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Rory Gardiner's Webpage

17, Aug, 2010

Tuesday 17th August 2010


It has been an up and down week.  The holiday at Disneyworld, Florida, USA is off.  We couldn’t find a travel insurance company prepared to cover Rory for the two week holiday.  The cost of medical care is high in America.  The insurance companies assess the risk of Rory needing care as too high.  The words ‘cancer’ and ‘treatment’ (although the growth hormone treatment Rory is receiving is to combat the side effects of cancer treatment, not the cancer itself) struck fear into the insurance companies.  The trip was only six weeks away.  The boys are disappointed, but understand to go without travel insurance would be like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. 

Sean and Sam were lucky enough to be given free passes to the G-Taranaki concert (thanks Mands).  On Saturday night they joined thousands at the TSB stadium in New Plymouth to rock to Jennifer Batten (guitarist for Michael Jackson), Hail! (a collaboration of several famous international guitarists), and Slash.  They loved it.  Sean was a little tired on Sunday as he had spent Friday night in Wanganui chasing fallow deer with one of the Pest Management Officers from the Regional Council.  The boys and I took it easy with a DVD and takeaways. 

On Sunday morning we went on a field trip with the Taranaki branch of OSNZ (ornithologists) to Pukeiti Gardens.  Pukeiti is the largest rhododendron garden in the world, nestled in native bush at the base of Mt Taranaki.  It was enjoyable meeting new people who are knowledgeable and passionate about NZs birds (and native plants).  I particularly enjoyed seeing and hearing Bellbird (Korimako) which are largely absent from Northland.  The boys enjoyed exploring the many tracks, the giant rhododendron flowers which with imagination found many uses, and the water wheel. 

We met the midwife who will deliver our baby for the first time.  She told us what was observed in the 20 week scan was normal.  We have spent our free time painting the baby’s room.

Sam has been attending weekly soccer practice. His game on Saturday was cancelled, but on Monday he played in the senior inter-class soccer match at school.  His class (Rm 10) beat Rm 5.  Sam scored the only goal.  Rory participated in the winter sports skills session with the Middle group on Wednesday afternoon.  With my support he took part in the soccer session which Sam was coaching.  He really enjoyed it, and managed to get a few goals.  He has been walking around the cross country course during class training. 

One afternoon after school last week Rory went to his friend Luke’s to play for a couple of hours.  He was relaxed and enthusiastic about it.  I was anxious and uptight.  It was the first time I had entrusted Rory to someone else’s care (outside of family).  I have difficulty placing my trust in anyone else.  I spoke to Luke’s mother before he went.  Sometimes doing normal things requires superhuman courage and determination, usually from Rory or myself.  I want Rory to have a normal life (as much is possible), and be independent, so I steel myself and let go.  The play ‘date’  was a big step for Rory and something we quietly celebrated.

Last week Rory showed his stuff in front of close to 400 pupils, teachers, staff and parents at a full school assembly at Inglewood Primary.  The Middle group are running assembly’s this term, and Rory gave a 15 minute presentation on his journey with cancer.  He sat in a chair at the front of the hall with a microphone, reading from a paper copy of the powerpoint presentation I had prepared, which was projected on the wall (I am hoping it will be loaded on his website for you to see).  On a chair beside Rory were his Beads of Courage and radiotherapy mask.  Rory was nervous but focused.  At the end of the presentation he was tired but elated.  I asked Sam if he would like to join his brother at the front, but he preferred to sit quietly in the back out of the spotlight, as is his way.  At the end of the presentation I looked up and he gave me a smile and I gave him a thumbs up.