Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Zoe: Sshhhh (part two)

Sonny sat the second part of one of his entrance exams today. His bloods have taken forever to recover from the chemo giving him a banging headache so we haven't been able to resume them until today. He's exhausted but feeling very glad its all over... until the next one. Why they can't just sit one is beyond me but hey I gave up trying to make sense of things a long time ago. 

Monday, 29 November 2010

Zoe: Haircut 100

Sonny's got a new look - whatcha think? We've got an 80s revival going on. Watch your back Terry Hall, there's a new kid on the block.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Gavin: Tick tock...

The wait for the inevitable temperature/rash/diarrhoea looms large every day. But I think the fact that Sonny is home and in good spirits is doing a good job of hiding the fear of being back in the Shittington, There isn't really anything more depressing than being there, waiting four or five days for the ambulance to GOSH whilst trying to find things that his chemo damaged palate will cope with from the local Co-op. It's Zo's birthday in a couple of weeks and then the small matter of Christmas, followed by Ruby's big day and then my not so big one. Last year we managed the end of the year fun but he was in for January so poor old Rubes had the single parent Birthday experience and I had half a Stella in the pub with my wife on mine.
Maybe this will be it. Maybe one of these 40 million cells will eat up the cancer and we'll always just be waiting for something to happen over the next few weeks, then months, then years until Sonny leaves for Cambridge and he's in charge of his illness. I hope so. Forget cancer and all that, the camp beds in the hospital play havoc with me back.

Zoe: Nippy Nora

Brrrrrr... its fresh outside. Stayed nice and cosy today with a warm dose of Harry Hill, X-factor and a 36 goal fest Match of the Day. Toastie.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Gavin: Bob breen super machine

Rube's had a kick boxing presentation tonight. She came back with a trophy for kicking and drew blood from her instructor. Sonny went to Camden via the canal and ate a crepe (please wash your hands) and bought new trousers. It looks like there's only one person in this family who's actually doing anything normal (spending the afternoon in the Three Kings with my chum Andrew and getting a bit tipsy). What, you lot don't spend the afternoon in the pub? Jesus, get a proper job...

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Zoe: Get Lost Lady

Sonny is showing teenage tendencies - sleeping in, eating cereal and generally finding me really irritating. Can't say I blame him though when my only topic of conversation is asking him how he feels, if he wants to eat anything and getting him to lift up his shirt so that I can check for any sign of a rash.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Zoe: Weird Science

Today was a bit of an anti-climax really. The tiny weeny 1ml syringe you can see being pushed into Sonny contains over 40,000,000 donor cells and took all of three seconds to go in. For those of you interested in the clever stuff he needs 1 million cells per kilo. The cells this time around are just Tcells or CD3 if you're a really clever medical talking person like me and they are the type that like to make GVHD (graft v host disease). We've been told not to expect to see any signs of GVHD for at least two weeks. And that guys and gals is it. Better get Christmas shopping then.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Zoe: Ready. Steady. Go.

Sonny spent yesterday curled up on the sofa. He was meant to sit the second part of one of his exams but it can wait. All his bloods are really low and he's been having nose bleeds despite having platelets on Friday. This is all from the chemo so today he had more platelets followed by a blood transfusion and he's now feeling much better (no thanks to Arsenal, hello guys did you not get our memo?). Big day tomorrow. He is back at GOSH and his donor cells are being defrosted ready for him to receive them as an outpatient. We are all feeling rather tense about it as we don't know what's going to happen but we are as ready as we'll ever be so bring it on.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Gavin: The War of the Roses, Celebrations and Quality Street

It was Sonny's party last night which went pretty well I reckon. Seven boys with large plastic guns setting up and attacking base camps, then frantically running round collecting the 1p bullets in case they lost any. Luckily, all Sonny's friends are lovely boys, so there were no tears, no tantrums and no vomming after too much cake. He had a great time and despite only getting four hours sleep seems very perky today. It also capped off an amazing performance from The Mighty Arsenal who, despite being two goals down at half time, 'outgunned' Tottenham to win 3-2 at The Emirates. That will put a serious dent in their aspirations to finish in the top four this year I can tell you.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Zoe: Under seige

Help... we have been taken hostage by 7 small boys. They are armed and very dangerous. If we survive we'll post pictures of our ordeal in the morning.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Gavin: Stand up, if you hate cancer...

Sorry... what was that? You're wondering what we're doing for Sonny's party tomorrow night? Well, it's 10.50pm and we've just finished making a cake that looks a bit like a gun, Zo's been to the National Army Museum (N.A.M) for party bag gifts and the lovely Ocado man has delivered 78 bags of crisps and a packet of hot dogs.
It's a big day tomorrow for many reasons. Sonny's bloods are at their lowest so he went to the Shittington for a quick tranfusion tonight to get him feeling better for his party. He takes the second part of his Entrance Exam in the morning and more importantly, The Mighty Arsenal take on Tottenham at Midday.
Interestingly, Tottenham are quite like his illness. An ever present annoyance that won't seem to go away how ever many times you beat it.
The new cells go in next week. We're hoping for a Van Persie hat trick rather than a Ledley King*

*Mum, that means we're really hoping for a great result rather than them not working properly despite being quite important in the big scheme of things.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Zoe: Sshhhh

I'm having to write this very quietly... Sonny is in the kitchen sitting the first of his entrance exams for secondary school. GULP.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Happy Birthday Big Boy

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Zoe: Homework

Sonny has felt rather rubbish today thanks to yesterday's chemo. He could hardly move for most of the day and when he was awake he was bored, bored, bored. Luckily, the healing powers of PS3 were working by this afternoon and this evening he even felt bright enough to try some homework set by his school this week (thank you for telling him about it Eva). Ruby had the same project to do so they decided they'd submit a joint entry. Their brief was to make a shelter for two Lego people that could withstand 500g and 200ml of water being tipped on it.  Thinking it could get ugly, I hastily removed myself from the situation by making a cake for Sonny's birthday tomorrow. Here are the results... looks pretty good to me and Ruby informs me its been scientifically tested for up to 700g (two DietCoke cans) and the sloping roof should keep the nice Lego folk dry. You'll have to wait for cake...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Gavin: Happy Birthday Nanny

Sonny endured the drudgery of chemo today but was brightened up by Nanny and Da coming up to visit for her birthday today and cooking us all our tea (which was very kind considering it was her special day). Ruby is still struggling to sleep (can't remember if you all know this), so went to bed with some special CD's that are meant to help. They do seem to have worked despite us both giggling at the "you're falling asleep under the finest silk sheets" line on track one. "You're falling asleep under IKEA’s finest" would be perhaps be more appropriate but hey ho. Anyway, this is all pretty dull so here's a picture of the kids toasting marshmallows over a tea light (IKEA again) as I couldn't be bothered to make a fire for them. I'm not sure why Ruby looks like a prisoner in a Texas jail, but dang girl, that hair be banging.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Zoe: Fight night

The last few months have taken their toll on all of us and Ruby has been suffering terribly with sleepless nights. Despite surviving on only 4 hours she still has bags of energy and tons of enthusiasm for anything and everything. Check out the little green stripe on her belt... she was graded today in kickboxing and came out top of her class. Very handy for this particular corner of London village.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Sonny: An author in the making

Christmas Warehouse Heist

In the late hours of downtown Chicago the notorious criminal Jim Thefty (or known to you and I by the name of Skinny Jim) is writing plans for his big warehouse heist that he and his partner Bob Flab (or Fat Bob) are going to attempt on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve. If the heist goes to plan the pair would obtain over $10m in jewellery and antiques.
Suddenly, a large gust of wind swept up one of the papers and it flew out of an open window. Jim, who was out of the room having a toilet break, didn’t notice that one of his papers was missing and continued to write up his plans.

The next morning, Inspector Steve was enjoying his Christmas holiday and was taking Chopper the Dog for a walk. As they neared the end of Alcopone Park Steve gazed at the battered hut in the distance. Unaware that the hut belonged to Skinny Jim he passed it without giving it a second glance. But then, Chopper the Dog began running towards it, barking wildly. Now, Chopper is a very well trained police dog and only barked when he smelt something suspicious. Steve, naturally followed to see what he had found. When he arrived at the hut Chopper was standing over apiece of paper with one paw on it, like he was making sure it didn’t blow away, With the words ‘Big Heist’ written on it.

Skinny Jim and Steve had met before. And Jim had cut off Steve’s left thumb. During their encounter, Jim had been wearing bright green nail varnish and some of it had spilt on Steve’s suit jacket. Steve had never been able to get the stain out and today he was wearing that same jacket.

Steve picked up the piece of paper and examined it carefully. Just as he was putting it in his pocket to take to the police station he noticed a green smudge on the corner of the paper. Immediately he remembered the stain on his jacket and compared the two. Sure enough, the two shades matched and Steve new that Skinny Jim was behind the heist.

Big Heist
·      Get job at warehouse
·      Get clearance for Bob to load after 8pm
·      Mark all the goods worth taking
·      Stay in after hours and collect marked goods
·      Load goods into Bob’s truck
·      Head north for Canadian border
·      Cross border at midnight
Day 2

·      Buy up expensive land
·      Search for great grandfathers lost treasure

Once treasure found…
·      Move to Hawaii and enjoy rest of life showering in cash

Steve took the plans back to his apartment and set them down on the table. He spent the rest of the day examining them and came to the conclusion that he should take them in to the station but when he stepped outside it was pitch black.  He took a quick glance at his watch and realised that he had spent the entire day looking at the papers and it was now 23:00. He knew that by now the Chief of police would have gone home and he would get stuck trying to explain the heist to a teenager doing his or her last shift before they get to take Christmas off.

When Steve woke up the next morning he did what he usually did. He poured a bowl of food out for Chopper, who came running as soon as he heard the rattle of it against the metal of his bowl. Then he made himself his favourite breakfast, a bacon sandwich, and sat down at the table with the paper.
He had forgotten about the papers he had found the day before and was just leaving his apartment with Chopper to go for a walk when, out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of the bright green nail vanish that Skinny Jim had left on the plans. Suddenly he remembered that he was supposed to take them to the station today.
“Sorry Chopper,” he said picking up the papers. “Looks like we’ll be taking a different route for our walk today.
When they arrived at the station they were greeted by what Steve had tried to ovoid the night before, a teenage receptionist. She had her sleeves rolled up untidily, long frizzy blonde hair that obviously hadn’t had much attention for a while. And she was filing her nails with a pocket nailfile.
“Can I help you?” she asked without looking up.
“I’m here to see Police Chief Barnes,” Steve replied.
“Do you have an appointment?”
“No but I’m an old friend,”
“I’m sorry I can’t let you in if you don’t have an appointment,” Steve was getting angry now. Not only was he not being allowed to see Police Chief Barnes but the person he was addressing still had not made eye-contact with him yet.
“Can you tell him that Inspector Steve is looking for him and its urgent,” Steve asked?
“Ok,” the teenager replied and continued to file her nails.
“Well,” Steve said.
“What,” the teenager said blankly.
“Can you tell him that Inspector Steve is here to see him and it’s urgent,”
“Um I’m busy,” this was the last straw for Steve and he was just about to shout when Police Chief Barnes walked out of his office and greeted him with a smile.
“Steve good to see you, why are you here your meant to be on holiday?”
“I have something you might want to see,” Steve said in a stern voice. “Maybe we could talk in your office?”
“Of course,” Police Chief Barnes replied and he led Steve past the front desk (were the teenager was still filing her nails) and into his office shutting the door behind them.

“Are you sure that Jim Thefty and Bob Flab are behind this heist?” Police Chief Barnes asked after reading the plans.
“Positive,” Steve replied. “I know that nail varnish from the day he, you know,” and he lifted his false thumb in the air.
“Steve, if we don’t catch Jim now we will never be able to because he will be across the border and you and I both know we can’t touch him while he is,”
“ I know Peter, what your trying to say is that you want me to come off my holiday to help you catch him.”
“I’m really sorry Steve but you’re the only inspector that hasn’t gone abroad for Christmas.”
“You think I’m sad about this,” Steve chuckled, “I have been waiting for this for my whole life. I’m finally going to put that twig behind bars!”

“Right what are we going to do?” Police Chief Barnes asked.
“Well we know that there is only one warehouse in Chicago that holds valuables and antiques and that is the ‘sparkle’. We can’t catch him before he does the heist because we won’t have any proof it was him,” Steve replied. 
“What about that smudge on the plans can’t we use that?” Police Chief Barnes asked.
“No that could be anyone’s unless we had the bottle it came from we could match his prints to it but all we have is a smudge.”
“So your saying we are going to have to let him get the goods and catch him in a chase?”
“An ambush my friend, an ambush. The plans say he is going to head for the Canadian border we just have to ambush him on the way.”
“According to this the heist is tonight at 8pm. I will ready a S.W.A.T team at once because it is already 19:00 and we need to leave as soon as we can,”

By the time Steve got to the warehouse Fat Bob was already parked up and he and Skinny Jim were loading items into his truck. “They have started loading. I’m going to hang back and follow them to your position over,” Steve radioed in.
“Ok, we are all set over,” replied Police Chief Barnes.

Steve followed Jim and Bob up the high way and then he gave the signal. He honked his horn for three seconds and two chains with spikes on them were tossed in front of Skinny Jim’s truck. With a loud bang the tyres on the truck punctured and it span off the high way and into a ditch. Police cars surrounded the wreckage and Jim and Bob stumbled out. They were handcuffed and put into the back of a van to be taken away to jail.

“Merry Christmas!” was what woke Steve up the next morning and he was met by his mum and dad. He hadn’t got home till late and so his parents had probably let themselves in. They opened their presents at the table. Steve got a new watch and Chopper a new chew toy but nothing could beat the present he had received the night before. His life long enemy was behind bars.


Zoe: Slackers

Sorry, I got a few concerned texts today about Sonny. Everything is good we've just been a bit neglectful telling you.

Sonny's been keeping himself pretty busy as you can see by the magnificent photo. What a monster - he loved building it so huge big thanks to all you wonderfully amazing people. I'll also post a story he wrote whilst having his chemo this week. I know I'm incredibly biased but he really is one hell of a kid.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Zoe: A day in the life

Sonny was back on Safari today for some more chemo. They didn't have an isolation room free for him so they found a place for him in the recovery room on Safari where kids come round following minor operations. (No procedures were taking place today). It was a huge room with just us in it and a lady sitting behind our curtain on a computer busy booking children in for procedures. The lorazepam Sonny had taken to prevent sickness had made him rather sleepy so while he snoozed it off I had to listen to lots of terribly confidential conversations about other patients and their choice of portocath v hickman line and a few student nurse appraisals. I also learnt that the secretary's fella was a bit of a let down and keeps falling asleep early leaving her bored out of her skull and that her daughter needed her to babysit as she needed to get her tattoo redone. And there was me feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Gavin: Top weekend

Another year, another fireworks night. It seems strange that we're still doing this stuff while he has cancer. It was meant to be 6 months and done but, 15 months later we're still counting out pills and boiling his drinking water every night. But whatever, it was a great weekend which saw us host sleepovers on Friday, friends for dinner on Saturday and a houseful of adults and kids on Sunday for lunch. I've let Zoe watch the X-factor followed by Downton Abbey just to top it all off (and show her what a catch I really am). Huge apologies to all those Newcastle fans out there though... Remember, The Emirates is a tough place to go and there's no shame in being thrashed like that in your first season back.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Zoe: How much!?

Sometimes during periods of quiet reflection I often wonder just how much all Sonny's treatment is costing the good ship NHS. I got a tiny insight today when I went to the chemist today to collect a repeat prescription for Sonny. Despite having it for a few days our busy GP hadn't managed to fax it over. The pharmacist was really nice about it and said that she'd let me have an emergency supply to tide him over. Only she couldn't as is wasn't a stock item and did I know that each tablet is £200? He takes three of these particular ones every day - you do the maths. To finish the story we tracked some down to The Whittington who pulled out all the stops to help me but hilariously the pharmacist there couldn't let me go until she'd also told me how much they were. I gave her a 'big purple one' by way of a hasty thank you banking on the fact she wouldn't have been 'avin it large' in 1989 and shouldn't see the irony.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Zoe: Quick one

Good news... All the tests this week were negative and his PET showed a good response to the chemo. So he's going to have two more doses of the chemo to keep the monster from the door while he's weaned off the steroids. All being well, he should have the new donor cells (thank you again anonymous stranger) in about three weeks time and we should be one step closer to getting our beautiful boy back.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Zoe: Testing times

Despite the CT scan being clear, Sonny's lovely stand in consultant (I really like her) wants to make absolutely sure that everything really is ok before either continuing with the chemo next week or giving him the cells from the donor which were harvested today and should arrive in the country tomorrow. So today he had a simple X ray of his chest to make sure it was safe for him to have a general for his lumber puncture procedure. The matter of fact way in which we approach procedures like this these days is beginning to get to me but luckily Sonny is as super as ever. He went down very relaxed chatting about Arsenal and woke up chatting about how he'd buy us a box when he was playing for them and his birthday plans and didn't stop for about 2 hours. Its going to be quite some event I tells ya. Just an MRI of his head to rule out anything else nasty tomorrow and we should be able to put this week behind us.

He's knee deep in Lego and loving it. Thank you everybody x

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sonny: THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm writing this post to say thank you to everyone who contributed to getting me that amazing LEGO. I had been looking at it in the catalogue and I thought it would be one of those sets that you just have to look at and long that you had the money to afford it. For everyone to pitch in and get it for me was so nice I can't quite describe it. I know I will have lots of fun building it and will put up a picture of the finished product when it is complete. I feel a little bit spoilt, I mean its my birthday in just over 2 weeks. Aren't I meant to get all of my goodies then. If anyone that helped organize the gift gets invited to my birthday party please do not get anything else. Seriously, you would have given me too much and would of probably given me more than my parents had and I can guarantee they will not be happy if they do not get me the best present. Between you and me though they are gonna have to buy me a flipping football team to top it.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Zoe: Dr Who?

A doctor from GOSH rang tonight who is covering for Sonny's consultant whilst he's away. She wants to see Sonny tomorrow just to check if everything really is ok. What alarmed me was that this was a complete  surprise. I guess the shock was that we are so busy pretending that what happened is normal that we forget that none of this is normal at all.