Rory Gardiner's Webpage

31, Oct, 2010

Sunday 31st October 2010

Happy Birthday to Nana Honnor, and Conor Wily, who celebrated their special day during the past fortnight.  It was neat to be able to celebrate Nana’s birthday with her, but sad for Sam as he wasn’t there to join in the fun when his good mate Conor turned 11.  We wish the distance between Northland and Taranaki wasn’t so great, so we could move freely between our two homes, and two lives. 

We continue to put Rory’s life back on track, to resume some semblance of normality.  As he has gotten stronger we have introduced after school activities; swimming lessons, and maths tuition via Clever Kids.  We have to closely monitor how Rory is coping as the risk of fatigue remains.  I liaise closely with his school, and there are ongoing issues.  Over the past fortnight these have concerned physical activity i.e. when, how, what to involve Rory in, how to manage his fatigue, and how to manage invited guests/tutors i.e. they need to be informed of Rory’s condition, primarily for safety but also to ensure he has equal opportunity.  Outwardly Rory appears pretty together but he has some restless nights.  He calls out for me, and when I go into his room he has his eyes open.  He remains asleep but often says “I’m scared, I’m scared”, and the other night it was “I can’t, I can’t”.  He can’t articulate what has caused these feelings, and in the morning doesn’t remember.  I have no way of knowing what has frightened him, he has endured so much, and continues to live a life vastly different to what it would have been without cancer.  He was keen to wear a Bandana for Canteen this week, choosing Dan Carter’s black design with a silver fern.  The other day he tripped on the dress up box on the floor of the boys room and his nose collided with the corner of the lego table.  We think he broke his nose, or came close to it, as it instantly swelled up and went purplish and grazed.  It stayed this way for over a week.  After the initial tears he was stoic about it, true to form.  We want to thank one of his supporters, Sandy at Hells Pizza New Plymouth, for another bag of donations from her customers this fortnight.  This money is gratefully received, and will pay for Rory’s tuition at Clever Kids this term. 

Sean, Sam and I are keeping well.  In around work and the family Sean is managed to squeeze in time to run, shoot his bow, and go fishing.  Sam attended a water safety course at the New Plymouth Aquatic Centre via school, and is continuing with his guitar lessons.  We have enrolled Sam for swimming lessons with the Inglewood Swimming Club, and the pool opens in a week.  I am enjoying working 3-4 days per week at Taranaki Regional Council (TRC).  I have been learning about the Taranaki Tree Trust, and easing my way into their work.  I attended the AGM this week, where I got to meet the Trustees, a passionate group of people with a wealth of environmental (and Taranaki) knowledge between them.  With my Manager, Rob, I have set my priorities for the next five weeks.  I have seven weeks to go until the next Gardiner lad is born.  He is growing and stretching, and I find I am more tired at night.  I enjoyed a day ‘out’ this fortnight in Wanganui catching up with my good friend Tim.  He and I went to Otago University together, and have forged careers in conservation.  Our paths have crossed frequently.  We crammed plenty into our day; in addition to yakking; the Durie Hill internal elevator and war memorial, a visit to Kai Iwi beach, a walk around Westmere Lake, and a tramp to see Ratanui (the largest northern rata in NZ) at Bushy Park (Forest and Bird reserve). 

As a family, Sean, the boys, and I have filled our weekends.  We spent a day in Mokau with Jason, Wendy, Logan and Mikayla.  We tried whitebaiting (we only caught 12 fish), set the flounder nets (our one dab was undersized so thrown back), had a mud fight, stretched our legs on a beach walk (I busied myself collecting flowers from garden dumped plants on the banks and cliffs for Nana for her birthday), and went fishing for kahawai.  On Nana’s birthday we had a buffet lunch with the family (Nana and Poppa, Uncle Guy, Sacha and Corbyn), then we took Nana and Poppa for a walk on the northern section of the Coastal Walkway following the loop back along the Mangati walkway.  Sean and the TRC Pesties had a field day at Mimi River on the coast in North Taranaki on Friday, and stayed overnight in some baches by the sea.  The boys and I drove up to join them yesterday morning.  It was a hot sunny day.  We enjoyed beach combing (Rory has a fetish for unusual rocks) and exploring the rock formations.  The boys had a swim, and ate a picnic lunch followed by a walk up the river.  Sean went fishing and came back with kahawai, speared flounder, and a barracuda!  This afternoon we went for a walk at the Araheke Scenic Reserve, and the boys had a swim in the Waiwhakaiho River.  Sam braved the rope swing, off the cliff path, and also swam to the other side of the river and back.  It is gala day season.  The boys and I ate sausages and bread and drank spiders for tea at the Highlands Intermediate gala one evening this week.  The boys also have my weakness for fossicking so managed to find a few treasures to bring home!