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!


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  2. Wow! What a year. I'm tired out just reading about it. :-D First off, glad to hear that you are all safe and well. Doubly so for your pa being on the mend. Congratulations on the surgery! <3

    I hope with all the above, you've still had lots of family time, and been able to see your baby grow up. They change so quickly.

    1. Thanks Lynn! We've had lots of family time, though with my own little guy that now takes on a whole new meaning :) I get to see my parents soon, which I can't wait for!

      The biggest thing is having to watch him playing for the last couple of months s opposed to playing with him- though that is slowly changing now :)


  3. I hope that with this final step Transition is fully in the past. Challenging times I am sure but glad you are on the road to recovery.

    Sorry about your Dad, glad he is OK

    1. The last part of the physical transition at least - I have been asked in the office about BA and but I am happy enough with what little hormones have given me, and really want to avoid the surgeons life again is at all possible!

      In my head there is still work to do and hurdles (which shouldn't exist but do) to get over. Once I am healed enough the first will be the changing rooms at the swimming pool for the first time to take the little guy swimming. I know that it shouldn't be anything big, but in my head it is...


  4. Hi Stace, I had lost track of your progress and had no idea that the roller coaster ride had finally got you to the op. I found that there was some extra burst of growth after my op and have been happy with what I have grown myself, with your drive to run you shall perhaps be content too.

    It is three years since my op and memory of the ups and downs of transition have almost faded away. soon you will just be another mum doting on her son. The swimming changing room thing is a bigger thing than you could ever imagine, 100% confidence cannot be beaten.

    I still remember your parking on first visit to the therapist, what a long way we have to come but you have made it! Congratulations.

    1. Hi, sorry about the delay in replying!

      Yup, after a lot of delays on my side, and theirs, I finally got the call in October saying that there was space in the theater in 5 weeks time. The timing was superb, the date if the operation was the start of the busiest week in the office!

      I still remember the first visit, not being able to park as close as I wanted, a broken parking meter meaning that I had to walk past the teenagers not once but twice on the way there and totally faking confidence so that I wasn't a running stooped figure on the street :)

      Things are getting there now, still on pain killers all day, but the pain is at least totally manageable now. Just building up to full time in the office again and (still) waiting for that first bath and first swimming lesson (still can't do that just yet..)