Happy 18th Birthday Rory

18th Birthday Rory Childrens Ward

Today is Rory’s 18th Birthday.  Twice it has looked like Rory would get no further and yet today he is officially an adult.  I am overwhelmed with emotion.  He has endured so much with courage and quiet stoicism.  We are proud of him and so grateful we get to share this day with him in our small bubble.  Thank you to Grannie and Grandad Gardiner, Nana and Poppa Honnor, Sam and Caitlyn, Uncle Guy, Auntie Teri, Gabby’s Starlit Hope (Sarah and Angel Gabby), good mate Jeremy and the Poole family for your love, calls, cards and pressies.  Unfortunately Rory had to come into the Hospital for a blood test this morning prior to our scheduled trip to Auckland.  It was really touching when the lovely Nurses and Play Specialist on Ward 2B sang him Happy Birthday when he walked through the door.  They had put up a birthday banner in his usual room, baked him a chocolate cake and gifted him a lego set.  I heard one of them say to another patient “it’s one of our boys’ birthdays”.  There was a lump in my throat. 

We got the best news on Wednesday night when Dr Stephen called.  The MRI scan of Rory’s spine was clear of cancer.  We were very relieved as we had been expecting the worst.  There is some swelling at the base of his spine which we will keep an eye on.  I talked to Dr Stephen about the pathway forward.  Rory has not had a lot of chemotherapy post-surgery.  The chemotherapy pre-surgery had only killed 50% of the tumor.  There still could be cancer cells alive within Rory’s system.  The biggest threat to Rory’s life currently is spread or reoccurrence of osteosarcoma so we have decided to return to Auckland and push on with chemotherapy.  We will be living on eggshells, taking things day by day depending on the situation with Covid19.  We will head home if the balance tips in favour of it being the better option for Rory.  A lot has changed in the short time since our last visit.  We have received letters which allow us to travel between regions and to enter the Auckland Hospital complex.  It is now only one parent on 27A (Clinic) and 27B (Ward).  No siblings or visitors are allowed.  The rooms at RM House are closed.  Families can only stay in self-contained apartments.  There are a few of these in the Domain House and more in Grafton but it looks as though we will be placed in the Waldorf St Martins Apartment Hotel. 

Rory’s blood test this morning shows he is no longer neutropenic.  I felt sorry for him having to be a pin cushion on his birthday.  The Phlebotomist at the Lab couldn’t get any blood out of him because his veins are either collapsed or heavily scarred.  He had to have his port accessed to draw blood.  His haemoglobin has declined a little but seems to be holding, however his platelets have declined to 28.  I had suspected this as he had a large nose bleed in bed last night.  Rory does not need a transfusion but his platelets need to be 50 for the next dose of methotrexate.  The plan is for a repeat blood test on Sunday morning.  If his platelets are 40 or above we will travel north, if not our trip will be delayed a couple of days until Tuesday when hopefully they are climbing. 

Happy 82nd Birthday to Poppa Honnor for Thursday.  Xox