On Thursday Pete and I were walking into Anna’s nativity when we get a call to ask if Eloise can come into the Marsden in a couple of hours’ time for a minor op for the insertion of a port later that day. We agree to it (of course we would!), continue to go and watch Anna in her nativity (she was Mary – proud parent moment) and exceptionally grateful that we got to see Anna in the nativity in person this year. We dash straight home for Pete to join work, and for me to take Eloise to the Marsden for another general anaesethic and operation. It was pretty rough on Eloise – she had to have bloods taken with no numbing cream, whilst being nil by mouth, and then had to have the MRSA wash… and she was already very exhausted, especially having had intrathecal chemo on Monday. Eloise tolerated it, and the fabulous Marsden nurses spoilt her with some bravery presents.
Eloise continues to be exhausted, unsteady on her feet and eating very little (therefore relying on her NG feed, which is also meaning she’s often waking in the night and we are all getting a lot less sleep). She really is, comparatively to a few weeks ago, quite weak. She always puts in a big effort but her energy drops significantly during the day.
But we’ve continued to try and have fun. We’ve had a Christmas celebration with my (Mel’s) family and have this evening had a doorstep visit from Santa (organised by the charity Momentum). Both girls were surprised – and Anna particularly chuffed.
How do we feel?
Christmas is an odd time – we feel utterly, utterly grateful to have a Christmas with Eloise that we statistically shouldn’t have had with her. That in itself is very emotional.
But it is also a sad time as she’s weak at the moment. It’s hard to look back to photos of her last Christmas and see how much the cancer and its treatment has affected her and ‘stolen from her’ this year. But also at least now her seizures are much more under control too. The treatment has been the best in the world and has been life-saving and means we are having this Christmas with her, but it has, and continues to come at a cost. We continue to think that the maintenance chemo is worth doing – if it increases her chances of survival, even by just a little bit, then it’s worth it – because nothing can really be done if Eloise relapses. We desperately want many, many more happy Christmases’ with Eloise – and our hope and prayer is for her to outlive us! So it’s a real mixture of emotions.
For those that pray:
- Please pray that Eloise turns a corner and gets miraculously stronger over the next few days in the run up to Christmas. She has no planned GA’s or procedures so please pray she can recover from a very challenging few weeks and can now get stronger.
- Pray against any further infections that could lead to another emergency hospital admission.
- Pray for Eloise to have an abundance of joy this Christmas!
- Please desperately continue to pray that Eloise remains NED. When Eloise is weak and poorly, it’s hard not to worry that something bigger might be going on. Pray she forever remains NED from cancer.