We’ve had such a lovely day together even though we were sitting
around waiting for Sam to have a Lumbar Puncture. We played ten rounds
of Phase 10 down in the courtyard of level 2. Its lots of fun and by
the end of the game I’m a little bit better at shuffling the cards. I
think we should add card shuffling to our fine motor skills programme
The sounds in the ward drive Sam crazy and its good to get out for
fresh air. It’s a trek to get down. Three of the eight lifts have been
closed while they move furniture around. They are relocating maternity.
Sam was remembering yesterday how three days before she was admitted
she had been to maternity to meet Miya, Justin and Tahlie’s baby girl.
She had stopped half way that day to ring me for directions. How weird
it is that now we are at RNSH nearly everyday.
Chemotherapy has been postponed until Thursday. Even then we’ll need
to check bloods. She hasn’t recovered yet from the chemo she received
two weeks ago. Everyone keeps reminding us that this regime is more
intense. She needs to be better.
Today her potassium is too low, her magnesium is too low, her liver
function tests aren’t good and neither are her neutrophils.
When we get back to 12D Rowen tells us the Lumber Puncture has been
rescheduled for 3 o’clock. We have time to watch a film on her
beautiful laptop. We decide on ‘You’ve Got Mail’ with Meg Ryan. It’s a
favourite of both of ours.
I love the dialogue, the New York apartments, and all the delightful
children’s books. Maybe one day I’ll open a book shop just like ‘The
Shop Around the Corner’ and dress up for story time.
Or maybe I’ll return to Kindy and do that there.
Sam and I laugh out loud as she reads from Roald Dahl’s ‘Boy.’ It’s
also one of our favourite autobiographies. Today is full of delightful
memories. I think when the film first came out Sam was only 10.
Sam has been ‘nil by mouth’ all day and even though she’s outwardly
calm I suddenly release she’s nervous. She pauses the film while I pop
out to the desk to request some Ativan and I run into Jonathon Curtis.
Jonathon is Jemah Joy’s dad who I taught in Kindy last year.
As her name would suggest, beautiful Jemah brought me joy all year. I
loved all the children in KF but Jemah had the special quality of
reminding me of Sam. I relayed this information to Sarah, her Mum,
many times throughout the year. If ever there was a moment I was stuck
on how to respond to Jemah I would ask myself ‘what would Sam need
now?” like Sam, Jemah is also a little bit like Charlie Parsley in
her character. Not to look at Jemah Joy, don’t be worried!
Jemah, like Sam has porcelian features, a sensitive heart and is only
happy to be centre of attention when she’s done something of
excellence. Which is almost always anyway!
As I run into Jonathon I remember that I have promised Jemah to write
about her special card on Samantha’s blog page.
The day after Sam was diagnosed with Leukemia I ran into Jonathon in
radiology. As you can imagine it was a most stressful time. Sam was
there to have her very first Lumber Puncture and to have her Hickmans
cathetar inserted. I stood anxiously by her side trying to digest what
was about to happen to my girl when out of the corner of my eye I saw
Jonathon. Relieved to see someone familiar I called out to him,
“Jonathon, you’re Jemah Joy’s dad!” (I remember what I said because it
was such an embarassing thing to say. As if he didn’t know who he was!)
Anyway, he was gracious to me and came over to chat. I’m sure I
bombarded him with lots of fuzzy information. He told me that they
would pray for Sam. Days later Sam was allowed to go home for the
evening for dinner so we missed them when the Curtis family came into
12A with balloons for Sam and Jemah’s card.
“You really must write about Jemah’s card on your blog,” my Mum says
every time I see her. “You know Dad prays for Sam everyday and thanks
God for that vision of Jemah Joy’s.”
It’s true. “Out of the mouth of babes, God has ordained strength.”
Strength is the thing we need most of all right now.
Jemah drew the most beautiful picture for Sam. On the picture is a
horse on his hind legs, a rainbow and some flowers.
Sarah wrote on the back of the card what Jemah had told her while she
“The horse is on his hind legs because he is in a position of courage
The rainbow is the promises of God and this flower at the bottom is
crying and crying as it drops its seeds. But don’t worry Mum, there
are many, many more seeds to come.”
Before heading down to radiology they decided to do another ECG to
make sure Sam’s chest pains were no cause for concern and to leave
the stickers on incase the doctor wants to run it again on our return.
When it was necessary for me to leave radiology I dashed across to the
private hospital to pharmacy to see if they sold earplugs. Sam didn’t
sleep all night because dear, 75 year old Brian in the opposite bed
snored so loudly.
In the pharmacy I noticed they sell Mustella baby products. I haven’t
seen them for sale since Sam and Emma were born. The smell of the
lotion from the tester transports me back 21 years. My eyes well up
with sentimental tears as I recall rubbing that lotion on Sam’s little
I remember Tracey and I having the love of that product ‘in common’
when we met. Then suddenly I see us both with Matt and Emma in their
Maclaren strollers sporting Mustella baby bags over the handles. We
thought we were the ‘bees knees’, my Mum would say. Tracey bought my
mine as a gift when Emma was born. What a delightful memory!
I’m snapped out of my daydream to see Sam being wheeled out of xray.
She is sleepy from sedation and quickly slips off into dreams of her
When we get back to the ward, there’s a rainbow over the Harbour.
Yvonne brings it to my attention and I stop to take a photo on my phone.
What a perfect ending to the daylight hours. The reminder of a promise!
At 6:50pm I still sit here by Sam’s side. She is still sleeping. Her
ward is filled with visitors making conversation. The city is all lit
up behind me. When Sam wakes up, and when the staff are happy that
she’s well enough, we are going home.
I’ve repacked all her stuff and taken trips to the car, moving it to a
lower level for a speedy escape. We’ll be back on Thursday to try again.
I’m not sure what God’s plan is in all of this but I know His promise
Everyday, when I listen to the Holy Spirit, he whispers me a promise.
Sometimes I have to search the Bible to find it. Today it was this one
in Malachi and Monica Olander helped me find it.
Like the courageous horse, “He is risen with healing in His wings. And
we will go out like calves released from our stalls. We will trample
down the wicked. They will be like ashes under our feet.”(Malachi 4:2)