying.