Rory Gardiner's Webpage

26, Mar, 2010

Friday 26th March 2010

Happy Birthday Poppa Honnor.  We send you lots of love xox

On Monday afternoon the children set up their homework books for the week, then worked on their Topic profile posters.  Kody and Rory worked side by side on the floor.  After school Sam had a swimming lesson so Rory and I had a play in the Therapy pool. 

Tuesday was a happy and productive day for Rory at school.  The day began with writing and reading.  I supported Rory as he worked through an adverb worksheet (we left some exercises out so he could work at his pace), and the class worked with the teacher examining a story called Journey to the Sea.  They children always enjoy going to the library, and finished off their morning with a game.  At one stage Rory, Kody, Adam and Brody (who sit together in a group) had a fit of the giggles.  It was lovely to hear their laughter.  The ball game on the asphalt has become popular at breaks.  We now have five balls on the go; two Skyballs and three rubber tennis balls, which are light enough for Rory to throw, bounce high, and are large enough for Rory to catch.  Children appear from all corners of the asphalt to join in.  The children have modified the game to catch the balls in their caps.  After lunch the class worked on their hand writing and had a session of music.  Rory played the glockenspiel with Miss Hallett until he got tired, then worked on his homework with me.  After school Sam and I went for a run.  Sam can now run 3km at a decent pace without stopping.  I let him head up the drive to the house afterwards while I ran the other half of the loop. 

I went to work at Whangarei District Council on Wednesday.  I am still beavering away on the final two chapters on my State of the Environment report on the Biodiversity of Whangarei District.  I spoke with staff at Auckland Hospital to finalise Rory’s next MRI appointment on the 20th April.  I try not to work myself up about the MRI results.  They have the power to gift Rory another 3 months of life, or cast him into the horror of relapse.  Our lives could change in an instant to a frightening, painful, difficult state where we could lose Rory.  I push this thought to the back of my mind.  I plough on with the attitude he is going to make it, cancer is something he has beaten.  I fight the fear.  As the MRIs get closer it gets harder, and on the day it is almost impossible.  Sean went to school with the boys.  In the morning they covered exploring language, spelling and reading.  At morning tea and lunchtime the balls came out.  Sean, being a bloke, attracted a lot of small blokes for action.  He was impressed with one of the senior boys who looked out for Rory, handing him the ball so he would get more turns at throwing, and shielding Rory from wayward balls which might have hit him.  After lunch Sean and Rory enjoyed a play in the therapy pool.  At the pool we have focused on getting Rory comfortable and active in the water again.  We throw the ball, wrestle, dive, duck under the water, and tow each other around.  Rory feels greater confidence in the water as it provides him with structural support, and cushions any falls.  Sam had his first soccer practice at Hurupaki Primary School in Whangarei after school.  He is going to play for Kamo Soccer Club this season, and has been reunited with the team he originally played for before we moved to Dargaville.  This includes his good friend, Lewis Miller, who he has been close to since he was 3.  He has been placed in mid-field which we think will be a position he will enjoy and be challenged by.  Sam is a good little soccer player who loves the game. 

Yesterday (Thursday) we had a short morning at school.  Rory completed a session writing pronouns, before we went to the Dargaville pool to support Sam in the Northern Wairoa Swimming sports.  He made the Dargaville Primary swim team for freestyle and backstroke (10 yr old boys).  Sam got second in his freestyle heat and third in his backstroke heat.  There was some impressive swimming from children at each of the schools present.  We left Dargaville at lunch time and managed to get some jobs done in Whangarei in the afternoon.  This included picking up some cheerios and sauce which the Mad Butcher had donated for Rory’s surprise birthday lunch at school today.  Rory’s teacher, Miss Hallet, has been waving her magic wand to make wonderful things happen.  I made sure I thanked the Manager, Ian, when he gave me the parcel and inquired after Rory.  We made one stop on the way home to Whakapara which the boys were nervous about.  Rory’s Oncologist recommended Rory be vaccinated against the flu/swine flu this winter as he is at risk of secondary complications.  Sean, Sam and I were also vaccinated to prevent it coming into our home.  Rory bravely volunteered to go first, and held my hand.  He didn’t move or make a sound.  I went next, then Sam.  Sam isn’t a big fan of needles and I expected him to make a scene but he was also stoic.  Sean came in last.  He is the biggest baby with needles, so Rory held his hand, and put his other hand over Sean’s mouth so he wouldn’t cry out!  By bed time last night our left upper arms were tender, like someone had punched us!