The other night I started watching the footy match between Port Adelaide and the West Coast Eagles. Most people know I prefer rugby but my interest in this game was centred on my son’s (and family’s) friend, Dougal Howard who had finally made the run on team after a year of injuries.
The first Quarter was pretty intense and Dougal made several good plays. Unfortunately I fell asleep before the epic final Quarter and extra time but by all accounts it was one of the most exciting finishes to a game!
When the coach of the losing team is asked what the plan is moving forward, it is typical in post-match interviews for coaches to say “we will take it one day at a time – we need to re-group and work on our basic skills and rebuild the team”, they are reluctant to be drawn into looking too far forward knowing that anything can happen.
And so we turn to Leukemia. My marvellous medical team (sometimes up to 6 doctors in total) will visit for the post-match debrief around mid-morning. They want to know about sleep, toileting, fluid intake and most importantly body temperatures. My book of charts and observations gets thicker each day.
In this debrief I often ask “and what is the prognosis moving forward” to which they answer “we will just take it one day at a time! We have to slowly return you to health and this is a steady process. We cannot predict too far out but we know if we manage the temperatures as they occur, and the rashes as they show up (sometimes by swapping drugs or adding another) then we can be assured we are moving in the right direction”
As with top quality footy coaching my medical team knows how to respond to the data that they are presented with. They review the ‘videos and statistics’ and come up with their plan to move forward, and I have 100% confidence in their every move. The team includes the Haematologists (head coach) and then the registrars/residents( junior coaches) plus three different nurses each day, physios and of course the Pastor!
For me my role in this game is to follow instructions (believe me I can when it is essential to do so) and take in one step at a time. Often that might mean focussing on the next 15 minutes or 6 blocks of 10 minutes to see the next hour though. Rarely do I let my mind take me past the 12s on the clock ie. Midday and midnight. My aim is to make it through just one day at a time to help rebuild the player- base for future success!
Nurse Emma changes the Hickman caps ready for the next 2 bags of red blood cells NB The Xmas tree (top centre of shot) is empty!!! It’s a rare moment not to see at least one bag of something hanging on it.