AIDAN'S DIARY - DECEMBER 1999
01 Dec 1999
Attended second dose of radiotherapy with Grandma. Much better. The staff were impressed by his sturdy nature, although the bribe of sweets (aka. lollies, candy) helped a bit. Given anti-nausea tablets and ate some dinner. Balance has gone haywire. Not sure whether it's the radio or chemo therapy at play.
02 Dec 1999
More radiotherapy (every week day for six weeks). Aidan returns home from each episode tired, but otherwise happy. I'm left wondering if we're in the eye of the storm, waiting for the funnel to move ever so slightly and wreak havoc. Balance and co-ordination are improving. He's much better in the morning, but staggers by the end of the day. Hey, I can relate to that one.
Very long afternoon at the hospitals. Radiotherapy at SCGH, physio appointment at PMH, collect a truck load of anti-nausea medication (seems to be working), wait to see a doctor who diagnoses infection in both ears, back to chemist for more medicine, then dinner at McDonalds, compliments of a Bravery Award. Aidan informs Mum that he doesn't want any more photos of his head (the term using by the radio therapists) because it makes him sick. Yes, he's a very clever little boy.
- Mum & Dad
04 Dec 1999
This weekend we keep the radio fairy at bay. Aidan is in fine form, generally happy, playing with his toys, singing songs and fighting with his sister Caitlin. A wonderful sight.
06 Dec 1999
First dose of radio for the week. In good spirits.
07 Dec 1999
Took Aidan to day care in the morning to see his friends. He received a warm welcome and ran off to play. Mum took him for radio and chemo (Vincristine) therapy in the afternoon. Returned home about 5.30 pm with Mum totally exhausted. It was a big day. Carried him to bed like a flour sack over the shoulder. He didn't stir until morning.
08 Dec 1999
More radio therapy. The chemo therapy takes places Tuesday of every week, from which Aidan always returns home drained.
09 Dec 1999
Following the usual daily stuff, we take Aidan and Caitlin to Aidan's kindergarten for an early encounter with Mr. Claus after a traditional sausage sizzle. What do they put in those things ? Meet the parents of Aidan's kindy chums and guide Aidan around the play area amidst 29567 other children. Lots of fun up until Mr. Claus gave Aidan the wrong gift, a craft set for making fridge magnets. We heard about the wrong done unto him all the way home. The next morning he informed us "I've had a long think about the present and I do want to make magnets". Yes, that's our boy.
10 Dec 1999
Radio therapy continues. Aidan starting to get more tired from treatment. He's happy enough most mornings, but following treatment he's quite the tired and gruimpy little chap. His state of mind is still good and he doesn't appear to be getting overly depressed or worried by the treatment. Still taking anti-nausea medication to bestill his upset stomach. His stomach and throat have been getting upset due to the radiation to his spine.
13 Dec 1999
Prior to radio therapy, Mum and Aidan meet Dr. George Wong, the head neuro surgeon who performed Aidan's surgery. Dr. Wong was happy with Aidan's progress and thought that control of his left eye, which has been shonky since the operation, is improving. Aidan's balance and general coordination are on a rollercoaster, but generally improving. Still some away before he walk in a straight line without assistance.
16 Dec 1999
Last day of radiation to the head and spine. Futher treatment will be only to the tumor site at the base of the head called the posterior fossa. Also last day at the 4 year old kindergarten programme. Aidan loves kindy and will miss it and his friends. He should see most of his little friends next year at pre-primary.
17 Dec 1999
Radiation machine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) is undergoing maintenance. It would be a day off, except for a physiotherapy appointment. Caitlin joins Mum and Aidan for the visit. Aidan's hair starts to fall out. Thankyou radiation.
18 Dec 1999
Aidan's hair had grown back quite well since surgery, but is now falling out by the bucket load. Mum shows Aidan what is happening to his hair. He finds it quite amusing. Dad helps Aidan pluck out his remaining hair. By Christmas, he'll be as shiny as a cue ball.
21 Dec 1999
Aidan and Mum leave early for the hospital. Aidan's oncologist, Dr. David Baker, wants to run a kidney test. This takes several hours and involves pumping dye into Aidan's blood and taking samples every hour. That was in the morning. Come 8 pm, still no sign of the dynamic duo. Dad gets a call from Mum to say "Aidan's haemoglobin count is low, he's had a blood transfusion and is now on anti-biotic for an infection". Dad borrows the nearest car and zooms into hospital to give Aidan a kiss goodnight. Fortunately, Aidan was not only asleep by this time, but snoring happily. Mum is way tired by this stage of the game. Caitlin spent the night with Nanna.
23 Dec 1999
Opa's roster day on. He and Aidan visit the hospital then embark on a shopping spree. Ka-ching !
24 Dec 1999
A bit behind the eight ball, but we drag The Tree and adorn it with baubles and tinsel. Aidan prepares himself and Caitlin for an early bedtime explaining that Santa doesn't visit children who are awake. Correct. It also means that parents must stay up that much later for last minute wrapping, on behalf of Santa. Aidan also insists that we leave out some carrots for the reindeer. He had already concluded that the jolly St. Nick would descend into our lounge room via an access door in the roof.
25 Dec 1999
Aidan is up way early and hunts out any and everything wrapped in colourful paper. The fact that some of those items are Caitlin's is quiet irrelevant. We visit Grandma and Opa for breakfast, Nanna and Grandad for lunch, then back to Grandma and Opa's for dinner. Fortunately, travel time was negligible between these primary nodes. Unfortunately, Santa had not dished out the correct and proper gifts at his own house; they were distributed across houses. This of course put him in a less than genial mood for the day and the tone carried right up until bedtime. Certainly Aidan's worst Christmas yet, but ... he's still with us so the day was complete anyway. Caitlin was chugging along on all cylinders from dawn until way past dusk.
Mr. Wagon made by Grandad.
Aidan with Mr. Wagon
26 Dec 1999
Trek out to see Nanna Pat and Granpop Kevin (Trish's Nanna and Grandad). A much better day for the young man. Amazing what a few hours of sleep can accomplish. He played with Trish's young cousins and ... played with Caitlin for a while without dire results. We were amazed. It was almost like ... shhh ... normal. Don't tell anyone.
27 Dec 1999
No treatment of any sort. Hip-hip ... The hospitals are resting. OK, so the doctors are resting, same thing. Aidan and Caitlin took their first dunking in the pool for this summer. They were in raptures. It put Aidan back in good spirits. He loves swimming. Grandad, Opa and Dad start work on Aidan and Caitlin's cubby house. It's a kit with easy, do it yourself instructions, but has more parts than a GPS satellite.
28 Dec 1999
Back on the hobby horse for Aidan with his first trip for radio therapy for the week. Followed up with a get wet session in the pool. And why not. It was h-o-t ... 39 deg Celcius for the Metric minded, or 102 deg Fahrenheit for the Imperial stalwarts. Finished Aidan and Caitlin's cubby house.
Aidan and Caitlin inspecting their new abode.
31 Dec 1999
Spend the evening with Uncle Vincent and Aunty Judy at their farmlet in Darling Downs (near Armadale). Watched the last sunset for the 20th century from the hills.
Last updated: 20-Nov-2006