A tough night for Ava with homesickness rearing its head for the first time at 3am. Chemo effects have started to show with an inflamed throat. This is because the mucous membranes have thinned and become very sensitive. It is vital that she continues with her prescription mouthwashes to protect her, but these are not her favourite thing. Luckily Dr Biffi has also prescribed regular ice cream, so at least the mouthwash now has some reward. Even better when the ice creams are this fun :)
Ava was sad to say goodbye to Daddy, who had to return to London for a few days. Dr Biffi cheered her up with a coke ice lolly, which was a real treat. Ava isn't eating much, but is getting nutrition via her catheter. She frequently mentions food which she is missing, like crispy bacon, sausages and of course chocolate. There is a fantastic chocolate shop under the hospital, so we are looking forward to a belated Easter feast when we leave. Ava and I spent a long time looking at the picture diary of my gorgeous Goddaughter Minnie and Ava was thrilled to also see herself ...
Today was a 'Frozen' themed day, starting with lots of dancing to the soundtrack with Daddy. Ava and the psychologist Francesa then played with the 'Frozen' figurines we have. After lunch one of Ava's favourite nurses Federica popped in with a 'Frozen' sticker book and lots of sticker packs. Nurse Maria Pia brought the movie on a memory stick, so the only thing missing was snow! It was not a good day for Ava taking her medicine, but thankfully this was the last day that she needed to take it orally, from now on it will go through her catheter, which is called 'Wiggly'.
Today Ava was happy to hear from her school friends who were enjoying their end of term celebration in Hyde Park. It was great to see shots of the thousands of daffodils planted by the FHS girls last year, now in full bloom. Amazingly, Ava has not once been sad about missing out on something or asked about going home since we entered the isolation unit on 23rd March. Let's hope her resilience continues...
Ava has had a good day and has spent the afternoon drawing pictures for her friends and reading 'Wellington Square' on the laptop. This is a series of school reading books which Ava loves and which Mrs Francis kindly had scanned onto a memory stick for her, as books are not allowed in the room (they create airborne particles which can carry bacteria). We also played some birdsong in the background to try and appreciate springtime in Milan indoors!
Yesterday was another good day. Ava was thrilled to be allowed pizza one last time before her immune system depletes. Because of the risk of bacteria and new allergic reactions after chemo, we are not allowed any fruit, salad, nuts, chocolate, dairy, or yeast in the room, so this was a real treat for her. My day was made by a visit from Laura Pigorini, who came all the way to Milan with exciting news about the charity auction and messages of support. We Feel blessed to have such kind and thoughtful friends.
Today has seen Ava get back into her exercise routine and enjoy playing 'Frozen'. We have around 5 days until the chemo depletes her immune system and starts showing its effects. Until then, we're just trying to keep busy... Thanks for your messages! GM
It is day +1 post transplant and Ava is doing really well. She is up and dressed and playing happily. Now we begin the slow process of monitoring the fall and rise of her immune system and charting the progress of her engraftment. We expect to be in isolation around 60 days. We are thankful to be off to a great start. GM