Lately we have all been feeling the frustration of being in Sydney and missing home and our normal surroundings, so today we decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and enjoy some time out and about to boost our spirits. We decided we would go see “Madam Tussards” and the “Wild Life” park at Darling Harbour! The boys had a fantastic time exploring all the wax statues and modelling in lots of photos!
At the “Wild Life”, we saw lots of animals such as koalas, snakes, wallabies and even a big crocodile! Overall the boys had a fantastic day and enjoyed everything there was to see.
Kaden’s mobility the last couple of days has been amazing! Yesterday morning he decided to take it upon himself to walk up and down the stairs at our apartment. Over the last week he was able to make it up & down between 5 & 8 stairs at a time, but yesterday he walked up & down 4 flights of stairs, 4 times! Lee and I couldn’t be prouder! Everyday he is getting more and more confident and of course we’re seeing Kaden’s cheeky side again. 🙂
Much to the boys surprise, they are both enjoying school. Kaden even made a friend today which is fantastic! As the boys are only doing half days at school, it gave us the afternoon to head down to the shops and have a walk around. Kaden and Liam even sat on the seat together.
Due to the wet weather over the last few days, we have stayed around the apartments. This morning Kaden had another finger prick & general check up with the doc. Mid morning tomorrow he will be going for an MRI as part of the liver transplant work up. We’re also a bit excited to see that our big boy has started to grow some hair again as well as eyebrows and eyelashes 🙂
This morning Liam attended the hospital school for the first time & had a great morning. He made a star chart, played outside and even achieved a star to put on his chart for being ‘respectful’ 🙂
The school consists of one big classroom and has kids who are admitted to the hospital as well as their siblings. Today we received the official go ahead that Kaden can also attend this class so that the can catch up on the school work that his class is doing back in WA. Kaden is not too excited about the idea of attending school & having to do work again (besides the homework he does with us) but we’re sure that he will begin to enjoy school again and interacting with kids his age.
This afternoon the boys enjoyed spending time together watching a new cartoon 🙂
On Friday morning, Kaden had an appointment at the oncology clinic at 8:30 for a finger prick to test his blood count, platelets and neutrophils (immune system). While Kaden was at the clinic, he spiked a temp which is immediate admission for antibiotics and fluids. Normally for a fever it is a minimum 48hr stay from the last temperature spike unless something grows during this time, then its normally a week.
During Kaden’s stay at the hospital, he required a blood transfusion. Over the years I had seen the ads on TV, in newspapers and the blood bus parked at our local shopping centre and thought I must get around to doing that, little did i know just how just how important this blood would be. I knew blood transfusions were important for people in accidents, pregnancies, operations etc but never knew how important it is for a child / adult undergoing chemo. If it weren’t for the generous people attending the blood banks, Kaden and many others that require these important blood transfusions would go without. Kaden has received not only a standard blood transfusion, he has also received platelets which were separated from the blood when it was donated. After seeing all this, I booked in a few months ago and donated to help all those in need like Kaden. The overall process was reasonably quick, the only catch is that you can only donate every 3 months. If you haven’t yet considered giving blood, please do, each donation can help at least 3 patients. For more information on donating visit the “Australian Red Cross Blood Service”.
Last night, we were on watch for a temperature spike. In the past when Kaden has the cisplatin round and it has stripped his immune system, it has only been a matter of time before he has spiked a temperature and been admitted back into the hospital for fluids and antibiotics. Kaden’s temperature did return to normal however, it rose slightly again today so we have stayed home for the afternoon as a precaution.
This morning Kaden had his weekly physio, again he was very hesitant in doing the activates set out by the physio. In this session, they had a log swing hanging from the ceiling and about a foot off the ground so it was low enough for kaden to sit on comfortably. He was not keen at all on sitting on this swing as his balance is not what it use to be. The swing is an important part of his physio treatment as it helps to gradually strengthen his core muscles so that he will begin to stand up straight again. While on the swing, he slowly built up the confidence to sit on it by himself and throw some hoops onto a wooden stand, he even managed to get four on at once which he was pretty proud of!. These are only small steps along that way but they are also so important in getting our son strong again 🙂
We have also been taking Liam exploring. We went to the hospital playground where he met another little boy his age. They had a great time together running around and climbing the equipment, it was so good to see Liam having some fun 🙂
On Wednesday, Kaden will be given vincristine, the last chemo drug for this round, being round 7. This drug in particular has caused Kaden to loose a significant amount of strength in his legs. Kaden went from being a happy 7 year old winning races at school, partaking in weekly swimming lessons, playing Auskick in the winter time, running around the park and swimming at the beach with his friends to struggling to walk a couple of metres. As a parent this is heart breaking to see, however we know that to get Kaden better, this drug needs to be given. Over the next few months, we will be working closely with a physio so that we can help Kaden achieve his goal of running again. Today was our first appointment with the physio. At the beginning of the appointment, Kaden was not willing to co-operate, he was very grumpy from the ‘finger prick’ (blood test) and had the mind set that the physio wouldn’t have any toys or activities that he would be interested in. After a bit of a discussion and convincing, Kaden eventually gave in and went to investigate. Much to Kaden’s surprise, he found gym equipment and with the help of his physio, created a circuit which he then decided to do. Watching Kaden take it in his stride and climb the equipment without delay was awesome!
I know we say this often but we want to again thank everyone for their ongoing support and help that we are receiving 🙂
While here in Sydney, we have decided to make the most of our free days and explore as much as possible. After doing a little bit of research, we discovered that we could purchase a 5 attraction pass that allows us to visit these attractions for only $10 each, what a bargain!
Sea Life Aquarium
Manly Sea Life.
Today we decided to check out the aquarium. We caught the train into “Central Station” and then another train one stop to “City Hall Station”,after a short walk we arrived at the aquarium.
We all had such a great time. There were so many different sea life to see, sting rays, sharks, octopus, sea horses, turtles, penguins and so many more. The boys were in awe of the glass tunnel walks where they got to see the fish up close, especially the sharks with their super sharp teeth. When asking the boys what they liked most, Kaden said he liked the sharks and Liam liked the “Dory” fish (fish from Nemo cartoon) 🙂
Today was a big day all round. Lee and Kaden ventured up to the local shops and picked up a cake for Liam’s homecoming as well as attending a meeting with the liver transplant co-ordinator. We are aiming to have Kaden officially on the transplant list anywhere from next week onwards. There’s been lots of tests done and more to go to make sure that the liver Kaden receives is the perfect one! We’re slowly getting closer to having our boy healthy again, as you can imagine, we can’t wait to see Kaden running around, enjoying life and being cancer free!
Today I flew down to Melbourne to pick up Liam. To see Liam’s smile and be able to give him a hug was truly the most wonderful feeling. We have missed Liam so much and to see the boys back together again has brightened our world significantly. They had a huge cuddle when they first saw each other and Liam has been more then happy to do anything that Kaden asks him to do, such a gorgeous site to see.
A massive thank you go’s out to our wonderful family and friends for being so supportive while we have been on this journey. Although this journey has been so hard to understand and come to terms with, without the support of our family and friends, it would be so much harder. We are truly great full for all that you do for us, from the daily messages of support and encouragement to everyone flying around Australia.
A special thanks to everyone that has looked after Liam while we have been settling in, here in Sydney. Knowing that he was looked after and loved so much has been a huge weight off our shoulders. Thank you so so so much xx