Along with everything which has happened in the last month perhaps our biggest learning is just how lucky we are to have such an amazing group of family, friends and supporters who have been there all the way to help ensure Sarah , the kids and myself get through this.
Opening the chilly bin at our door is such a surprise yielding fine delicious meals, goodies and even wine. We also feel fortunate thanks to kind offers of help driving either me to radiation or having our kids on play dates. All of which makes this experience seem so much more normal and doable. So thank you everyone, there are 8 weeks of chemo and targeted radiation to go so we thank you for continuing to be with us on this ride.
Last weekend was a long weekend, Waitangi Day. Great friends Michelle and Matt Booth and their gorgeous daughter Milly invited us to escape the bubble of our home and hospitals and run away with them for the weekend. Previously we had planned to spend New Year’s at their relaxing Mangawhai batch, north of Auckland, but ended up spending it in Auckland Hospital instead. You’ll have to guess how much nicer an option this was for us.
The weather was extraordinary some days as high as 33 degrees. We spent the days at the surf beach with the kids. Thomas loved Matt teaching him to ride the waves with his boogie board. Molly played in the natural lagoon formed at the edge of the sea with her small board and the kids loved digging trenches in the sand out to sea to capture the waning sea.
It’s difficult to express just how fabulous it felt splashing into the sea for the first time since the op, even finishing the 4.6km swimming race from Rangitoto to St Heliers a couple of years ago couldn’t have equalled my pleasure and sense of achievement as I swam along the beach feeling the water over my head and no leaks from where the surgeon had excavated my brain.
During the sun soaked evenings Michelle came up with yummy meals and Matt hit the BBQ to grill lamb and butterflied chicken. This is what the good life is. Memories we won’t forget leaving for home with a warm summer glow on our faces feeling happily and relaxed. Thank you Matt, Michelle and Milly. We loved it.
The week, if possible, was made even more perfect by my football team of 45 years, Chelsea, winning again opening up a nine point gap on the others: CUMMON you Blues!
I’m well into the chemotherapy pills the only obvious side effect is a heightened sensitivity to temperature change. After my beach swims I soon learnt to dry off and change my clothes quickly after my first day’s swimming experience of wrapping up like an Eskimo on the beach in everyone’s beach towels despite the 34 degrees heat.
Wednesday 8th February I begin the targeted radiation. I’ll let you know how that’s going next time around, needless to say though I just can’t wait to see my hairstyle after a few more of all these treatments!... Until my next post
Rob Matthews MBE. Paralympian