Tuesday 11th November

Olivia had an appointment at Canberra Hospital this morning to see one of her Sydney oncologist (they come to Canberra every three months). It was a routine check-up. Everything was fine. We discussed when Olivia should start on the cis-retinoic acid but her blood counts hadn’t yet recovered to a reasonable level. He advised that we repeat the blood test next week and see what they show then. We also discussed scans and when we should book them. James and I had decided to book them for January as we wanted to enjoy the Christmas holidays and Olivia’s birthday without worrying about another possible relapse. We just need a good break from Sydney.

I then took Olivia off to preschool. She had an afternoon orientation session at the primary school so I picked her up a little later than usual. She seemed to really enjoy it.

Monday 10th November

Olivia went to preschool today. James and I attended a parent information session at Gold Creek Primary School where Olivia will commence kindergarten next year. She also had an orientation session at the school in the morning.

I felt somewhat emotional throughout the parent information session. Hearing all about what to expect next year and knowing how much Olivia will enjoy primary school, I couldn’t help but wonder if she would see the year through. I try so hard to suppress these negative thoughts but sometimes it’s just too hard. I have to pull myself back and tell myself that she will make it. She has to. I simply just can’t imagine her becoming sick with this disease. She looks so wonderful at the moment. She is absolutely going to love school.

Sunday 9th November

We packed up our things and headed off to the airport with a brief stop in Brisbane. We had a good flight home. We were seated in pairs and amazingly enough, Sarah was keen to sit next to James on our return flight too, although we swapped just over midway. We were greeted at the airport by my parents. I felt absolutely exhausted but elated to be home. The weather was beautiful – surprisingly, a big change from the weather we had in Queensland.

When we got home, the girls raced straight out to the fairy garden. It was beautiful. The garden had really blossomed since we left home 10 days ago. It was just such a wonderful place to be and I felt so good to be home. I know that the girls loved being home too. However, it wasn’t long before I realized how much James and I had to do around the house!


Saturday 8th November

Olivia remained well and was as chatty, excited and active as ever. The doctors did their rounds quite early and gave us the go-ahead to leave. However, we had to wait around for Olivia’s antibiotics to be sorted out with the pharmacy (she had to go home on oral antibiotics). James and Sarah arrived at around 9.30 and we managed to get out of there by about 10. However, we had to make a trip back to hospital some time later to pick up Olivia’s medication as it wasn’t ready earlier.
We managed to get in a visit to the beach. The weather wasn’t exactly what we hoped for as it was overcast and very windy. Nevertheless, the girls had a lovely time collecting shells, building sandcastles and dipping their legs in the water.
When we returned to the apartment, the girls had a sleep. They were both pretty exhausted.
We decided to go out for dinner for our last night on the Gold Coast. We thought it might be nice to take the girls out especially since Oli had to spend so much time in hospital. We found a really lovely (and popular) Italian restaurant. The place was buzzing. It was so busy that we were squeezed onto a table that was barely separated from the tables beside us. You wouldn’t want to go there for an intimate dinner but the food was beautiful. We then headed down the road to Cold Rock for some yummy ice-cream.

Friday 7th November

Olivia’s temperature dropped below 38 degrees in the early hours of the morning. Hopefully this means she is well and truly on the road to recovery. If she manages to remain without a fever for 24 hours, doctors should let her go home tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

We had a family pass booked at Dreamworld today. Unfortunately, there is no way Olivia could go. James suggested I take Sarah. Initially, I was reluctant to go without Olivia. I would feel so guilty going without her and it just wouldn’t be the same. On the other hand, Sarah deserved to have some fun. Anyway, I negotiated with Oli, who was initially very disappointed that she couldn’t go to Dreamworld. However, the promise of bringing back something very special for her soon had her smiling and agreeing that I should take Sarah.

Sarah and I had a great time at Dreamworld. It was actually really nice to spend some quality time with her. Now that she has exceeded the 100cm height restriction, she was so keen to go on all of the ‘grown up’ rides. In fact, she was so keen that she avoided all of the kiddy rides, claiming they were ‘boring’. We went on the dodgem cars, the swings, the wild rapid ride and the log ride, etc. She was a little disappointed when I told her that she was still a little too small for the Giant Drop! One of the highlights for her was seeing Dora and Boots. She absolutely loves them. Last time we went to Dreamworld, she was most disappointed when Boots didn’t make and appearance. This time, he came out with Dora. Sarah wouldn’t leave him alone. She threw her arms around his neck and barely let go. She then had to make way for other children to have their photo taken with them. She waited and waited until all of the children had their turn so that she could go back and cuddle Dora and Boots again. It was very cute.

Before leaving the park, we bought Oli a beautiful mermaid costume (something she had been nagging me for since she saw her cousin Sam’s mermaid outfit). Sarah also got a Dora beach towel and jewellery which she absolutely loved!

I stayed overnight with Olivia.

Our Beautiful Girl