Third update.

This time last year my husband Russell and I were in Liverpool to celebrate Jessica's birthday with her, two of her sisters Beth and Lottie came with us and we stayed in a hotel close to The Albert Dock. The weather was lovely and we had such a great time spending four days with our daughters and making happy memories. For some reason we found ourselves down by the dock very late one night and decided to have a go on the electric scooters which you can hire there. There we were zooming around the dock in the dark with the lights twinkling on the water, laughing lots and having fun and feeling so happy to be together.

Fast forward a year and Jess is now in hospital in the third week of her month long induction block of chemo. We have done what we can to make the day as special as possible for her but it has been a struggle for Jess due to feeling so rough.

A little bit of light relief happened though when my youngest daughter Lottie took the plunge a few days ago and had her long hair chopped off to donate to The Little Princess trust to help somebody else going through cancer. Unfortunately the hairdresser has really messed her short style up and for some reason has given her a cut which from the back makes her look like a monk ( think Blackadder from season one ) We have all had a good laugh about it though Lottie included. Lottie is wearing hoodies a lot now and praying it will grow enough in the next few weeks to do something with it, to improve it somewhat.

I was writing her birthday card out a few days ago and a truly awful thought hit me of what if this is the very last birthday card I ever write to her, what if she is not with us next year. I burst into tears and sobbed my heart out for 15 minutes or so until my husband found me and talked me out of it. He keeps crying at odd moments as well. We were watching BGT and were doing okay until a cancer doctor from The Royal Marsden was the last act, He was singing and my husband burst into tears and it was my turn to talk him out of it and hold him and tell him everything was going to be okay., I think it is probably healthy for us to be crying together and we have definitely become even closer over the past few weeks.

We have reached out to our G.P who has put us in touch with a counselling service so we shall begin sometime this week and they offer complementary therapies as well so we may give them a go and just try to vent our emotions out so we can be as strong as possible for Jessica and her sisters.

Nothing has really happened medically in the past week or so with Jess bar the blood and platelet transfusions and the chemo of course. She is due another spinal chemotherapy session in the next few days and we plod on until the end of the induction block ( 9 days to go ) and then a nervous wait for the bone marrow results to let us know how much MRD ( minimal residual disease ) is present. We both hope and pray the chemo is doing it's job and will put Jess into a remission, we just need to know it is working properly and killing the cancer.

Jessica is struggling with eating right now due to mouth sores and also just feeling sick so much, they are giving her strong anti-sickness drugs which is helping and she does usually manage her daily lunch of jacket potato, beans and cheese.They have mentioned trying her on meal replacement shakes if she is unable to eat much so we will have to wait and see what happens when this block of chemo ends and if her appetite returns or not. I expected the steroids she is on to have given her an appetite the consultant did say at the start that she will feel hungry all of the time so we duly noted it and went out and bought everything we could think of to give her choices when the hunger set in, we are still waiting and it doesn't look like she will be eating any of the snacks and treats, we ended up taking her birthday cake home with us as she couldn't manage any of it which was sad but understandable and I am sure it will all get eaten.

We just really want to get Jess home, I think being at home with her sisters and in comfortable familiar surroundings will help her mentally and even though it will mean daily trips to the hospital she will be able to sleep at home and have most of her meals here and we can make all of her favourites for her which will hopefully mean she will eat more.

Our main worry and concern right now is waiting for the bone marrow results and we have days where we feel positive about them and then days where we are convinced the chemo is not working well and then we go down the route of researching bone marrow and stem cell transplants although we do know we have to take it one day at a time right now it is hard to convince your heart and brain of that sometimes although we are getting better with it and know that counselling will likely help us reach more acceptance.

Lottie has three A-level exams this week and has been struggling to revise with all that is going on but we are doing what we can to help her in between visits to the hospitals, the girls are allowed to see Jess as well and go as much as possible to help keep her spirits up. We are also going to start staying overnight with Jess to help as she wants us there with her as much as possible right now, my husband joked he will bring his red wine in and get the nurse to give it via an I.V line which raised a smile from Jess. 

I will update soon and love to everybody going though their own struggles.

Loulou. x x

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