Lisa G.
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A Mini Holiday

Lisa G.
Posted by
23 Nov 2016

Our first chance to have a break since Hugo's diagnosis!

Our first mini holiday.  3 nights in the Cotswolds.  Our first chance since Hugo's diagnosis nearly 9 months ago to get away.  An opportunity to forget everything else that is going on, to relax, have fun and be together.  Most importantly, a chance to be a normal family, doing normal family things.

We had all been looking forward to it since it was booked 2 months ago.  It felt like a big step, a little reckless even.  Hugo had only just started his maintenance treatment, we didn't really know what was in store, but it felt important to do it.  To take that leap of faith, to believe that we could achieve the normal.  Most of all I felt like we deserved and needed it.  A little bit of luxury, a little bit of being spoilt after the tough times we had endured and to give us strength for the tough times that were bound to still be ahead.

It didn't start particularly well.  Hugo's walking had been a little stiff after his dose of vincristine the week before, but seemed to be getting worse.  The nurse came in the morning to take his blood and after a telephone chat with this consultant it was decided that he should be checked over at the hospital.  Luckily for us they managed to process his bloods and get us seen in record breaking time.  The doctor decided it was something called transient synovitis, an issue with the fluid around the hip joint.  Something that would hopefully rectify itself with rest.  Nothing to do with the vincristine, just a coincidence.  The doctor said it was fine for us to go away, but we were return to the hospital when we got back for another blood test and hip X-ray.

I will admit to being scared.  A refusal to bear weight on his leg is how this all began.  It was Hugo's first symptom while otherwise being well, a little like now.  This was the first time I'd had to ask the doctor if this could be a sign of relapse.  I could feel my stomach tighten with a familiar fear.  A flashback to a night in July, sat in an A and E cubicle trying to cling onto the hope that all was going to be ok.  Unfortunately for the knots in my stomach, the doctor couldn't categorically say that it wasn't.  I suppose it's a worry that will always be there, every symptom has to be taken seriously and treated as if it could be something more sinister.  I suspect this is something we are going to face time and time again over the next 2 and a half years.

But, I had to push my worries to one side and ignore the knot in my stomach.  We were going on a mini holiday!  I had two very excited little boys ready to have some much deserved fun.  They were going to get my full attention and we were going to have the best time possible.

We set off a couple of hours later and a little more stressed than planned, but 3 hours later we were checking into the beautiful Calcot Manor in the heart of the stunning Cotswold countryside.  We'd been here once before and decided to splash out and come back again.  It's the perfect mix of indulgence for the adults, while still being incredibly child friendly.

We had the most wonderful time.  The hotel wrapped its arms around us all and we sunk easily and readily into its comforting embrace as our worries eased and relaxation took hold.

The boys had pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast every morning, they went swimming every afternoon.  There was playing and craft activities, late bedtimes (for Henry at least, Hugo was so shattered he was asking to go to bed!) and snuggling together in the huge bed. 

We had a lovely day out in the unexpected sunshine at Cotswold Farm Park.  A normal family trip out, arguments and strops included!

There was delicious wine and wonderfully relaxing massages for Richard and I.  Best of all there were smiles and laughter and fun.  There was still medication to be given and of course the worries never leave completely, but it all somehow faded slightly, dulled by the happiness.

I think it's easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of life, how important it is to spend time together, away from the mundane, just being a family.  How valuable a change of scenery can be, not just families like ours, but for everyone.  To stop for a while and breathe in all that we have to be grateful for.  It was wonderful, so much more than just a mini holiday.  It was perfect, I couldn't have asked for more.

We were brought back to down to earth with a bump on Sunday when it was back to the hospital again.  But the X-ray and bloods were all clear.  The doctor was happy with the original diagnosis of transient synovitis.  Hugo was still hobbling but slowly improving and we all remained warmed by our much needed first mini break.  Bring on the next one!

4 April 2016

To read more on Hugo's journey visit www.lifeloveandleukaemia.blogspot.co.uk