Monday, 30 November 2009

Gavin: "...he broke his leg but he'll be back and Darren Bent will still be cak, EDUARDO SILVA ARSENALS NUMBER 9..."

So, we got beat by Chelsea yesterday which did nothing for the mood here. Sonny promptly went off to beat his mate Will on FIFA 10 to redress the balance. Although upsetting for us all, we have been cheered up this week by a fantastic gift from Arsenal for his birthday (delayed due to International duty). Not only did they all sign a shirt and get ANDERSON printed onto the front, a personal letter was penned by Eduardo explaining the benefits of physio in relation to his own horror injury that nearly ended his career (click here for pictures, not for the faint hearted).

I heard a kid who supported Chelsea got ill and they duly dispatched a book of John Terry's poetry. I can't believe he wrote that for a minute.

PS: as with all the pics on this blog, click on them for a larger version.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Gavin: Back to school

Things are good in the Anderson household. Sonny is back on the steroids as part of his chemo which means he's eating like a horse again. Balancing this with Ruby is tricky. She's not got the healthiest relationship with food so watching her brother eat crap all day to try and gain fat is really hard for her as we stick another bowl of muesli under her nose.

It seems almost strange to think he now has cancer. If his legs were ok and he was in a bit better physical shape the only giveaway would be his hair. We're praying he stays infection free and touch wood, we're a month in and nothing has arisen yet. In fact, his sickness is at an all time low, he isn't suffering from mouth ulcers (another common side effect) and he's the chirpiest he's been even on the mood swinging steroids.

The big news is that a return to school is looming. Although I think both Zo and I would prefer him to stay in the sterile home environment, he can only benefit from some normality and friends around him. The outreach nurse has a big meeting on Monday with the school nurse and headteacher where they will go through everything that needs to happen to keep him out of danger. Luckily, Zoe doesn't have to return to work so, like a protective bear, is able to loom over him all day until she realises chewing the end of his pencil won't do him too much damage.

And when I say bear, I mean tiny little sparrow.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Gavin: Don't panic...

We haven't blogged since Wednesday but only because we've been really busy which is a great thing. We'll do a proper one today or tomorrow but for anyone concerned about our lack of blogging, don't. Like McCain oven chips, we're all good.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Gavin: Sweet baby Jesus

I met the kids and Zo tonight at the Barbican to watch the premier of 'Nativity' a new British film with Martin freeman and that big bloke who did 'my new best friend' or something like that. Not being Leicester Square, the intimate surroundings meant that the stars were only sitting a few rows from us and whooped, laughed, clapped and commented throughout. Normally, I would have got the manager, but it was ace. It felt like you were in their gang and made it a really great night. At the end, we cadged the lift meant for the stars ("four coming up" said the burly security guard into his wrist) jumped in the car and bought a bag of chips. The film was actually pretty good in a not-as-good-if-Richard-Curtis-was-involved kind of way but we all really enjoyed it. I'd probably advise you take the kids rather than make it a hot date but I'm sure you'll enjoy it too.

And, before you start getting jealous about all the perks we're getting from the Hospital, Zo bought the tickets online for 9 quid each with no involvement from GOSH at all. Which is virtually free, man (see what I did there? Martin Free, man? oh, never mind).

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Zoe: Echo echo

Sonny had a routine heart Echo this morning to measure how quickly his heart was pumping the blood in and out following his last blast of chemo. This showed that it had improved slightly - only 1% so he was given another drug to protect his heart today from this bad boy chemo. I didn't know that his heart wasn't functioning normally and more annoyingly apparently his notes are in such a mess that the Doc couldn't tell me what is was when he was first admitted. Rather frustratingly his new Consultant is trekking in India so wasn't available to quiz either but despite this I felt reassured that measures were being taken to prevent any avoidable damage to such a precious thing.

Off to train the cat now on the newly installed litter tray... grrrrrrrrrrr.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Zoe: Strictly Chemo

Sonny started another run of chemo today. Despite the intense physio regime his 'drop foot' still hasn't improved enough for him to resume the Vincristine. Alarmingly, this chemotherapy forms rather a large part of his treatment protocol but they are confident of curing the disease and don't want to leave him with a permanent disability and seem to think its ok if he keeps not having it... I suppose they know, gulp.

Who'd have thought being poorly could be so much fun... Sonny could have had his photo taken with Gabby & Kenny Logan today. Normally rather camera shy he surprised me by being quite up for it seeing as it was sport related but sadly for him timing didn't allow it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Zoe: HO HO HO!

Sonny and Ruby had an invitation to the Harrods Christmas Party today. We were very excited despite having to leave the house at 8.30 on a Sunday morning and chatted all the way about what delights might be waiting in store for us. We joined the back of a long queue of children and their families and I couldn't believe we were really part of this gang. I made a mental note to avoid group 'kid going through a tough time' activities in future.

The staff were fantastic with the children and like all parties things took a while to warm up and get going. I couldn't help thinking they could have done with a magician or two - my kids have long outgrown face painting and can spot a fake Father Christmas at 50 paces but the glitter of the disco ball beckoned and it wasn't long before Gavin was doing the 'Superman' dance... not a beer in sight I promise.

Fair play Mr Fayed and thank you for the hefty gift bags and lovely teddies.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Gavin: Pulling socks up

Just to let you know the cat has progressed from dumping in Sonny's bedroom to leaving a message in the hallway. It read 'I've shat on the front door mat'.

We're now the only house you have to wipe your feet on the way out.

Gavin: Keep the faith

I wasn't christened as a child and neither was Zo. Our parents thought that it was down to us to decide which religion we wanted to follow as we got older, which was very forward thinking of them to be honest. However, although we don't believe in anything but Arsenal, we're not atheists or anything, so see that there isn't much wrong in people getting together for positive reasons, singing songs and having a nice time. It's just when Zo did go for a year (to try and get the kids into St. John's school), I had to stay at home and do tequila shots at 10am just to ensure there was some balance. She failed.

Anyway, Sonny is being prayed for all over the place. From Ireland to Italy, we're told he's quite high up the asking favours chain and today, we received a package from Canada where my Aunt lives, full of nice messages and pictures from her church.

It's a bit easy to be cynical in these times so I'd like to say a big thank-you to Rachel-Lynn, Jordan and my Aunt Margaret. At the end of the day, if you strip away how you feel about religion, the bottom line is they're thinking about Sonny thousands of miles away. Which no-on can dispute is a nice thing.

And kids, those 'God's power' stickers are rad.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Zoe: Turned out nice...

What I'm learning about this situation is that something will always come along and nip you on the bum when you are least expecting it. Sonny starts a full week of chemo again next week and I thought he deserved a little treat to pep him up a bit. Our lovely community nurse had agreed to pop around early today to take Sonny's blood for testing so that he could catch a quiet 10.30 film at the cinema. I knew we'd be pushing it for time but Sonny's face was soon as wet as the weather when after an hour the nurse had to admit defeat and admit that the line was blocked. This meant that all thoughts of the cinema were abandoned as we had to make our way up to the local hospital to get it sorted. Sonny was livid... I think this was the last straw after months of being brave and simply sucking it up. We live in fear of something happening to his line as the memory of the painful canulas is still very fresh in all our minds. Thankfully, our fabulous Oncology nurse was waiting for him and calmly injected something into his line to clear the blockage telling us to return in 4 hours to see if it had worked - if not it would be x-rays and back to GOSH.

It all came good in the end though... with perfect timing we popped into Wagamamma for some tasty noodles and caught the fantastic Fantastic Mr Fox before returning to The Whittington. Sonny's face was soon beaming when he saw the red stuff quickly appearing into a syringe and we were sent on our way to enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Zoe: Purrrrrrrrroblems

Sonny is shattered today. He loved being with with mates again but he's a bit down today thinking of them all together at school. Watching Band of Brothers on the sofa with your mum is not a bad way to spend the day but he said he'd much rather be tearing around the playground and having lessons with his friends. He managed a ten minute maths game with his teacher today but started to feel rubbish so is now having a snooze.

In the meantime one of the cats seems to be deeply disturbed by Sonny's sudden reappearance. Just when the hygiene police are on full alert she has taken to using Sonny's beanbags and bedroom rug as her own personal toilet - r.e.v.o.l.t.i.n.g. I spent £50 on plug-in god-knows-whats on the advice of the vet today in the hope that they will calm her down and stop her being shipped out sharpish. Don't be fooled by this cute photo - she's still hiding from me so I'm unable to pap her looking all plump and grown-up.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Zoe: For he's a jolly good fellow...

Scroll down first as I've loaded the pictures up back to front...

Thank you for all your amazing gifts and lovely messages - I'll let the pictures tell the story of a fantastic day...

Monday, 16 November 2009

Zoe: One more sleep

Tomorrow Sonny will be ten. It's no exageration to say that we're delighted he's got there. We'll post lots of photos of the birthday boy tomorrow x

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ruby: The history of DUCK

Duck the star of the blog is becoming a sad duck so to cheer him up I writing the history of DUCK.
Well it all started in Italy when Sonny was in hostpital the nurses gave it to him when he left.
when we got to great ormand street Duck put on lots of diffrent looks like top-less duck and gangsta duck.
then Duck started drinking and getting hangovers so thats why I wrote this blog.

Gavin: Questions answered...

In response to Agent N's comments below, Ruby will now be voting for Joe (the only obvious winner surely?). Duck however has taken Lucy's departure a little harder and is currently looking for an artist who can manage to reproduce a perfect image of her singing 'Sweet child of mine' on his back.

Gavin: Another weekend...

Sonny had his mate round for a birthday sleepover last night. It went really well but Sonny is absolutely exhausted this morning. He's gone back to bed for a few hours to catch up. A small price to pay for playing Call of Duty until midnight.

While he's asleep, I've got a bit of time on my hands to put together a handy cut-out-and-keep guide for anyone interested in some of the finer details of Sonny's disease. It's worth reminded everyone that I'm not a medical professional and, if you do feel under the weather in any way, it's probably best to seek the advice of your GP rather than this list.

The A-Z of Sonny's Stuff...

A is for Aciclover. The drug he takes to stop him getting the cold sore virus I gave him as a baby. He takes it for the entire course of his treatment at 6am, midday, 6pm and midnight. Nice one dad.

B is for Biopsy. The only certain way of determining which cancer is present. And even then, Sonny needed two to be sure.

C is for cancer. A general term for many different types of disease. All are horrible.

D is for diagnosis "Ho paura che tuo figlio ha Lymphoma".

E is for ECG. A machine that monitors heart rate and bleeps annoyingly when it dips below a preset level. Never really been any use apart from to keep Sonny awake.

F is for food. A constant topic as taste buds change daily. The smell of toast makes him sick, haribos can be tolerated.

G is for Glandular fever. An infection contracted in hospital. Bad enough on it's own to be honest.

H is for Hickman Line. A permanent drip straight into Sonny's heart. When this gets removed, you start planning holidays (see I).

I is for Italy. Where we'll all be heading back as soon as we have the all clear to swim, eat pasta and relax.

J is for Junk food. Sonny has to eat chocolate for potassium, chips to put on fat, crisps to help with his salt content. Ruby can't believe it.

K is for Ketamin. Used as a horse tranquiliser and teenage party drug. Sonny had it constantly for two weeks to control the pain of Tiphilitis while not stopping bowel movements by using a drug such as morphine (see T)

L is for Lymphoma. Cancer of the lymphatic system. The specific type is determined through the cells present in the tumor (see B, M, C)

M is for Mediastinal Mass. The growth in his chest discovered in Italy originally thought to be pneumonia. Originally 900 cubic centimetres (about a cricket ball and a half)

N is for Neuropathy. The shortening of the muscles in his legs caused by the chemotherapy (see P).

O is for Oncologist. The name for someone who specialises in cancer.

P is for Physiotherapy. What Sonny has 3 times a day to enable him to walk properly again.

Q is for Quack. Our local GP who refused to take our call when we were in Italy as 'it would cost too much'.

R is for Ruby. A very brave little girl indeed.

S is for Sonny. Upbeat, positive, funny, scared, hard-working, patient, intelligent and amazing.

T is for Tiphilitis. An infection of the stomach Sonny contracted at the same time as Glandular Fever. One of the nastiest and dangerous things you can get. Just horrible.

U is for Unfair. 1 in 100,000 kids will get hodgkins Lymphoma. That's two full Arsenal stadiums.

V is for Vincristin. The nastiest chemo drug so far that's caused nerve damage in his feet. (see N, P).

W is for White blood cells. What gets reduced through chemo and stops the body fighting infection

X is for X-ray. Feels like about 600 of them to date.

Y is for Yell. What Sonny does whenever he comes round from an anaesthetic. Very funny hearing him call the doctors 'idiots' at the top of his voice.

Z is for Zoe. She's bloody amazing.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Gavin: I'm a Starling...Me Darling

Harry Hill is a comedy genius. I don't mind admitting that for years we thought he was our generations' Pam Ayres, but slowly, we've begun to realise that his humour appeals to both the kids and us in equal measure. Which is much better than when we were kids huddling around the gas fire while my dad read out 'Oh, I wished I'd looked after me teeth'.*

Sonny has a joke book from Harry Hill (yet another lovely gift) that he reads every night. He also now has a monitor (no... it's not a 'baby' monitor obviously) which means we can hear every joke he reads out to Ruby in her bedroom and their giggles as he does. It seems strange that before we'd have run up and barked at them both to 'GO TO SLEEP' yet now it's just brilliant to hear. Tonight's favourites are:

Q: What's brown and sticky?
A: A stick.

My little brother brother was banned from the local swimming pool for weeing in the pool. I said "I thought you'd be used to little boys weeing in the pool". They said "yes, but not from the high diving board".

Q: What's orange and looks like a hedgehog?
A: A hedgehog trying to be a goldfish

Q: What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
A: A carrot.

*As I write this, Zoe is reciting the full poem. Yes, this is our Friday night.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Gavin: Charity begins at err, france

Many of our friends have been incredibly kind with all the gifts they've sent to Sonny. I won't list them here because you know who you are and trust us, watching him enjoy every single one of them has been a real treat. Alongside this, there have been some other big things happening. One of my clients - T-Mobile - held a cake sale for him at their Head Office and raised over £200 to spend as he likes. Considering not one of them have ever met Sonny it's an amazing thing to do. Another client from our Bristol office - LV - held a night to raise money for GOSH and Andy, our MD down there is running the London Marathon on behalf of a cancer charity as long his knee doesn't fall off beforehand. All go into the box marked 'pretty special stuff'.

I'm sure there's more that I can't think of at the moment but the best one for us is that my sister Sian has just completed a marathon in Nice on behalf of GOSH, raising over £1000. It's hugely impressive that she did that to be honest and is therefore worth a special mention. Thank you Sian, we're very, very touched.

I doubt she'd want me to post pictures of her running 26 miles in 30 degree heat, so scroll down for pictures of her as a teenager sitting in a field looking sullen.

Only joking hun... here's the kids playing wii.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Gavin: An apology

Tonight Sonny's skin hurt. We couldn't touch him or carry him as it was too painful. A call to GOSH said they thought it may be where the nerve damage was growing back and the pain was the rawness. But, they don't really know and neither do we. All we do know is Sonny is crying. And it bloody hurts him. We seem so caught up in him being home that we've forgotten things like this will happen along the way and that being relaxed is not an option.

Sorry, I appreciate that goes against the positive nature of this blog but you try and write something fun when you can't carry your son to bed because it hurts too much and he can't use his legs to get up on his own.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Zoe: Bananadrama

Sonny's potassium level is now 2.8. This is being pepped up with more pills and as many bananas as he'll allow me to cram down him. Following his chemo, the doctors at Great Ormond Street wanted him to go back to The Whittington last night. But, fortunately for him, Sonny's consultant thought he'd been through enough so his daily dose of pills were added to and as long as his levels don't drop off a cliff again he should be able to avoid having to spend another bleeping night on the ward.

If you ever need to get your kid to take some nasty medicine print this photo out and stick it to the cupboard door. This is what Sonny has to swallow every day. Gulp.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Zoe: Things that go beep in the night

The home phone started ringing as we were putting the kids to bed last night. I assumed it would be the grandparents seeing what kind of weekend we'd had as they seem to be the only people who ever use the land line these days so it was a bit of a shock when a voice said he was the paediatric registrar at the Whittington, our local hospital. He explained that Sonny's blood test results taken earlier that afternoon were showing that his potassium levels were dangerously low and that he needed to come in straight away. We had been warned that we would get to know our local hospital very well but I had only assumed we'd be going there for blood transfusions and when Sonny was feeling unwell. He didn't seem unwell to me so we rang Great Ormond Street for advise who explained that any reading under 3.5 was dangerous to the heart. Since his was 2.2 we rang a taxi straight away and hastily packed a bag. Great Ormond Street also said that the test could also be faulty so it was this tack we took with Sonny placing a bet with him he'd be back in his bed in no time leaving Gav consoling a sobbing Ruby remembering last time Sonny had left in a cab for the Whittington he didn't return home for 2 months...

The Whittington has a very impressive new facade and facade it is as the wards themselves are like being on the set of Life on Mars. However the nurse on charge was pleasant enough and repeat tests were taken quickly while Sonny was made to drink a potion even Alice in Wonderland would have turned her nose up at. Unfortunately, the news wasn't good and at 2am we were the lone bed in HDU with the noise of Sonny's scared sobs and babies crying blocked only by a nylon curtain. The noise of Sonny's heart monitor gave us both a very broken sleep and the whole thing seemed a bit of a nonsense when in the morning I peeled the stickers off his chest and popped him in a dodgy minicab booked by the Whittington so that he could be on time for his chemo appointment back at GOSH at 10am.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Gavin: Charlie says.

We had no idea we'd be celebrating Firework night with Sonny as we were more concerned about what to tell him if he'd be in hospital for his birthday, so this weekend was a real treat. The school and local authority have done a fantastic job of scaring the wits out of the children when it comes to fireworks. Although this is obviously a good thing and mean they won't grow up strapping them to cats or anything, it meant our friend Andy had to show Ruby his 'Rocket Licence' to prove he was actually allowed to buy them.

Obviously the standard of Public Information is much better than in our day when we were shown old 8mm films of terrifying ghosts warning us not to play around water and the extremely graphic production where 6 friends are slowly picked off in a variety of ways (crashing a tractor, crushed beneath an iron gate, drowning in slurry...) while they mess around on a farm. Warnings well worth heeding when growing up in Grays.

Anyway, despite the cries of 'leave it daddy!' and 'don't go back!', we managed to have a great night. Sonny was up and about using his splints well and eating sausages with the rest of us. He really does improve every day and, within a fortnight, I reckon will be out of all the contraptions. It's so good to see.

Here's me demonstrating how the sparks from the sparklers won't actually hurt you...

Friday, 6 November 2009

Gavin: Vote labour (yes really).

If we lived in America, Sonny's treatment to date would have cost us about $708m. I made that figure up but I'm pretty sure it's close as I had to have my ear syringed once in Florida and that was about $50. This means the one thing we can never moan about again is the percentage of our tax bill that goes on the NHS. I used to work with a guy who had a handicapped brother who used to say the same thing and I never believed him. Now I know exactly what he means.

As an example (bear with me), in the early days when Sonny first had tummy ache (that's how we used to describe it) but was feeling pretty good, he woke up shouting at 5am. I tried to calm him down (well, shut him up to be honest) as I was concerned about the other kids and explained to the nurse that he had never been very good with pain. She called the doctor, the gastro team and a surgeon explaining that 'it doesn't matter if he's exagerating, we need to get to the bottom of it'. Turns out he had some of the mass in his kidney and the chemo was breaking it down. He passed it about an hour later as a series of long worms. The surgeon told me it was basically as intense as passing gall stones. From that point on, I never doubted Sonny again and realised that anything we needed was a call away. And yes, of course I felt a twat.

Anyway, there is a point to all this. As part of his treatment we're now in a programme with an outreach nurse. She comes every day at a time that suits us to change dressings, administer drugs and deliver anything we need. The picture above is the box that infuses the nasty liquid (nope I don't mean Ribena) by our wonderful, lovely nurse who makes that up in our living room. Next week the home teacher comes. The day after home physio starts. You're probably getting the picture now.

Get something like this and the NHS are pretty unbelievable. Get a sore throat and I'd advise you to drink plenty of liquids and stay in bed. The difference is that marked.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Gavin: Home sweet home

So here we all are, back under the same roof and loving it. The difference in Sonny being home this time is massive - we thought that constant pain and sickness from last time were the norm - but he's chirpy, eating and already getting annoyed by his sister. The nerve damage in his legs is quite scary, but he's already making improvements and, as he continues to build muscle, will hopefully start to return rapidly. Luckily there aren't too many stairs in our bloody three story house for him to cope with.

My first job today was to go to the pharmacist to pick up his prescription which I thought would be a bag full. Turned out I had slightly underestimated what he would need (pic below) and, alongside the wheelchair, commode, bath lifts and splints we're starting to look and act like a proper hospital. Zo has refused to wear the nurses uniform I've got her but I'm very happy to pull on a pair of brown jumbo cords and say things like 'this boy needs 20mg of capri sun and a petis filous infusion'

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Zoe: 2 words

Sonny's home!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Ruby: Live from Leicester Square

LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET I'm looking at Boris Johnson doing a (boring) speach so me and uncle paul went out to have some
dinner. We went to cafe rough and were men't to get some autogaphs but I left my authgraph book there. We went to look around Lester Square and got covered in fake snow. We went into Hamleys and we made snow out of some special powder (I want it for Christmas). Then we walked up the red carpet and we saw all the X factor people, the Saturdays and Peter Andre. We broke two world records singing the worlds most people to sing a Christmas Carol and the biggest 3D premier in the world. I had a great time and I hope I go again.

Zoe: 52 Shopping Days to Christmas

It's official folks, Christmas is just two pay packets away. I usually get very cross with any mention of Christmas before December however if recent events have taught us that anything then everything is worth celebrating so we'll share with you two quite different events that have got us all in the festive mood.

1. Sonny ate his first mince pie. He spied one for 99p in Pret yesterday which I refused to buy. However, the craving refused to leave him so today the two of us set out on a mission to Waitrose where you'll be pleased to discover has a full range of mince pies on offer from Charlies posh organic £2.49 for 4 to the ones that ended up in my basket - plain shortcrust which were £1.24 for 6. A bargain I think you'll agree and when heated are to quote Sonny; 'Delicious'.

2. Ruby went to Regent's Street to witness the switching on of the Christmas lights. This year's celeb was a little lost on Rubes (Colin Firth) but she didn't mind as she was looking forward to hob-nobbing with the Saturdays and Mayor Boris on the red carpet premier of A Christmas Carol as a guest of her Uncle Paul.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Gavin: Clickety, click

On Friday night I added a click counter to the blog using HTML which frankly puts another career change at my fingertips if I chose to leave the heady heights of recruitment advertising. This means we now have something else to obsess over as since then, the site has been viewed nearly 500 times which seemed an amazing amount and made us emotional that so many people are thinking of Sonny. Arguably, around 400 of them will be us looking to see if anyone else has looked which is all a bit through the looking glass and defeats the object a bit I suppose.

Gavin: Day 84...

EDIT: Zoe and I posted this and the one below at the same time. Strangely, we were both thinking along the same lines hence the crossover in content (internet speak for 'what it's about').

Being in a hospital for 12 weeks is a bit like a depressing version of Big Brother. You see the same tired faces every day and get to know their habits. Those who don't wash up after themselves, those who think it's acceptable to walk around barefoot in nightclothes mid afternoon (it isn't) and those who want to share every detail of their child's progress and know all about yours. It's this bunch that aggravate me the most as frankly, Sonny is our business and no one else's. I appreciate that sentence is thick with irony considering I'm blogging about him, but you know what I mean. Conversations with this lot are very one sided as I neither give anything away ("he's ok" is ambiguous enough to be read either way) or show any sympathy to their plight (harsh, but we're all on a cancer ward for a reason). Most want details so they can play a weird version of Top Trumps (Top Lumps if you like) where they can gauge their sorrow against yours and decide if they're better or worse off. Surprisingly, most seem to want to be worse off, refusing to let any good news brighten their day. When a dad told me he was going home I beamed for him and told him how great that was: "only 5 more years to go then" he sighed. Miserable bastard.
Strangely, Zoƫ thinks this is 'normal', people are simply 'being nice' and having 'conversations'. She's pointed out that it's only me who seems to have a problem with the others and they continue to get on famously with one another. This could be right, but I'll keep having fake conversations on my mobile when I'm out of the room just to be sure.

Zoe: Sonny's Ark

One of the strangest things about Sonny being in hospital is living alongside 14 other families day in day out. Its a bit like camping without the rain and the firebuilding. For those of you that know Gav imagine his pain for a moment... We all have our own room with a tiny chair shaped bath and shower although rumour has it that room 10 is the one to have with space to keep the fold away bed down all day and a luxury full size bath. Each family is allocated a numbered basket in the communal fridge in the tiny kitchen. You start to feel very territorial if someone's Petit Filous is encroaching on your Frubes I can tell you. People have asked us if we've made any friends which is a fair question but despite being here for nearly 3 months we have really tried to keep our heads down. Everyone here is going through such a deeply personal experience that passing the time of day seems to be a bit trivial. Of course there are a few families we have got to know over time and we can now spot a 'lifer' from a shell shocked newbie at 30 paces but we'll do anything to avoid the inevitable cancer Top Trumps that tend to begin once any conversation strikes up. (I'll leave Gav to explain the rules of this game in another blog). Everyone here seems very good at keeping a lid on their emotions, we are all very polite to one another and avoid eye contact at 3 in the morning on the way to the sluice room and turn a blind eye to bed hair and Christmas slippers (not mine) although one dad does giggle whenever he sees me as he did catch me in the small hours putting Sonny's wee wee bottle into the fridge zzzzzzz.

I brought more unwanted attention on myself today by leaving the bath running while chatting to the nurse outside the room about all the things that needed to be put in place for Sonny to come home. The conversation went on for a few minutes and as I opened the door it took me a while to work out why my feet were covered in warm water. With panic I waded into the bathroom to turn off the tap and to take in the hilarity v pure panic of Sonny's bed surrounded in bubbles. Housekeeping had to call for emergency back up and a two lovely men arrived to pump it all out while I went down to patient's laundry in my soggy pjs to dry out my clothes I'd left neatly folded on the bathroom floor last night.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sonny: a quick word from me

Hi, Sonny here, I might be coming home soon so I can talk to you all in person. I'm feeling so much better I can walk easier I feel pretty fine so it's just a matter of time. Until next time, goodbye.

Gavin: The day today

To say Sonny goes from strength to strength is an understatement. The steroids have now firmly kicked in to give him the appetite of a olympic weight lifter which so far today has seen him polish off:

1 bowl of sugar puffs
1 handful of rasberries
1 handful of grapes
1/2 a melon (small)
1 cupcake (see picture)
1 plate of spaghetti
1 bag of hula hoops
1 can of diet coke
5 fish fingers
3 slices of mango
1 apple
1 bottle of water
1 glass of mango juice
1 more cup cake
Assorted quality street (streets?)

To put this amount slightly into context, we got up at 10am and I'm writing this at 3. I need to go now because he's eyeing me up and down and licking his lips. I'll let the photos tell the story...

Easy like a sunday morning

No pain, no gain

Eating the poshest cup cakes in Europe (thanks Brian and Jenny)

Robin Van Persie pops in for a bath

The drip stand tells the full story (see the old one here)

Our little cup cake