Robert is still in hospital. Tomorrow he will have been in for three weeks. Unfortunately I have not seen him in person for a week as my heavily pregnant sister has just had a very bad cold and as Robert has no immune system to speak of it was best not to take any chances.
Robert’s white blood cell count has risen from 0.0 to 0.1
When it reaches 0.5 he can come home.
It’s been 0.1 for days and there’s talk of taking another bone marrow sample. Our fear is that the chemo has wiped his bone marrow out and a transplant will be needed. But that hasn’t happened yet so we’re certainly not going to act or think like it’s a foregone conclusion. Doing that would make us feel worse in an already hard situation.
SKYPE has been our lifeline. Robert sits on the iPad and joins us at the table for breakfast and dinner. He is also propped on the back of the sofa and he watches them play. At nighttime I put him in the cots and he watches from inside as I change the nappies and put the children in to their pj’s before bed. Then I stand at the door with the iPad held high in one hand and we both say “goodnight” before I close the door and go downstairs.
It’s a wonderful way of keeping sane but I want him home.
I’ve found that I have been doing what I do best and enjoy most – cooking, feeding my children, pottering and a bit of decorating in the evenings when I’m alone. An event such as your young husband being treated for Leukemia does make you think about other areas of your life and I believe that both Robert and I are on that journey. It makes you want to slow down and enjoy the ride a bit more because you never know when it will be your turn to get off.
The pictures that I’ll be posting while Robert is still in the hospital are for him. So he can see how it’s all going and what’s happening outside in the garden and inside the house. It’s a lovely way for him to feel involved and it means that I get to bash out my thoughts on to this keyboard, which is most cathartic, so it’s win win.
It’s broad bean season. I made a dish with broad beans in it the other evening and gave them to the children to eat. I’m pleased to say they ate every one put in front of them. I think I’d be a touch worried if they threw them on the floor in disgust because we live on them at this time of year.
I boil them until the outer skin crinkles and then peel them back, revealing the bright green bean inside. With it’s nutty taste and lovely texture it makes the best side dish when sauteed with garlic or chopped up with mint.
Sorry, Robert, I know you’re dealing with hospital food right now. I’ll make you whatever food you like when you’re home. I give you my word.
The garden is looking a lot more colourful too. Which means I get to have cut flowers in every room for free. All of those pots on the windowsills during the early days of Spring suddenly become very worthwhile indeed.
Dahlias, Sweet Peas, Verbena, Hydrangea, Roses, Stocks.
Colour, colour, colour.
So it’s broad beans, with basil and garlic, new potatoes and some chicken for tea. I’ll sit at the table with the babies in their highchairs and the iPad, with Robert on SKYPE, at one end.
It has to be as normal as it can be for the children and we have to stick to our little routine as much as possible at the moment. They’re not stupid. If I was walking around looking and acting like the world was coming to an end they’d pick that up.
Our garden is producing some wonderful food right now and I want to cook for my kids in the knowledge that it will nourish their tiny bodies.
And that is what I’ll do because it gets the focus and the thoughts off of me and Robert and on to them.
Boy, do I need the distraction.
When we’ve eaten our tea I’ll potter again until late in the evening, planning for when Robert comes home. I’ve moved bedrooms around, started painting walls and generally getting it ready for him to be welcomed in to to heal. I don’t care that his blood count hasn’t gone up for days, we’re not giving up, he will come home. I have a goal that I’m working towards and that is my husband’s homecoming.
And that’s enough for me.
Thank you so much for reading. I love you terribly.
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