A wonderful week in Devon and Pete returning to work

We’ve returned from a wonderful week on holiday in Devon.  Holidays are always special, but for us this was particularly so.  For months and months we weren’t sure if we would ever have one again as the 4 of us, and we just feel so privileged to have a family holiday away.  It was very good for the soul.

Particular highlights:

  • Both girls really loving it!
  • Eloise getting stronger – she is much sturdier on her feet, is much less tired than last week and her infection seems to have improved.  She was the best she had been in ages on holiday.  Great timing!
  • No hospital trips!!  Community nurses visited just before we left, and an hour after we returned home 😊.  We had one (planned) virtual meeting with Eloise’s oncologist and nothing else!
  • Anna loved bodyboarding, Eloise enjoyed time on the beach (carefully clothed to avoid sand in her hickman line in her tummy, and her NG tube), and both girls enjoyed watching the boats, catching a ferry, crabbing and rock pooling etc etc.
  • A special meal out at The Yard (Mel’s aunt and uncle own The Yard and opened it early so we could have a meal out together safely – our first meal out as the four of us in over 20 months!)
  • For one week we felt like a semi-normal family….except the meds, chemo and night NG feeds (see pic below of Mel beginning to make up the twice-daily chemo). 
  • Eloise started a new chemo drug (which we administer twice a day) and so far seems to be tolerating it well.

Yesterday Pete and Anna also made it to church (Emmaus Road) for the first time since lockdown.  Pete and Anna went, and Mel and Eloise stood outside and went for a walk in the sun.  It feels less risky now as we no longer have to self-isolate if we come into contact with Covid (previously this could became a real problem for Eloise’s treatment).  That said, unfortunately we still have to keep Eloise away from general infection risk whilst she’s on chemo for the next year…and we still can’t afford to catch Covid.  It was lovely for Anna and Pete to go to ‘real church’ again (as Anna described it) and she loved it!  Online church has been fab but it was also lovely to see people who we haven’t seen for ages and to also be reminded of the community around us.  We know people are praying for Eloise and us all, but its sometimes wonderful to see people in the flesh and be reminded!  A church community is such a gift.

The week ahead marks Pete ‘properly’ returning to work.  He’s worked a few days over the summer, but this week he is back ‘properly’.  We have been so blessed over these past months as our work (EPG/ARK and the FCDO) have both been really supportive in allowing us to take time off (a mixture of paid and unpaid).  Mel is going to continue a sabbatical and Pete will return properly (unfortunately as Eloise can’t go to childcare whilst on chemo and has so many appointments, working isn’t an option for us both). This will take some adjusting to, and most of the time will be fine….but with Eloise, there is the 20% of the time when things don’t go to plan and there are many unexpected hospital trips/hospital stays, appointments, scans and challenges.  Plus all the chemo and meds.  The logistics of looking after Eloise and looking after Anna with school runs (and even a couple of weekday clubs to give her some normal-kid life!) is going to be interesting. 

How do we feel?

  • Refreshed after a lovely holiday in Devon
  • More like a ‘normal family’ – we have done a normal thing and actually gone on a holiday!
  • A little apprehensive about the next few weeks with Pete returning to work – the logistics, the unexpected situations/hospital trips, and the caring for Eloise on chemo whilst also looking after Anna will be a juggling act. 
  • The outcome of the next scan is also always in the back of our minds/emotions too…

For those that pray:

  • Give thanks that at Eloise’s last scan there was No Evidence of Disease!  Pray this continues!
  • Give thanks that Eloise is having this maintenance chemo in the UK and so far seems to be tolerating the regime well. 
  • Give thanks that Eloise doesn’t appear to be having any seizures. 
  • Pray that we adjust well to Pete returning to work and all the juggling of appointments and cancer-life etc.
  • Pray for the long term effects of Eloise’s treatment, including getting some support with her eyes
Preparing chemo meds in Devon

8 thoughts on “A wonderful week in Devon and Pete returning to work

  1. What a really lovey email. Praise God. I continue to pray believing the favour if God to rest heavily on Eloise and her family.

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  2. We are glad to know that you are happy and coming back to normal life and also praise God for His grace up on you as a family.

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  3. So pleased that you managed your holiday away, you all did so well. Praying for you all through this new transition and through the prayer points. Think of you often. Xxx

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