Rory Gardiner's Webpage

29, Jun, 2009

Monday 29th June 2009


Rory sat on the floor with his class at assembly for the first time today.  I sat on a bench on the side of the hall looking over a sea of heads, full of hair of earthy colours; blonde, ginger, brown and black.  In the middle of it all there was one bald child, mine.  He was singing along with the others unaware of the difference.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I often wonder why it had to happen to him, and strain against the unfairness of it all.  His future is going to be very different to his peers, he will have to travel a road they fortunately do not have to follow.  It involves pain and loss, and is strewn with obstacles.  As a parent it is hard to accept.  All we can do is fight, as he is fighting.  Today he caught the bus to school on his own.  Once it would have been a minor thing but now involves separation and a risk of falling without a safety net.  There was a hiccup this morning as he slipped on the stairs outside our house and landed on the ground frightening all of us.  But after a quick recovery he was down the drive determined to get on.  Ross Gillespie, the bus driver, dropped us off a big bag of kumara.  I only stopped feeling anxious when I arrived at school to find him in one piece in class.  At assembly today he received a certificate for Outstanding Achievement from Mr Russek, the staff and students at Dargaville Primary for finishing radiotherapy.  He was proud and smiling.  In class he is surrounded by Pete, Kody and Korie and seems completely at ease.  I am now at Tamsins desk, the only girl in the group of four, and  I feel a little outnumbered and like the third wheel!

We had a very quiet weekend.  Sam lost his soccer game and it was a bit of a disaster.  There were several long faces in the car on the way home.  At soccer the Waihue bus driver Ross brought his wife over to meet us.  She belongs to a local rural womens group and they have offered their support, and will be doing some baking.  This will be much appreciated during the long weeks of chemotherapy and hospital food.  The boys and I went for a walk on Saturday afternoon.  Rory covered 2.5kms on the gravel road and rode the rest of the way.  Sam helped push for a little while.  Sean spent Saturday afternoon working with our neighbour, Matua Clive, assisting with an outdoor education programme for troubled kids (Matua Clive is the local truancy officer).  Sean was affected by the experience.  The boys he was with are throwing their lives away while Rory is fighting for a chance to have his.  On Sunday afternoon we had tea, cake and a catch up with our friends, the Horne - Newmans (see Greg I do listen).  It was great to see Rory disappear with Nikau, Matai and Sam to play.  He obviously felt comfortable and safe to do so.  It was good for Sean and I to talk to Tracey and Greg, who both embrace a natural holistic life.  It is comforting to hear others place value in alternatives to 'traditional' western medicine, and believe in the value and benefit of our natural environment.  Sean was much enamoured with the tea and lemon cake produced by Tracey!