And yet another anniversary

It is a year since Wouterman started treatment.  A year since the pharmacist who prepares the chemotherapy was told not to bother ordering more than 10 weeks’ worth of chemicals because he won’t need it.

If you are wondering why 10 weeks, his treatment happens in blocks.  He had a 10 week block of treatment followed by a re-assessment scan and then started on his next block of treatment.  Medically speaking he wasn’t going to see the middle of March.

I won’t forget the bottles and bottles of stuff that they pumped into him.  Actually the amount didn’t throw me as much as the colour.  The doxorubicin is orange.  Fanta orange.  Not a good colour.

We started the day alone in a 4-bed room but moved to a private room by the afternoon.  I remember that Cristina was amazed at how good Boeta was looking – he was standing at the foot of the bed cranking up the headend when she arrived.  It was an old style bed and he loved turning the handle to raise and lower the end.  He already had a drip up and I was constantly worried that he would pull it out and that we would have to do it again.  Wouter’s parents came through to support me.  It helped.

Today is also a year since we met Speeltannie aka Annelize.  She is the occupational therapist that specialises in therapy for children affected by cancer.  I found out later that she was sent to start “doodsbegeleiding” (What is that in English?  It means to prepare one for the process of dying).  No one thought Woutertjie was going to survive.  But praise God!  No one stopped trying either.

Annelize has become such a part of our lives.  She told me that day to allow Woutertjie to feel in control of something, since everyone does things to him that he has no say in.  So we started giving him choices.  Red underpants or blue underpants?  Do you want to do this yourself or do you want me to help you?  May I lift you onto the bed?  May I take your shoes off?  It sounds silly but it has made such a difference.  We are still doing that and now we are doing it with Carien as well. 

I can tell when Boeta feels really out of sorts.  Those are the days that he asks to go and visit Speeltannie (the play lady) and Maatjie (friend), her hand puppet.  He adores that puppet.  At one stage he was very depressed and unhappy and wouldn’t talk to anyone, not even Maatjie.  But his stuffed lion, Alex, did.  So there were Woutertjie and Annelize playing with Maatjie and Alex.  And Alex told Maatjie about everything that bothered him.

Thank you Annelize.  You made our lives easier this year.

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3 Responses

  1. She sounds like one very special lady

  2. (((HUGS)))

  3. I like what you said here: “No one thought Woutertjie was going to survive. But praise God! No one stopped trying either.” Thank goodness there are people that are still trying even though there seems to be no hope or that your efforts seem meaningless. It proves that people’s logic and reasoning can only go so far – beyond that, mother nature / fate takes over!! You are such a blessed family!!!! And we are such blessed people to have you as friends!!!

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