It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and what a busy few weeks they’ve been. Homeschool continued until last Friday, when we broke up for Easter. My approach has changed a little (a lot!) as all children finished school shortly after we did and the childrens’ school posted a timetable out, as well as setting some work online. We relaxed a little more, and focused on the things the children needed more support with (handwriting!) as well as things they wanted to do. We gradually adjusted and found ways to work so that one child was on an independent task and the other had my attention and then we swapped over.
The week after we finished school, the country basically went into lockdown, and I received a letter to say I wasn’t allowed out for 12 weeks due to being in a vulnerable category. I am missing going for a walk an awful lot, as well as going to the allotment. (I’ll write another post about that!) Mr C has temporarily stopped working in order to avoid me being exposed to the coronavirus, so we are all at home now. It does mean that we’ve caught up on a few jobs around the house that have fallen by the wayside a little!
I’ve managed to find some time for crafts, in the evenings and on quiet times at weekends (no football, no clubs for the children at all, I’m wondering how we ever fitted it all in!) At Christmas, I received a Harry Potter crochet book and kit, and I decided to make Hedwig as my first project. I also started a new knitting project, the Spindrift Shawl. I had a go at it almost 3 years ago, but I didn’t love how it was turning out. Now I’m using a different yarn and I’m enjoying it more.
My daughter turned 6 last week too, and, although it wasn’t quite the birthday she had planned, we still managed to have cake and presents, we Facetimed lots of family (and one of her friends called her too which made her day!). I escaped to the craft room for many 5 minute intervals the day before her birthday to make her a card, and her request for a cake with butterflies and rainbows was fulfilled (just!) using ingredients we had in the cupboard. She was meant to get a bike for her birthday, but that’s something to look forward to once all this is over-we bought her a couple of craft kits online to keep her occupied whilst we can’t go anywhere.
We have experimented a bit more with baking, including bread. The weather has been beautiful here, but it means that our heating is off and therefore the airing cupboard is no use for proving bread in. Mr C had an ingenious solution, and covered up the dough and put it in one of our cars in the sun. That certainly helped things along! We also baked hot cross buns yesterday, which was an all day job. My daughter did most of the work-she has been watching past episodes of The Great British Bake Off and picked up the kneading technique rather well! The recipe was one which required rather a lot of faffing about-proving the dough 3 times! We doubled up the cinnamon content though, because we wanted them to be a bit spicier. I’m glad we did, otherwise they’d have been quite plain. We also glazed them with plum jam as we didn’t have apricot but they were still delicious.
One of the biggest things that has happened since my last post is that fact I’ve had two chemotherapy sessions for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma-numbers 11 and 12, which means I’m all done. Homeschooling after treatment 11 was tough going, and I will admit the children basically had two days off (the day of treatment and the day after) as I was not well enough to do it. At least that’s one challenge I won’t have to face after Easter! Ringing the end of treatment bell meant a great deal, even in these scary times where walking into a hospital feels like running a gauntlet. The nurses on the ward were lovely, and even though it wasn’t my normal team, they still made it feel like a special occasion. When I went to ring the bell, one nurse called out ‘we’ve got donger’ and all of the available nurses came to clap and cheer (social distancing obviously applied!) Because no one was allowed in with me, I crocheted myself a little bell to ring at home with Mr C and the children afterwards. The biggest relief to me wasn’t the chemotherapy finishing, but having my PICC line removed (removal took 2 deep breaths, unlike having it put in which took 45 minutes and me having to distract myself counting the squares on the ceiling!). Despite having no real skin allergies in the past, I reacted to every dressing type except one, and it kept the nurses on their toes. The chemotherapy nurse who looked after me for almost all of my treatment was super, and got a tissue viability nurse to come and look at my arm to suggest the best options. In the end, the itching was driving me crazy and I was having to take antihistamines alongside all of the other supporting medication just to get me through. I am so grateful we have the NHS, because I genuinely have been looked after so well even though they are under great pressure.
Whilst on countdown to my final chemotherapy session, I distracted myself by making a small Easter wreath. It looks very sweet on our living room door and brings some spring cheer to the house. Happy Easter everyone!