Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014 - what a mixed bag!

It's been a couple of months since I posted anything here. There is a good reason for that (and for me being so quite in the comment sections of others blogs!), but I'll come to that later.

I'm normally not one for that was the year that was, but this year I want to do something. It has been amazing, heart rending, emotional and painful in more ways that one. Let's see where this goes...

January started with the broken boiler a week or two before my son was due to be born. Stress and very likely an overpriced boiler later we had heating (and no CO) again!

February was the mixed bag of the year. On valentines day my son was born after a traumatic week for both Mrs Stace and I. A difficult birth, in a room full of doctors and nurses working hard to make sure he came into the world safely (as opposed to a mid wife and normal delivery) had me totally petrified.

I managed three weeks with him before I was called back to the office due to another team lead needing to leave the country for a family emergency. Those weeks were simply amazing!

We saw my parents who came for a week to see him, though dad was not well, the doctors though that he had a vitamin deficiency and would need three monthly injections for the rest of his life.

Sadly, this was not the case. At the start of March he was diagnosed as having bowel cancer and needed an operation urgently as the surgeon thought that they had caught it early enough.

Scottish NHS however had different ideas and it was nearly two months later (after several screw ups from the hospital) before he actually had the operation. By this time it had burst out of the bowel and there were three external cancers that the surgeon also had to remove whilst on the operating table. On the bright side, he could not see more damage, and dad did not need a stoma as a result of the surgery.

The fact that the cancer had spread though moved him from a low risk patient to a high risk, and so chemo was considered necessary. And very harsh preventative chemo too, something that we were not warned about.

His first course was fine, he coped well. The second saw him get very poorly, and the third put him in hospital for 10 days or so with complications and infections.

Over the summer I got a call from the VU (hospital) about surgery (woot!). They expected it to be in August, or at the latest September.

We saw our son grow, start to get a personality, and start to take a very real interest in his surroundings. Watching someone grow up in front of you, from a tiny and helpless baby to someone with a personality and wanting to do things with you is such a magical experience.

He has also been ill a few times, and I have never been so scared in all of my life.

But come September still no operation. Quite the opposite, when I called for an update I was told not September, maybe October. Great.

October came and I finally got the call from the VU. 10th or 11th November for my operation. Holy crap! All of a sudden everything became really... Real. Time to start lots of handovers at work, and time to start preparing!

Only, it wasn't the 10th or the 11th. A few weeks after the first call it was changed to 18th November, and I started to get scared that it would be cancelled. I was refusing to believe that it was going to happen until it actually did...

For the next few weeks I was a bit of a wreck, and then came to my last week. It was really quite boring - which I took as a good sign, better than a busy one with lots of last minute questions!

And then, in hospital! Which is kind of a chapter all to itself (which I am trying to write before I forget it!).

December has been recovery, scares and parties where I could not join in anywhere near as much as I wanted to! And a lot of support from people, for which I am deeply grateful! That support got me through some very tough times over the last weeks.

The little guy has seen his first Sinterklaas, and his first Christmas - which we spent in a holiday home with the in laws and had a great time.

On Christmas Eve dad took his last tablet - and as long as the next scan is clear, as the last was, then he has the same chance of remission as someone who never had it in the first place.

New year was spent at home with the little guy (thankfully) sleeping through the fireworks and Mrs Stace and I staying up till midnight to see the new year in.

2014 was a mixed bag. It was the year I thought I was going to lose my dad, but it was also the year that I finally had my operation and most importantly of all, the year that we got our son. And for that it will always be special!