Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve!

It's one sleep til christmas and the kids are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited! I have to admit I am too although, once again, it will be tinged with sadness as it will be Josh's last. I have to say what an amazing few weeks Josh has had though!

First there was the Variety Skywest Joyflight on 14th which was such a ball (check out the photo of Josh schmoozing with Santa!) and all the kids were really well behaved. During the hour long flight we saw incredible scenery along the southern coastline from Albany to Walpole and back whilst Santa mingled, the flight crew served cool drinks and chockies and brought around colouring books. Josh decided he needed to sit with Santa on the descent as he was in the seat right behind us.

I had a christmas party for my old work at TAFE which was also great fun with the surprise gift of a very nice cheque for us from all of the staff members who donated money to us through Rotary East Albany. Thank you all so much. It was great to catch up with them all too, they are such fantastic people collectively and individually.

We also had a fantastic time with a ride on a Harley trike in to Carols By Candlelight for Josh with Santa thanks to Apex. You guys are legends, Josh loved the experience although he was a bit sore by the end of procedings.

We have had several bits in the paper (advertiser Extra last Thursday, Tuesdays Advertiser and on WIN news allegedly last night but hopefully tonight) thanks guys and Rachael in particular for giving us the opportunity to raise community awareness and thank everyone who has helped us on this rocky road. I have to mention our friends Tammy, Martin, Alex and Phillip who we haven't seen now for two years dropped off a fantastic present of some money this week after seeing Josh in the paper. They are so kind and although we are not starving, we are considering taking Josh over to Queensland again as he asks day in and day out to go again and this will go a long way toward helping that so thanks guys. Thanks also to Mira Mar Vets and Greg Kidd for offering to treat our little poochy for free. I did work experience with Greg years ago and he is a great bloke and really wanted to help. What a star.

We had a great time at our friend Annie's daughted Takiya's birthday party on the weekend. Great food, nice weather, a park, a great group of kids and birthday cake - what more could you want?! The kids were rapt to be there as they haven't been to too many birthday parties and they met some other kids to have fun with. There was even a bouncy castle, Annie did an awesome job of playing hostess, it was really nice to be there.

Yesterday we had a great day out with the lovely McKenzies who took us to the Alpaca Farm for Josh's birthday present. We actually saw an alpaca giving birth while we were there! The mum seemed completely unfazed, just standing there eating and getting pats with a huge calf hanging our of her! The kids all had so much fun running amok and being wild with all the animals then heading to Bartholemews Meadery for a honey icecream and a look at the bees. It's one of Josh's favourite places to go, he just loves seeing the bees making honey in the encased honeycomb window there, I have to say it IS mesmerising. We then went to their place for a spot of fourwheeler action and I think it was as much fun for Laughton and Laura as the kids! Thanks for an amazing day, we love spending time with you!

Josh had first go on the kids present last night- a new trampoline- and he loved it. They have bounced the thing to death already!!! We are looking forward to a great laid back christmas with a quick stop off at the kids ward in the morning for me to deliver turkey, salad and apple berry crumble to the amazing nurses for christmas lunch. We are then heading to mum and dad's for christmas lunch (Surf'n'Turf BBQ, YUM!) and then tea at Michael and Marysia's place for a run around with the other kids.

Thanks go to everyone who has been there for us in whatever way shap or form and especially to those who have and continue to donate blood. I hope you and your families all have an amazingly happy christmas and have your loved ones around you. Love and prosperity for the new year,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Big Day!!! And more chemo, ho hum...

We have finally got over the complete insanity of a five year old's birthday party now and have been getting back into the "normal" rhythm of things (ie. chemo and trips to Perth!). Josh had a fantastic birthday, thank you so much to all those of you who sent messages, brought presents or attended his party, he was absolutely over the moon to have everyone there who could come and you all made it a very special time. Of course there were dozens of parcels, mountains of party food and lots of noisy kids - I was in heaven!!! This is exactly what we had planned and there weren't even any squabbles or tears (other than Josh's daddy) which is pretty incredible!

I am so happy that the parties went off without a hitch and (thanks to Sanford Rd Post Office, Business Centre and Delivery Centre staff) we could afford to give him a real party with all the trimmings and instead of spending days cooking and cleaning up I got to spend the big day with Josh. The day started as it always does with me waking early to spend the time before the kids wake up writing his birthday card and marking the exact moment at 6.28am on 29-11-03 when he first entered the world with a few quiet tears and prayers for the future. This year there were possibly a few more tears than other years but they were all out of the way by the time birthday boy was up as crying was banished for the duration of the weekend.
It just makes your world come together to see the kids having fun together and just forgetting to be worried or scared and feeling...average for a while! We have also had a very generous donation of a considerable amount of money from Apex Albany this week and cannot thank them enough, they are true godsends and we will be able to cross quite a few more things off Joshy's "bucket list" in the next few months thanks to them.
Back up to Perth on Monday, just the two of us this time which in some ways is very hard and in others is easier. Chemo started late on Tuesday as it was not made until 2pm which meant we were stuck up there from 8.30am til 5.30pm, but I am not complaining as we have not had any overnight stays at PMH since Josh's first cycle after relapse in September even if we have been admitted to ARH. The week went very smoothly with us getting out by 3pm for the rest of the week and heading to The Sarlight Express Room, Megazone or Baskin & Robbins in the afternoons or evenings. We had the lovely Immie in bed next to us on Wednesday for her broviac removal. Three huge cheers for SuperKid finishing radiation and having her line out, great job guys!!! Josh was so excited to have a friend to play with and I got into some hard core colouring with Immie, she was such a little chatterbox, it was really nice to spend that time with her and Fee. Nothing like friends.
On Thursday Oscar was down from Wickham which was great for us as Josh LOVES Oscar to death. We are actually living in the unti Oscar and his family were in during their stay so it was a bit strange for him the first time he visited. The boys had a ball being rough and noisy and silly, they had such a blast you would never have known Os had a lumbar puncture and Josh had chemo that morning!!! We also got to see Damon, Laura and Jason - some other good friends who have moved out of the units. In under a month Damon will ahve a new sibling so I am very excited for all of them. It's always nice to catch up with people you live far away from, RMH is like a meeting place at times for ships in the night.
Thank you also to the girls at RMH for Josh's birthday present, he plays Hungry Hippos all day every day and I am NOT exaggerating. I come in and ask him what he wants to do "oh, I might just get those hippos out I think Mum..."
Now we are back home again we are gearing up for christmas and trying to get the rest of my present shopping done! Also aiming to get back to the gym which has gone by the wayside for far too long again. I had a great walk with my beautiful mate Tam last night and was reminded about how the simplest things often make us the happiest!
Love and lunacy,
PS. The other news is that Josh has hair!!! Blonde and only 1/2 cm it's true but so far it is hanging in there through the last two chemo treatments, odd for sure but he looks so cute and fuzzy!!! I wonder if it will be curly again or straight, it was so dark before so I am very surprised at the colour but you never know, it may change yet, stranger things have happened.