It is today 2 months since this journey started. It feels a lot longer. So many things have happened and so many things have changed. And strangely enough there is very little that I regret about the past 2 months. We have met the most amazing people, we are a lot more aware of the world outside our comfort zone and we have grown so much. Good things, all of them.
Today I feel the need particularly to talk about the medical personnel who have crossed our paths.
Dr Kuhn, the GP who first noticed that something was wrong and who still phones to find out how we are doing. Thank you for doing a proper examination. You have our eternal gratitude. I can’t begin to tell you how many compliments you have received from all the other medical people involved for picking up that something was wrong. If you suddenly have a huge increase in patient numbers, blame it on that!
Dr Etienne Bruwer, the paediatrician at Durbanville MediClinic who had to break the news to us that it is cancer. You met us the one day and had to shatter our lives the next. Thank you for pushing to get Woutertjie’s tests and scans done ASAP even though it was, quite literally, the day before Christmas. Thank you for spending time with us, discussing the diagnosis. Thank you for arranging for us to meet Dr Stefan the next day, on Christmas. Thank you for being human throughout it all.
Everyone involved in doing Woutertjie’s scans, when he really didn’t want to be scanned, particularly the Durbanville MediClinic radiographist who gave up her Christmas Eve leave to accompany us to Panorama MediClinic for the CT. She had a dentist appointment beforehand and came in with a swollen mouth and her 4 year old daughter in tow. They needed someone to assist during the procedure and she put Woutertjie before her own family and health. Thank you.
Sister Jenkins at Durbanville MediClinic and all the nurses of the paediatric ward who were pillars of strength when I fell apart. You kept me standing when I didn’t want to stand and didn’t think I would ever be able to stay upright ever again. You are angels, every one of you.
Dr Cristina Stefan, the oncologist who first met with us on Christmas morning and told us that Boeta had cancer, probably stage 4 and told me rather brusquely to suck it up and deal with the facts. Thank you for that. I needed a swift kick under the patooty. Thank you for being with us every step of the way. Thank you that this isn’t just a pay cheque for you but a real calling. Thank you for treating Boeta as a private patient in Panorama, instead of a government patient in Tygerberg where you are based, after all. Thank you for looking shocked when I tell you that Boeta wants to climb trees – it makes me so proud of my headstrong child!
The nurses at the paediatric ward of Panorama MediClinic. When Woutertjie suddenly developed a very high fever on Christmas afternoon we were told to go to Panorama since our usual paediatrician works from there and Dr Bruwer was on holiday. They had no idea who we were or that we were on our way there. In fact, the paediatric ward was closed down because there were no children. Gretta was on duty when we arrived. Initially I wasn’t very impressed with her because she didn’t start doing something immediately. While I know that she needed to find out what was going on before she could do something I didn’t care about that right then. I just needed my son to get treated. Thanks Gretta, for taking the time and finding out first.
To Debbie, Sharon, Iola, Maggie, Tracey, Rose, Natasha (die nagheks!) and all the other ladies: You are the best. I still don’t know how you manage to fit your angel-wings under your uniforms. You have made this road so much easier to travel. Thank you for talking when we needed to talk, for being to good with Boeta and for really caring. We love you. And to sister Alta Stoltenkamp who tells the other nurses to give Boeta his injections because she refuses to hurt Kabouter – you are so special.
To Jean and all the ladies involved in the support services – thank you for going out of your way to make this easier for us. We appreciate it more than I can tell.
Dr Andro Theart, the paediatrician who looked after Boeta from Christmas until our usual paediatrician came back from leave. You really have a way with children. You have found your calling. Thank you for looking after Woutertjie through the holidays, always smiling and always with a wonderful attitude.
Dr Gerrit de Villiers, our usual paediatrician who has become so much more to us in the last 2 months. Even when I phone you at odd hours you are always so calm and so friendly and caring. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for putting your hands in the Lord’s.
Annalise Gouws, the occupational therapist who does play therapy with Woutertjie to help him deal with his ordeal. You are one in a million. By making this easier for Woutertjie, you have made it so much easier for us as parents. Thank you.
Emerentia Esterhuyse, the social worker who has to try and keep me (sort of) sane. You didn’t realise what a big job you took on when you took it on! Thank you for helping me struggle through cancer issues but also belief issues. Thank you for being there when I need you.
I am sure I’ve left a number of people out. Sorry. I didn’t realise what a big team we have around us and I’ve gone blank now. I’ve never been much good with names anyway and I don’t have faces with me! Send me a comment and then I’ll add you! 🙂
Dear God, thank you for these people You have sent over our path. Bless them.
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