Wow I am overwhelmed by the response to my last blog. I wrote it because I thought it might be useful to other parents in a situation where your natural instincts to protect are all thwarted - but find that all the positive stories and support has been a real help for me.
First a quick update. Nico weathered her first course of treatment well with relatively few of the nasty side effects we were expecting. Analysis has shown that she has the form of AML which does not usually require a bone marrow transplant. Good news, but we aren't counting our chikens until the results are back from Padua. A persistant high temperature caused anxiety since the treatment destroys the immune system. But the white blood cell count gradually grew with platelets close behind. The temperature finally settled down and she was allowed home on 'day release' for Easter Sunday which caused joy and panic in equal measure. By the time she started her second course of treatment last week she had 'platelets to. This time, so far, there have been no stomach aches or nausea and she has not needed intravenous feeding, fingers crossed.
There are lots of people I would like to thank (finally a chance at an oscar speech)
All the doctors and nurses at the Oncology unit in Ancona
Andrea's parents who have come to stay to look after things while we sort stuff out, and especially Rudy who is cooking for our painting holidays in Andrea's place
The whole town of Camerino - who have set up a bank account and given us the cash card. Nico spends her time planning what to do with her new found wealth, and has settled on New York as the place to visit when this is all over. I haven't told her it was meant to be to cover petrol and sterilising hand wash, because anything that makes her think of a time beyond this is a big plus on the 'high spirit' stakes - so New York it is.
The South Hams Triangle Centre in Devon. Even though Nico is in Italy they council the whole family, so my Mum has somewhere to turn
The Rafaello Association – A charity in Camerino set up by the mother of a little boy who sadly didn’t make it after a tumour. She now devotes herself to the aid of families of children suffering from all cancers. Utterly brilliant.
All our artists who, although appraised of the situation, are still coming on holiday with us.
All those who responded to the blog on facebook and have really helped to cheer us all up.
After the panic of the first week we have settled now into Operation Nico. We are getting through this. Strangely, we feel lucky.