Standing still

It is hard to believe we have only been home for a week.  Under our ‘normal’ regime we would have driven back to Auckland yesterday for the next dose of chemotherapy to begin this morning.  It still feels like we are living according to this regime.  We have to regularly remind ourselves Rory’s treatment for osteosarcoma has been completed and we don’t have to go anywhere.  Rory had a blood test at the Children’s Ward on Friday.  His platelets were a little low, which would explain the intermittent nose bleeds, but apart from this everything is good.  Colt was sad Term 3 finished at school when he had only just returned.  He has been enjoying Saturday morning football and received Player of the Day yesterday.  Sam and Caitlyn looked after Rory on Sunday morning so Sean, Colt and I could go for a short tramp in the forest on Taranaki mounga, ‘our happy place’.  It has been so long since we have been in the wild I had almost forgotten what it feels like.  Our absence was evident in the fact Colt had outgrown all his base layer clothing.  We were lucky enough to have a Karearea (NZ falcon) fly over as we crossed farmland to the start of the track.  It felt weird not having Rory with us.  Sam stopped tramping with the family as he got older but Rory has had to ‘endure’ it longer because he needs support and supervision.  We are so glad he has had the opportunity to explore all the wild places he has been because most are now inaccessible to him.  We are continually researching ways to get Rory into the outdoors but Aotearoa really is wild; steep terrain, thick forest, narrow uneven root covered tracks and deep mud.  Rory is big and heavy.  Sean and I push him to our limits in the Hippocampe but this will not be able to continue indefinitely.  As we get older propelling a manual chair will be beyond us.  If Rory’s mobility continues to deteriorate he will need a powered device.  The cost and size/weight of an all-terrain version is prohibitive.  Rory will likely be relegated to urban parks and reserves, beaches and the odd barrier free track.  It is a very sad outcome for a boy who was raised in the wild.  After our tramp we enjoyed a family lunch.  Our family hasn’t been together since before Covid19 Level 4.  We have been in separate bubbles and keeping Rory isolated to minimise the risk he may catch an illness.  There was plenty of conversation around the table and we celebrated Ethan’s 18th birthday last week.