|Over £23,000 raised! Well done Rosie & Family ..... - 26 October 2010|
Just heard from Rosie's mum Helen - the Blue Moon Walk (now Rosie's Walk) in September has raised in excess of £23,500! Wow, brilliant - well done to Rosie and family for organsing a really fun event around Norwich and many, many thanks to all those who took part and raised such a fantastic amount!
|More fundraising .... http://www.bluemoonwalk.co.uk/ - 09 September 2010|
All are invited to take part in the Blue Moon Walk organised by Rosie Van Raalte and her family on behalf of the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at Addenbrookes! The walk is this friday - 10th September at The Forum in Norwich!
|Latest Scan Results - 23 August 2010|
Callum had his routine check up (scan, blood tests etc) on Friday 20th August.
We had a call from Neuro today - his scan is clear! So far, so good - next scan in 4 months time :o)
|Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust - 03 August 2010|
Callum and some of his friends from Addenbrooke's were lucky enough to have a trip away with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust at the start of the summer holidays.
They spent four days off the coast of the Isle of Wight experiencing life on a 44 foot yacht. By all accounts they had a fantastic experience - and Ellen's dog Norman was a big hit with Callum!
|Moonlight Walk - 09 July 2010|
Callum and Rosie met up at The Maigical Moonlight Walk in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust and Have a Heart appeal. The whole walk raised £30,000 to be split between the two charities.
According to Mrs Hudson, Callum finished way before her and was at the finish line handing out juice to all and sundry!
|Snetterton here we come .... - 17 June 2010|
This sunday, 20th June 2010, sees the greatest collection of Lotus Formula 1 cars ever assembled at Snetterton for the Classic Team Lotus Festival (here), so we will be there to cheer them on and maybe meet up with the likes of Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli and many more .... also raising funds for TCT
Everyone is welcome to join us, you'll find us near the Club Lotus tent or around the Classic F1 Cars.
|Raising funds for Teenage Cancer Trust this weekend - 17th and 18th April! - 14 April 2010|
|Thanks JT! - 14 March 2010|
Many thanks to Cancer Research .... Callum and Chloe had a fantastic time at Stamford Bridge as VIP guests of Chelsea FC yesterday. Chelsea beat West Ham 4 1 with Callum's favourite player Didier Drogba scoring twice!! Icing on the cake was John Terry giving Callum his match shirt (complete with sweat ...) and Chloe his boots - thanks JT!
|Latest News From Addenbrookes - 08 March 2010|
Callum had an MRI scan on Friday 5th March, and we have just had a call from the Neuro-Oncology Nurse to say that there is still no change!
Callum's brain is still tumour-free and his next scan will be in four months. His last blood test (at the beginning of February) showed an AFP level of less than 2 which is perfectly normal.
So far, so good - keep it up Callum!!!
|Two years on from diagnosis .... feeding the ducks :) - 01 March 2010|
Yes, it is two years to the day (well it was a leap year .... 29th February) that Da Ginge was formally diagnosed with the type of brain tumour from his scans and blood tests ... and here he is recently helping Jessica and Sophie feeding the ducks.
A picture speaks a thousand words .....
|Slow on the news update front .... - 01 February 2010|
Belated Happy New Year to one and all !
Latest MRI scan shows Callum's brain to be normal still (we could open a debate about that one!) and last set of blood tests all clear .... so no news is good news.
Thanks to Cancer Research UK Callum and Lil Sis have been invited back to Stamford Bridge for a spot of VIP treatment on March 13th vs West Ham - so perhaps a chance to meet Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola too.
|Trip to the football ... Chelsea vs Apoel Champions League - 09 December 2009|
In fine form ... unlike Chelsea who could only manage a disapointing 2-2 draw, unlike last season's match we saw them put 5 past Sunderland. Still, we had a great time!
|Latest MRI scan results .... - 25 November 2009|
Callum heard from the hospital yesterday evening that his latest MRI scan results show everything to be normal !! Long may it continue ....
|Posthumous award for Liam Fairhurst - 24 November 2009|
Liam's parents were awarded the 10th Anniversary Gold Diana Award for Extra Mile Achievers on behalf of Liam for his massive fund raising efforts in his short life. If you'd like to read more go here.
|The Junior YOPEY Judges Judged! - 12 October 2009|
Lewis and Callum went along to meet fellow Junior Judges at the Cambridgeshire YOPEY Awards 2009. Junior winner was David Poskitt, known to Callum through both being Cancer Survivors.
Overall winner was Sarah Bannister - seen below receiving her certificate from Lady De Ramsey, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire.
|Lewis and Callum to be judges at this years Cambridge YOPEY awards - 16 September 2009|
Last year's winners of the Cambridge YOPEY awards have been invited back this year as judges for the awards - so Lewis and Callum will be working out between them and all the other judges who the deserving beneficiaries will be this year.
The Award Ceremony is being held at Duxford this year, and so we'll be heading down the M11 on the 10th October to find out who this year's winner will be.
|Annual Adidas 5k Challenge .... - 09 September 2009|
Sunday saw us travel down from Grandmas to Hyde Park for Alison to take part in the annual Adidas 5k challenge. Along with colleagues and friends, Alison was again running for Cancer Research UK. This year Da Ginge and Lil Sis were there to support these intrepid runners (along with another 20000!).
Next year Lil Sis is planning to don her running shoes to show everyone how its done! Apparently she will start training soon !!
|Life After Jim... - 31 August 2009|
Those of you that have been following Callum's story from the beginning may remember he nicknamed his tumour Jim.
Because of the agressive treatment Da Ginge had to have to make sure that Jim was no more, we knew that at some point his pituitary gland in his brain would stop working. The pituitary gland is responsible for regulating all the hormones your body needs to function properly,and we knew that he would need some help to keep everything stable.
Callum underwent a 'challenge' a few weeks ago to test the levels of his hormones. We have discovered that he is Growth Hormone Deficient - hard to believe I know, when he is so tall, but growth hormones do a lot more than just make us tall!
The team of doctors are currently working out what level of Hormone Replacement Da Ginge needs, and we have an appointment early in October with the Endocrine Team to sort this out.
The likelyhood is that Callum will have to give himself daily injections to rebalance his GH (growth hormone) levels, which should make him feel a whole lot better.
At the moment his other hormones are within normal limits, but the hospital will be monitoring him over the coming months to make sure they stay that way!
Da Ginge and Lil Sis are both looking forward to the new school year - Da Ginge starts his GCSE's and Lil Sis will be joining him at Witchford Village College as a Year 7.
Hope everyone has had a great summer!
|Latest Update on Da Ginge's Brain... - 17 August 2009|
Ginge had an MRI scan on 29th July, two days before we left for Sunny Fuerteventura.
A call to the hospital this morning revealed that since his last scan there has been no change. This is great news - it means that Callum is STILL CANCER-FREE!!! His blood test for AFP tumour markers is still less than 2 so we are still winning!
He had a fantastic time on holiday, although he has slept almost constantly since we got home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Many thanks to the amazing Thomson staff at the Oasis Papagayo - they welcomed us all with open arms and made Callum's holiday a special one. Both Da Ginge and Lil Sis made lots of friends and didn't want to come home!
|One Year On... - 07 August 2009|
Hi from Sunny Fuerteventura!
Today I am overwhelmed with the enormity of what today actually means. I have had a whole year "off-treatment" and it feels great!!!
To celebrate I have been chillin´ at Grid (teenage club complete with air-conditioning and some lovely looking girlies!) and just so grateful that all of you out there have helped me through a very tough time and are still standing by me.
*****Note from Mum: He has taken the island by storm - everyone loves him and he can be heard cheering away whereever he goes! A certificate for the Most Enthusiastic Aqua-Splasher is now his most prized possession - who say´s you have to be good at aerobics to win a prize these days????!*****
This time last year, I wasn´t sure that I would ever have this opportunity for a holiday in the sun ever again but thank goodness I have done it!!!!
Lots of Love from the Canary Island of Fuerteventura
xxx Ginge xxx
|Nearly a year .... all but 2 days! - 05 August 2009|
Since Callum finished radiotherapy! Sometimes it seems like yesterday, sometimes it seems longer than that. Been a while since we posted, but in some ways we are all still getting back to "normal" (whatever that is).
Its holiday time - as I write this Callum and Lil Sis are in the Canaries with Mum and Derek (hopefully having a good time and better weather!). Two weeks ago we went to stay near Limoges and took time out to visit Oradour-sur-Glane - which suffered a major tragedy in World War II when the Nazis murdered over 600 innocent men, women and children. You can find more here. Here's Callum and Chloe in front of the car that belonged to Dr Desourteaux.
We all found it a very sobering experience to see the destruction of a whole town - preserved in a kind of time-warp, respecting the memory of the victims and their families. History cannot get much more real than this. Everything is still in its place, from prams to beds, cars to tram lines.
Chloe is now enjoying her 4th holiday in 2 months! Oh the life of a year 6 student .... Favourite so far was looking after dear Henry for four days at the riding stables!
|Biggles "Da Ginge" Brown ?? - 08 June 2009|
Well, Da Ginge has above average 20:20 vision and could be a pilot! Now that's a very, very scary thought .... funny they should say that he could be a pilot, as he's off in a helicopter on Sunday courtesy of his friends at Clicsargent! I only hope there are not any rear-mounted guns to let him loose on either!
Pleased to report he's had his eyetests today at Addenbrooke's in Miss Allen's eye clinic and all is well!
|Scoobey Doo! - 29 May 2009|
What a difference a year makes! Twelve months on from a fitting for his radio-therapy mask and chemo version 4, Da Ginge, hot on the heels of the school ski trip, ventures into unchartered waters in Whittelsey swimming pool ... along with side-kick LilSis!
I'm OK ... are you ??
Many thanks to those lovely people at Dive In Ltd, Whittlesey & especially to Instructor Lynne, who showed great patience this evening.
|Da Ginge Has Moved... - 27 May 2009|
It's been a while since I updated the site, and loads has happened!
Just wanted you all to know that Da Ginge and his family have moved house. We are still in Sunny Haddenham, just not in the same house anymore!
The internet connection is now up and running so when we have a few more boxes unpacked I'll fill you in on what Da Ginge has been up to over the last couple of months.
His blood tests and kidney function are looking good at the moment so he is still winning!!!
|Fundraising time again .... - 16 April 2009|
A bunch of nice people from Alisons work - including partners/spouses etc are doing the Moonwalk along with 10's of thousands of others on 16th May 2009. If my back holds up then I shall be joining them ... seems to have just about survived the skiing intact & been on a few practice walks. Doing the full "marathon" 26 miles through the night ... so should be fun, as well as raising money for a worthy cause
So, please donate if you can ... hit the donate button above!
|He's home safe and sound! - 11 April 2009|
A very tired, but very happy Callum arrived home at 11pm last night.
Lil Sis was still awake and Step-Bro had left a request to 'wake me up when Callum gets home' so there were lots of hugs all round - I think they missed him!
He took a bit of a tumble out there on the slopes, but no damage thank goodness!
Who would have thought that he would achieve so much in such a short space of time? I'm so very proud of him - his dedication and determination in everything he does is just amazing!!!!
And on a very boring note - his toes look fantastic!!!!
|Yes he's done it ... !! - 08 April 2009|
A picture says a thousand words ... one very proud dad!
|Arrived safely .... :) - 04 April 2009|
UPDATE : Coach and contents all safe in Les Crosets! A bit tired and crotchety, but most have thankfully bathed already.... just a few stragglers to go!
Plane delays at Stansted (due to the so-called dignataries aka AirForceOne!) meant we didn't arrive in Geneva until 10pm (9pm GMT) ... a single teller at Europcar meant an hour to get our hire car! Then the scenic route from the airport saw us leave Geneva heading to Torgon for the night. We arrived just as Lisa and Nicola were closing the bar at 1am, but they kindly stayed open and showed us our room & back to the bar for a drink! Saturday morning a lovely breakfast prepared by a great team from the Ski Company ...
Then off to Les Crosets ..
to wait patiently for the coach to arrive
|The next major milestone ..... & congrats to Paul and Claire xx - 02 April 2009|
Callum is all packed and ready for the off tomorrow! Look out Switzerland, da Ginge is coming!
Sophie Claire Rutland was brought into this world at 02.38, Monday 30th March Mum and baby are doing well .... Dad is chuffed to bits! Here's the little lady ...
|Latest Scan... - 23 March 2009|
We have just got back from Addenbrookes, where we were able to see the results of Callum's last scan. All is looking very nice indeed - his brain is looking very normal now, as you can see from the latest MRI image:
Next appointment to see our favourite doctors will be towards the end of July, as Callum will be having his next scan at the beginning of July. More when we have it...
|Latest tests... - 17 March 2009|
Callum had another MRI scan - on Friday 13th, our favourite day! So far we haven't heard from the hospital, which is a really good indicator that everything is behaving itself inside his head. His blood test this month showed that his AFP levels are still below 2, another good sign!
We have an appointment with the famous Mr Garnett and Dr Nicholson on Monday 23rd March, when we will hopefully see the scan pictures and they will assess Callum's progress again.
This Friday Callum is off to Ypres in Belgium with the history department, to see the World War One trenches. When the trip was first planned he needed a parent to go with him - it's now been decided that he can go it alone - another BIG step to 'getting back to normal'!
More after his appointment next week...
|In Remembrance - Pete Rutland RIP - 06 March 2009|
In loving memory of a much-loved grandad, dad, brother and a true, true friend we remember Pete ...
Peter Rutland, 59, Rest In Peace
Callum, Jessica, Paul and Simon after a wonderful funeral ceremony in memory of Paul and Simon's dad.
No regrets .... !
He will be sorely missed, taken from us prematurely.
Everyone who new him was touched in some way - love him or hate him, you took him as he was - "Pete".
A tribute borne by must have been over 200 people at his funeral yesterday .... including a very, very pregnant daughter-in-law, Clare, who is due any day to bring another "rutters" into this world.
Our thoughts are with you "Rutlands" ....
PS - Pete - you're still a crap shot, so what does that make Callum ??
|One Year On... - 28 February 2009|
Today is a special day for all of us. This time last year we were waiting for Callum to go down for brain surgery. We had just met Mr Garnett, the man we owe everything to for saving Callum's life. We didn't know yet that Callum had cancer, just that he had a brain tumour, which was bad enough. We were at the start of an incredible journey, and today we are a year into that same journey.
Callum today - a happy, healthy boy of 14 with the rest of his life ahead of him. He has decided that he wants to celebrate. Celebrate the fact that he is still here, and so incredibly grateful to all the people that helped him get here.
He is reminiscing - talking about everything and everyone - there is so much he remembers and so much he is so very grateful for. Those of you that know Callum have all commented on the same thing - his absolute joy to be alive and the exuberance he applies to everything that he does.
As a family we have been through a lot - conquered mountains and learnt masses. Most of all we have learnt what Callum shows us each and every day - Be happy, make the most of what you have and never ever give up!
Tonight we are going to the cinema - a small thing that means so much. We'll have a meal first, and celebrate a very special young man and his achievements. We'll also be celebrating the strength of his Lil Sis and his Step-Bro, who have had their own battles to fight and their own mountains to climb.
Thank you, all of you, for helping us to win this war, and to continue helping us, whatever may happen next!
|Quick Update... - 12 February 2009|
Just a quickie to let you all know that Callum's monthly blood test for AFP levels has come back, and it is still under 2 which is very good news!
His next scan is on Friday 13th March - I'm sure that he will pass this one with flying colours as he did the last one!
Latest on the toe - Dr A's antibiotics seem to be doing the trick as the toe is looking much better now. Daily dressings and some TLC should have it back to normal soon.
More news as and when...
|GREAT NEWS! - 05 February 2009|
Witchford Village College is closed because of the snow, so Da Ginge and Little Sis have been making snow men and snow angels in the garden.
For the first time in a year Callum has gone to the local park with his friends - a momentous occasion!
(This is Mum's first update since the New Year - I had to share this news with you as it is a big milestone on Da Ginge's road to recovery!!!)
|Oh NO! Not The toe again :( - 30 January 2009|
Yes, unfortunately, we have to confirm that Da Ginge's toe has a new infection, along with his tonsilitus which has lasted a good couple of weeks! Another trip to the GP and more anti-biotics.
On Monday Callum had a three-monthly check-up with PDU & Mr "amazing brain-surgeon" Garnett who is pleased with his progress. Even the eyes are improving!
Further MRI in a couple of months
But that toe had better heal as the next target is looming on the horizon - 3rd April to Snowboard with the school in Switzerland .... it had better heal by then!
|Down the pub! - 17 January 2009|
In all the to-ing and fro-ing to the pantomime rehearsals nobody mentioned half of it was down the pub! The youth of today ...
Well done to Lil Sis and the rest of the cast for putiing on an enjoyable local experience - except for the dad's on-stage bit! Last two performances today (you can possibly still get tickets), so best of luck!
|Busy! - 14 January 2009|
Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts in the life of the Gingerking and Lil Sis but the New Year has kicked off at a frantic pace! Lil Sis is busy being taxied around for her role as Advisor in the Haddenham panto which kicks off with its first live performance tonight. Runs through to Saturday evening - 5 performances in total! Good luck to all
This photo kind of typifies Da Ginge's mood at the moment - silly !
And of course there is our beloved Henry - commonly known as "Mr Stubborn" ... as Lil Sis will testify to in her weekly lesson as he frequently stops for no reason at all!!
|Happy New Year to everyone... - 01 January 2009|
Apologies for the lack of updates over the Christmas period, but Mum is still poorly.
There are tons of pictures from Callum's birthday bash at the Gourmet Plaza in Ely, but as yet they haven't been uploaded onto the site.
Da Ginge and Lil Sis saw in the New Year with Dad and Grandma in Spalding - a phone call at midnight to say Happy New Year made Mum smile, as she saw in the New Year in bed with a lemsip!
A new year - I wonder what there is in store for Ginge and Lil Sis....???
|First there was Shaun, then Free Willy and now Punky! - 30 December 2008|
Da Ginge on form this evening! Earlier this year we had "you're a sheep" .... everyone suffered! Over Christmas, courtesy of TV Advertising for the alternative burger chain, we now have "Is it Free Willy ? or Brokeback Mountain ?" every five minutes .... and the answer to every question! This evening we added to our collectables with ice-cream Punky!
Lil Sis tried out her new riding gear today at Monarch Farm. Today's lesson she had Foxy for the first time - and yes, look, no hands!
Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year ....
|Christmas Day At Last...! - 25 December 2008|
Just a quick update to let you all know that Da Ginge got everything he asked Santa for!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERY ONE!
|It's nearly Christmas ... best wishes to all! - 19 December 2008|
Hopefully everyone is winding down for Christmas ... Callum and Chloe finish school today and will then probably drive Mum mad for the next few days!
I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas & best wishes for the New Year! Many, many thanks for all the support through this very trying year for us all, Stuart.
Pleased with their crackers! Emma - thanks for the hat!!
Just sums up Lil Sis .... !
|Blood results - looking good!!!! - 18 December 2008|
A call to Addenbrooke's this morning confirmed that Callum's AFP level is STILL less than two, which is just what the doctor ordered!!
Da Ginge meanwhile has had a great day at school - learning how to play the Japanese Taiko Drums! He is now the proud owner of a pair of genuine Japanese Drum Sticks, which bear no resemblance to the kind of drum sticks we are used to seeing.
Only one more day left and then school is out for Christmas - where has the year gone???
|Blood test time again... - 11 December 2008|
Is it really a month since Callum's last visit from the vampire ladies??
His lovely community nurses came today and his 'blood collection' went smoothly and without a hitch this time! Results in a couple of days, all being well we shouldn't get any nasty surprises!
He's off with Dad to Parent's Evening right now, while Mum stays at home, keeping warm. Doctor's verdict - Mum has got quite a serious chest infection, but with continued anti-biotics and plenty of Co-Codamol she should be up on her feet in time for Christmas!!!!
|Appointment with the eye specialist... - 10 December 2008|
Da Ginge went off to Addenbrookes with Judy to see his opthalmologist today. (Mum still very poorly - in need of a chest x-ray tomorrow)
According to Da Ginge, his eyes are much improved and he will go back again in six months for another check.
The wandering left eye is due to damage to his optic nerve when he first had the tumour, and so we hope with time it will sort itself out. His 'double vision' is slowly righting itself, so again with time we can hope for more improvement....
Thanks a million Judy - you're an absolute angel xxx
|Christmas Party Time for Da Ginge... - 07 December 2008|
Callum is off to Addenbrookes this afternoon to a Christmas Party organised by the Play Specialists on C2.
Many many thanks to Bernie Dennis for stepping into the breach to take him, as Mum is still very poorly (antibiotics prescribed on Friday) and Daddy D appears to have tonsillitus! We didn't want Callum to miss out, but more importantly we didn't want to take bugs into the hospital, so Bernie has stepped in at the very last minute to make sure that Callum could go.
We sent the camera with him, so hopefully we should have some pictures to post later this evening.
|Young People of The Year Cambridgeshire 2008 - 06 December 2008|
The awards ceremony on Thursday evening was awe-inspiring.
There were 12 finalists in all, made up of individuals and groups, and each story was absolutely amazing. All 12 deserved to win – I’m very glad I wasn’t judging it!
The evening started with a fantastic buffet and a photo opportunity for each finalist and their supporters. It was quite a job to organise the 30 people that made up Lewis, Harvey and Callum’s party as we kept losing people!
Then it was time to listen to all 12 stories and show our appreciation to the amazing young people that give tirelessly to others. It was incredibly emotional hearing about each individual or group, and the circumstances that brought them to the attention of the organiser.
For the first time in the history of Young People of The Year, there was a tie for first place in the Junior Section of the competition.
Our three boys shared first place with a young lady called Sian O’Hearn, who is 14 years old and has a younger sister with cerebral palsy. Her sister’s dream is to compete at the Special Olympics, and Sian is helping her and 5 other disabled youngsters to realise that dream.
The overall winner was an inspirational young man called Nick Bennett, who was severely injured in a road accident (which he caused through dangerous driving) and has left him wheelchair bound and brain damaged. He lectures young people in the dangers of driving like ‘a boy racer’ to pass the message on as he doesn’t want another family to suffer in the way his family have done since his accident. He showed no self-pity, only love and compassion for his mum, dad and sister and the hard time they have had since his accident. He is 23 years old and has spoken to over 7,000 young people to pass on his message – ‘Don’t end up like me...’
I think I can speak for everyone that was there – it was a very special evening and we were privileged to be there with our very own Young People of The Year.
Congratulations to Harvey, Lewis and Callum on this achievement and for just being them...
LOTS MORE PICTURES IN DA GINGE'S GALLERY - HAVE A LOOK!!!!
|Smart pair off to awards ceremony .... - 04 December 2008|
What a smart pair!
Well done to Callum, Lewis and Harvey on winning the Junior Award this evening!!
|The big day is here... - 04 December 2008|
The day of the Young People of The Year award is finally here!
I am sure all three of the boys are really looking forward to this evening, and a chance to meet the other finalists in this exciting event.
Unfortunately Mum is struggling with a very nasty virus and is not at work today. Hopefully with plenty of rest and loads of paracetamol etc she will be in a fit state to attend this evening.
As far as we know, everyone is ready with something nice to wear and all fingers are crossed that the boys win this evening! However, we all agree that it is a major achievement for them to have been nominated in the first place, let alone take place in the final, so the outcome really doesn't matter!
On a separate note, Mrs Skittles had her tonsils out yesterday, so we would like to wish her a speedy recovery. (Most of you will know her better as Beverley Halliwell, but to us she will always be Mrs Skittles!!!) Da Ginge of course, is affectionately known as Orange Skittle...
|Cats and Horses! Lil Sis in heaven .... - 02 December 2008|
First was horse riding - Chloe has started weekly lessons at Monach Farm at Hilton ....
Meet Henry ...
So Christmas pressies this year seem to have a rather horsey theme to them!
Meet Louie and Manilow (sorry Auntie Jane if I spelt them wrong!)
Lil Sis wore the cats out on Saturday, so they slept on Callum's bed so Auntie Jane got the best night's sleep she's had for ages! Normally the cats are tearing round the house all night!
|December already! - 01 December 2008|
The start of another week takes us into December already!
Pantomime rehearsals for Lil Sis have stepped up a gear - Sunday afternoons from now on, as well as Mondays and Thursdays during the week!
Da Ginge and Lil Sis went to see Auntie Jane over the weekend and apparently she is doing well. Dad and Alison are off for a nice break in the Carribean - hope they remembered to pack their sun cream!
Ginge is still on his 'three day-two morning' schedule, but so far has managed to avoid all the bugs that have floored us lesser mortals!
A big week this week - the YOPEY final is looming (on Thursday evening!) and all three boys plus their guests are quite excited!!!
Lil Sis is off for a haircut in honour of the occasion this evening, and Mum has had lots of chats with various people about their outfits for the big night. It's gonna be fun....!
|What a difference two years make .... - 26 November 2008|
and of course Lil Sis ...
quite a handsome pair really!!
|The day of the unnecessary appointment.. - 24 November 2008|
Today Callum should have been seeing his consultants at Addenbrookes, but as we reported previously, the appointment has been postponed until January, due the the fact that there was nothing 'extra' to see in his scans!
Ginge is still soldiering on - three full days and two mornings at school, and at the moment he says that is enough to cope with as he still gets very tired. (Scouts is on hold as he is just too tired - he is in bed before Lil Sis these days!)
Latest update on the hair front - more is growing every day, although he still has some bald patches. The longer it gets the more GINGER it looks - we could well have our Ginger King back with us very soon!
Apologies for not updating as often as we were, but life is beginning to get back to normal here in Haddenham, and it's very difficult to find new things to say!!!
Many, many thanks for all your support over the last few months. We really couldn't have done it without you all.
|Little Star Award.. - 22 November 2008|
This morning there was a surprise in the post. Callum has received a fantastic Little Star trophy, a tshirt, a teddy bear, and a signed certificate confirming that he is indeed officially a Little Star!
Not only that, but his Lil Sis and Step Bro are stars in their own right too! They also received a commemorative Little Star keyring and their very own certificates, as being a brother or sister to a poorly person takes tremendous courage, which is often overlooked.
Thanks to Cancer Research UK for remembering that Chloe and Jack are ALSO stars; this year has been tough for them too!
|Fantastic News... - 18 November 2008|
As we may have mentioned, Callum, Harvey and Lewis have been nominated for the Young People of the Year Award, Cambridgeshire 2008. This photo was taken in March, not long after Callum became ill...
We have heard this evening that the three boys have made the final!!! Just what Mum needed to hear, as she has been ill in bed all day.
The award ceremony is to be held on 4th December, so wish them all luck!
More details can be found on the YOPEY website : www.yopey.org, under the Cambridgeshire Section.
|A great night out... - 15 November 2008|
Friday night was Natalie's sweet sixteen - fancy dress style!! We had a really great time!
Chloe - Arabian Princess
Da Ginge - 'Andy'
The last dance was 'Hero', and Callum was honoured - he danced with the birthday girl!
Da Ginge & Natalie
Thanks for a fantastic party - a great start to the weekend! Many Happy Returns Natalie!
|More photos! - 12 November 2008|
Thanks to Christian's Dad, Chris, for the photos above (& the rest!) - they arrived in the post this morning! Promise to find the time to reciprocate!
Back to the swimming regime tomorrow - except for Lil Sis who's still none too well.
|The hospital rang Dad... - 11 November 2008|
Dr Nicholson from Addenbrookes has called Dad with some news!
Da Ginge's scan is clear from any sign of tumour, so the appointment we had in two weeks has been postponed until January!!!!
From what I understand, his brain still isn't back to normal (was it ever?!?) but is recovering well. I am sure Dad will update soon with a few more details - all of us in Haddenham are still jumping around shouting 'Well done Ginge!' and similar stuff!!!!
Another priceless Ginge quote: "I did wonder 'what if' when I was having the scan Mum...."
The boy truly is a star....!
|That's the scan out of the way... - 10 November 2008|
What a day for a trip to Addenbrookes! Pouring with rain and a bit chilly!!!
Da Ginge was happy to see the ladies on the PDU, especially Anne the Vampire Lady! Bloods taken without any mishap, as Callum's veins have finally started to recover. He is maintaining a healthy weight(!) and is now 179.7cm tall - he's grown a bit!! His blood pressure is a bit on the low side, but we think it's a familial thing, as Mum's is low too.
Today's scan was brain and full spine, and is the first since we stopped treatment in August.
Daddy D braved the MRI scan, and resisted the temptation to press any buttons to see what they did! (Thank heavens for small mercies!) Scan results will not be available for two weeks, when we will be seeing Mr Garnett again. With any luck we just have brain - no 'extra bits' this time please Callum! Blood tests should be sooner; will update when we have them.
Poor Lil Sis is poorly with a sore throat and a nasty cough, but thankfully she doesn't have tonsillitus again. A couple of days off school should sort her out, with lots of TLC and tissues! (Dr A recommended Panda and Paracetamol - Panda being the latest 'Stuff-a-Bear' that Chloe acquired when she was at Chelsea with Dad and Callum the other weekend!)
|The end of another week... - 07 November 2008|
Another week over already! Da Ginge has cut his hours at school a little bit, as he isn't quite strong enough to be full time as we had hoped.
The plan is to do three full days and two mornings for a bit longer, and see how we go. Many thanks to Judy for doing the 'fetching' at lunchtimes on his half days. (He is always fast asleep on the sofa by the time Mum gets in from work.)
This week he has done little more than school and sleep, although he did go swimming with Dad yesterday evening and has increased the numbers of widths he can swim to 48! Lil Sis is up to 20 lengths, so both are getting better!
This evening we went to the firework display in the village, and both Da Ginge and Lil Sis were off with their friends, leaving Mum stood on her own like a 'Larry' till Daddy D and Jack arrived.
Not much planned for this weekend; Lil Sis is off to Gabrielle's for a birthday sleep-over (brave Mum and Dad at Gabrielle's house!!) and of course it is Remembrance Sunday, so we will be at the Memorial for the service as always.
Not much else to report, other than we have the first of Callum's 'off-treatment' scans on Monday. Results will take a couple of weeks, so more when we have it....
Have a great weekend!
|Whirlwind weekend ... a (hopefully) brief synopsis! - 03 November 2008|
Friday started with both Da Ginge and Lil Sis both out of bed at early at 7am! Their choice as we weren't supposed to leave until 9am! Anyway, 9.30 train down to London Kings Cross, then tubes down to Fulham Broadway. Too early to check-in - rooms not ready so dropped off the luggage and off to the Chelsea Megastore for a browse.
12:00 we headed off to the Museum and Stadium Tour area and a very nice French lady took about 15 to 20 of us around on a Stadium Tour. Things have changed a bit in the last 4 or 5 years since we last went round, not least the nationalities of those on the tour ... we were the only Brits! People from Albania, South Africa, Canada to name a few - shows how the club and the English game have really gone global!
13:45 rooms were still not ready, so still not having seen our beds, we headed back to Fulham Broadway to catch the tube to Picadilly Circus. At the station we met a lovely Chelsea Pensioner, donated, chatted and posed for piccies!
Quick pit-stop at the Golden Arches in Picadilly Circus - indeed was quite a circus finding a table to eat! Followed by a walk up Regent Street to that venerable toy establishment - Hamleys. Absolutely packed out - not much of a sign of the credit crunch here! Lil Sis had one thing on her mind - spending some of her birthday money on another Build-A-Bear! Callum was a little tired, so as Chloe new the process from last time & had already changed her mind about 5 times in ten minutes about bear and accessories, Callum and Dad agreed to meet Chloe in the Cafe. Over half an hour later and Polly Bear Brown was born - complete with passport!
Polly on the right!
By 16:55 we had tubed to Covent Garden and was walking up Exter Street when a taxi pulled up with Auntie Jane inside! Good timing! An early dinner was at Joe Allens. Callum and Chloe were excited to see Auntie Jane, as it has been a while - Chloe more so as she had birthday pressies to open!
19:15 we headed round the corner (well 3 actually as Dad went the long way round) to the Lyceum to see the Lion King. What a spectacular show! All were mesmerised by the stunning costumes and clever choreography that brought the cartoon to life! The Lyceum and Disney are trying to raise £10 million for Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital, so members of the cast were collecting at the end. A surprise instore for Chloe and Callum as they got to meet and chat with a very clever actor who played the amuzing part of Zazu! Due to the lateness and tiredness a taxi ride back to the hotel and we finally check-in properly and off to bed!
Saturday was a little less running around and a lazy morning spent in the hotel after a lovely breakfast. On the way out of the restaurant we met Ron "Chopper" Harris - from Dad's era! Stopped for a chat and some pics.
13:30 we headed to the main reception to meet our chaperone for the day - Joanne O'Reilly, Special Events Manager for Chelsea FC. A lovely lady, who looked after us all really well. We went upto the area where the WAGs, families and ex-players get to meet and watch the game in sheer comfort! It was pelting with rain most of the day and bitterly cold, so 42000 people were wet and cold and a special few were warm and toasty! We met up with another family - Chistian, aged 11 and from Bedford, was also recovering from cancer and had been treated for the last 12 months at Addenbrooke's was also there with his elder brother and mum and dad.
Also met Joe Cole's Mum, Dad, nephew and niece, along with John Terry's son and daughter, plus Roy Bentley (Chelsea Captain in 1954/55 Divsion 1 Champions) and others ...
Lady unknown from Sunderland, Joanne O'Reilly, Da Ginge and Christian at the front!
15:00 kick-off! What a game .... really couldn't have asked for more! A five nil drubbing for Sunderland, with Chelsea in fine form. Da Ginge had suffered last Sunday when he saw the Blues lose one nil to Liverpool, and he said several times that we played so much better this week! Chatting to Joanne, Christian's Dad and I put here under a little pressure when we both said that the player our sons wanted to meet the most was Didier Drogba! Joanne replied that he was the hardest player to get hold of as he is a lovely guy but values his privacy and sometimes slips out the back door!
16:45 We all decamped from our viewing area to head for the tunnel with 5 minutes or so left. Dad and Callum had to leave Lil Sis, as only two people were allowed into the tunnel. We then waited as each player came out of the Home Changing rooms ... an hour later we had met the whole 16-man squad, plus Michael Ballack (out injured), Phil Scolari (Manager), Ray Wilkins (Coach) and even Peter Kenyon the MD of Chelsea FC! Joanne certainly achieved iconic status with Callum when Didier Drogba surfaced right near the end!!
20:00 we headed off to Frankie's for a lovely Italian meal followed by bed!! But just before we slept we filled out the forms for a 09:30 Breakfast In Bed treat!!
Sunday 09:30 breakfast duly arrived & Da Ginge and Lil Sis thoroughly enjoyed themselves tucking into a cooked breakfast! The original plan for Sunday was to head off to the Natural History museum, but some tired limbs persuaded us to head to the cinema at Fulham Broadway to see 007 James Bond in Quantum of Solace! Definitely worth seeing!
Taxi ride later to Kings Cross, lunch from M&S sandwiches and then home!
A massive thanks to Chelsea FC for their hospitality!
|Note from Mum... - 02 November 2008|
I have looked at all the photos of Callum and his team - I'm surprised he didn't pop he looked so excited!!!!
|Home but happy!! - 02 November 2008|
Its been a long weekend, but hugely enjoyable by all. Callum got to meet and get autographs and photographs from the entire 16-man squad that were on the team sheet on Saturday! What a win - in case any didn't get the score - 5 Nil to Chelsea (& thanks to Spurs, Chelsea shot back to top of the table once again - thanks Harry!).
Callum's two favourite photos from Saturday -
1) Absolute hero - Didier Drogba (thanks a million Joanne!)
2) England & Chelsea Left-Back Trio(ish) - Ashley Cole, Da Ginge(ish), and Wayne Bridge
More to follow soon!
|Post breakfast treat !! - 01 November 2008|
Just outside the restaurant we bumped into Ron "Chopper" Harris - a Chelsea legend from 1961 to 1980!! A true Blue ...
Yep! That's someone from Dad's era ...
Ron kindly signed Da Ginge & Lil Sis's card from the RTCW!
|I love my brother! - 01 November 2008|
Says Lil Sis when Da Ginge and Lil Sis met Zazu - one of the stars of the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre this evening.
Make A Wish day one ends with Chloe's "delayed" summer treat with an added bonus of meeting one of the actors! Needless to say Chloe now wishes to become an actress when she grows up!
|Meet the pensioners! - 01 November 2008|
That'll be Da Ginge and Lil Sis then ... the sprightly young man in the centre is half Da Ginge's age! & Collecting for another worthy cause at Fulham Broadway Tube Station ....
|Chelsea's New Manager and Captain! - 31 October 2008|
Newly appointed Manager and Club Captain - Da Ginge and Lil Sis taking today's Press Conference at Stamford Bridge!
|Lil Sis finally gets her riding lesson!! - 30 October 2008|
For obvious reasons many things have been postponed or put on ice for a while this year. One of those was Chloe trying her hand at mastering horse riding! She took a great stride today by thoroughly enjoying her lesson at Monarch Farm Riding Stables in Hilton.
Thanks Grandma for Chloe's birthday present!!
|Lewis "Crash Hamilton" Bendall-Craft!! - 30 October 2008|
A motley crew invaded Caxton to test their wits on the kart track ....
Lewis "Crash Hamilton" - front right ... ran full pelt into the back of Callum's kart! Unfortunately the whole incident caught on video !! Promise to post when I have time to edit it .. Don't worry, no-one injured!
Congrats to Chris "Rally" Roberts for whooping the young pretenders! Fastest man on the track.
Callum did really well to complete both 15 minute sessions as they were physically demanding. He's sleeping today though!!
|What a palaver....! - 27 October 2008|
The trip to Stamford Bridge was fantastic. The journey, however, was very eventful!
What should have been a straightforward trip from Ely to Kings Cross and then on the underground turned into a bit of an adventure...
There was no train from Ely to Cambridge yesterday morning, so Mum and Callum decided to drive to Tottenham Hale (and revisit Mum's roots) and get a tube in on the Victoria Line. Unbeknown to us, the Victoria Line is closed at weekends for 'improvements' so we found ourselves on a rail replacement bus to Manor House, where we got the Picadilly Line to Earl's Court and then the District Line to Fulham Broadway.
Once off the tube we found the hotel with no problems, and Da Ginge was 'well impressed'. We even have photos of the bathroom!!!!
The match was a great experience, even if Mum did cheer for Stephen Gerrard (he plays for the opposition!!!) and by half time Mum had got the hang of the game a bit.
What a shame that Chelsea lost - they had control of the ball for most of the match but just couldn't get past the Liverpool defence.
A nice meal at the Copthorne Restaurant followed, where Mum drank rather too much of the red wine, and Ginge got two desserts cos he didn't really like the first one!!!!
All was quiet until 5.50am when Ginge said 'Mum, I can't sleep...' He did drift off till 8.30am when we went for breakfast - croissants and baked beans??? and then visited the megastore for presents for Lil Sis and Step Bro before heading home.
The Victoria Line was back in operation, so we didn't have such an adventure getting back.
We had a visit from a photographer from the Mirror Group this afternoon, as there will be an article about Callum in the Sunday People colour supplement (Take it Easy) on 16th November, if anyone is interested!
He has been nominated for a Cancer Research Little Star Award, to celebrate his bravery whilst undergoing treatment. (Where's the award for his long-suffering friends and family - that's what I want to know...??!!!)
All in all a great start to the half term break....
|Hotels well nice! - 26 October 2008|
It's off to Stamford Bridge today to see Chelsea v Liverpool courtesy of Clic Sargent.
Kathy (our social worker) rang Mum a couple of weeks ago to see if we were doing anything on the 26th and how could we refuse...? Daddy D was going to take Da Ginge, but unfortunately due to work commitments he wasn't able to, so Mum had her first experience of a Premier League Game!!!
Thanks to Astrid for taking care of Lil Sis so that Mum and Callum could go.
Amy (from Clic Sargent) arranged the match tickets and Danny (also from Clic Sargent) the overnight stay at the Millenium Hotel at CFC Stadium.
A text to Dad earlier said "hotel's well nice" ... well he's back again next weekend too for the game against Sunderland with Lil Sis. All children with life threatening illnesses have a 'wish' and Callum's was to meet the players. Lil Sis goes along as his guest of honour, and Dad as the responsible adult!!!!
Unfortunately Chelsea lost 1 nil ... so no silver lining today. Still, Callum has still had a lovely time!
|Half way through the week... - 22 October 2008|
Just a quick update - Da Ginge looks pretty shattered today as he has already done three full days this week, and two out of three have been PE days!
Da Ginge tells me that he hasn't been physically involved as it's been inter-house rugby this week, but he has been helping out by being a linesman (or whatever they're called in rugby!!)
His Cornish pasties were superb on Monday though - can't wait for the pizza lesson!
This Sunday Mum and Callum are off to Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea play Liverpool. Clic Sargent had some tickets and kindly thought of Callum , so it's Chelsea here we come!! Apparently we get to stay in the Millenium Chelsea FC Hotel on Sunday night too - Mum'll like that bit best!!
Callum's 'Make a Wish' happens the following weekend, when he'll be off to see Chelsea again, together with Dad and Lil Sis. They get to meet the players and everything!!!
On a more boring note, Mum has finally caught up with all the assignments for college that she has missed since Callum was taken ill - 4 in 4 weeks isn't too bad! (Now she just has to catch up with THIS year's work!!!)
|Thanks Skip... - 21 October 2008|
Paul and Kim Mitchell's combined fund raising total of £384 has taken the Relay Total over £8,000
Exact figure raised to date is .... £8,101.33 What can I say? Beyond expectations - thanks to everyone for making this happen!
|Relay Undate... - 20 October 2008|
Over the weekend some more money has arrived at Chez Brown...
Relay total stands at £7,717.33 WOW!!!
|Blood Test Results - 20 October 2008|
Da Ginge is doing well - his tumour marker is STILL less than two which is fantastic news!!
Long may it continue...
|The Morning After... - 19 October 2008|
A classic comment from Callum this morning, after the GREAT BIG SLEEPOVER for Lil Sis' 11th Birthday - "That wasn't one of our best ideas, was it Mum? At least they all had a good time..."
The girls (who shall remain nameless) were awake all night - they all looked rather the worse for wear this morning. Mum kept her cool till 5am and then firmly told them all enough was enough and it was time to go to sleep! The effect - ZERO!!! Seven very tired Year 6 girls will be delightful company for Mr Woodman on Monday morning!
The favourite 'thing' at the party was the chocolate dip and assorted fruit for dipping - messy but fun!!! (As Daddy D said - at least we got some fruit down them!!!)
No-one was sick and no-one fell out - a success then! (NEVER AGAIN!!!)
When Dad gets back from his holiday I'll get him to post some photos - I'm not allowed as I get it wrong!!!!
Ginge looked tired too, but apparently the girls didn't wake him, it was Mum!!!! (Say no more...)
|Happy Birthday Lil Sis! - 18 October 2008|
Right now Lil Sis is enjoying her birthday party with friends ... hope you all have a great time!!
Celebrated yesterday evening with a lovely Chinese meal in Godmanchester, finished off with birthday cake of course! Chloe got Eeyore and Alison, Tigger: yes, wrong way round - BIRTHDAY HAPPY!!
After pressies this morning a trip to Cambridge Swimming Pool before the party at Mum's house. Da Ginge was a bit tired from swimming on Thursday but enjoyed some trips down the flumes!
|Still swimming ... - 17 October 2008|
Lil sis sat and read her book whilst Dad and Callum ventured into Ely Swimming Pool once again!
Well done Da Ginge - another 2 lengths added to the total, so 10 this week! Also did them a lot quicker, so generally things are on the up.
Weekend of birthdays coming up - happy birthday to Alison today, Lil Sis tomorrrow & Dad on Monday.
|Where does the time go...? - 14 October 2008|
Da Ginge is really going for it now - he plans three full days this week, and four next, as we would like him to be full time after half term.
The community nurse has been today to take some bloods from Callum to check on his tumour markers. It seems like only yesterday that she was here last time - a month has passed in a flash! We should have the results in a few days.
Relay total is now up to £7,552.33 - thanks to Brenden and his efforts in Enfield - Well done that young man!
Mum managed to get the page extended until the end of October - www.donatetomyrelay.org/gingerking - should anyone know of anyone else that has been collecting and still has to hand the money in.
Poor Lil Sis has a case of tonsillitis - she has some penicillin from Dr Ali and is bravely continuing to go to school - what a star! Parents Evening tonight - her teacher summed her up in a few words - enthusiastic and always smiling!
|Donate to my Relay online page has closed... - 11 October 2008|
The donate to my relay page has closed today, but if you have any outstanding sponsor money then Sally can still bank it via Cancer Research.
Cheques should be made payable to 'Cancer Research UK' and I'll be happy to take them off your hands.
Callum has had a successful week at college - five mornings and two afternoons, and he has coped well.
This week we will increase again and include another afternoon - it's up to Da Ginge which one he wants to add, and he is 'still thinking'...
Although still tired, he is getting quicker at things like getting dressed, and we can see an improvement every day.
|Thursdays is swim night .... - 10 October 2008|
Following Sunday's trip to the swimming pool, Callum and Chloe have decided Thursday out with Dad is a swim followed by dinner.
After 6 lengths last Sunday, Callum improved by 2 to eight lengths - hoping to add 2 lengths each week. Lil Sis notched up a 4 length improvement to 16! Well done to both. Built up an appetite after though, so starter, main AND chocolate fudge cake for Da Ginge!
|Well done to Year 6 at Robert Arkenstall .... - 09 October 2008|
Year 6 (including Lil Sis) put on an excellent school assembly yesterday late morning (!) Can't get used to assembly at weird times - always used to be at 9am many moons ago!
They researched, wrote, introduced, directed and performed all their own material on "Green" issues in an innovative way that all the parents and lower year school children thoroughly enjoyed.
Well done to all !!
|Relay Money Still Coming In... - 08 October 2008|
A financial update now! We thought our target of £5,000 was too high, but Relay money is still being handed in - the running total for the team stands at a whopping £6,930.74.
One or two people to chase still, but I think we will have broken the £7,000 mark! A major achievement for all those that took part, either by walking, collecting money on the team's behalf or sponsoring one of the many that took part.
MANY MANY THANKS FROM DA GINGE & ALL THE JAFFA CAKES!
|The next big target ..... School Ski Trip April 2009 - 08 October 2008|
This really is something that Callum will have to really work hard at - to be fit enough to go Snowboarding ....
Back in March Callum set himself 2 goals - the first was to do the Relay for Life in September, done! The second, was to go on the school Ski trip to Les Crosset in Switzerland in the Easter holidays.
Have to say "en-route" to that goal - first Ski meeting was last night and getting fit starts now! Callum needs regular (but not huge amounts to start with) exercise - walking, swimming, cycling and maybe a spot of racket ball! Anyone wishing to help Callum by going out with him on his new bike only has to ask him ....
|Well done Ginge! - 08 October 2008|
This week, Da Ginge is adding in another full day at college. He did all day yesterday, and will do all day tomorrow as well.
Last night, Lewis came to let me know that Callum not only did PE yesterday, but was tackling and everything! (Blasted rugby - sent to drive me nuts!!!)
On the 'hair' front, Callum is growing just a little bit more every day. Daddy D says he now looks more like a kiwi than a gooseberry! The colour is hard to tell - looks quite dark, but then his eyebrows have settled down now and are quite a bit lighter than they were when they first grew back! We pray for ginger, but as Da Ginge says - any hair is good!!!!
Life is slowly getting back to normal here - Callum's next scan is booked for 10th November, with a follow-up appointment on 24th November, so fingers crossed that the inside of his head is doing as well as the rest of him!
Mum is hard at work trying to catch up with 6 months of missed assignments - another one to hand in today! (Hurray!!)
Lil Sis started pantomime rehearsals on Monday - she'll be rehearsing hard until January now. Should be a good show!!! (The Princess and The Peas this year...)
Sorry that I'm not updating the site every day - think that a couple of times a week from now on should be sufficient.
A big public thank you to Melanie Woor for collecting Da Ginge from school on Wednesdays. Without her, I couldn't go to college and I am very, very grateful...
|New hat, new coat! - 05 October 2008|
Chloe modelling the latest 'Da Ginge' hat bought on Saturday, with Da Ginge himself in a rather fetching, trendy new coat ....
Weekend spent at Grandma's, including a trip to the swimming pool - congrats to Callum for 6 full lengths! A month ago he could only manage to sit and move around a bit, so great progress!
Lil Sis had a great time on Friday evening at a magic show at Robert Arkenstall. Note to Julian Orme - I do have the video of your amazing ventriloquist act!! Anyone wishing to see said video .... ??
|Thanks Harvey... - 02 October 2008|
A bit of confusion Da Ginge style - he doesn't have PE today!!! Thanks to Harvey for pointing this out to him this morning! Thank heavens for his mates....
He also left without his packed lunch - what a relief that the bus stop is opposite the house, otherwise he would have been a very hungry young man by 3 o'clock!!
|A big day tomorrow... - 01 October 2008|
Tomorrow Da Ginge is staying at school all day. He is really excited about it and will be doing PE for the first time too; rugby from what I understand!
He is also going to be a guide for the Open Day - a stint in the morning and then he will be there all evening to show round prospective students and their parents.
Lil Sis will be amongst the visitors - can she really be Year Six already?
Hope to see some of you there tomorrow evening - watch out for Da Ginge though, he IS still a bit random....
|Certificate! Catching up .... - 01 October 2008|
For those of you who were Team Jaffa Cake members here's a copy of the team's certificate (click to view) -
|Apologies... - 29 September 2008|
Mum has finally gone back to work this morning and got a telling off because the website hadn't been updated for a few days!
This has been duly noted, and I sincerely apologise!
Ginge is going to try and increase his school hours this week - he'll be adding on a Thursday afternoon to his existing mornings, to see how things go. Half term is only four weeks away and our goal is to get him back to a full school week after half term.
We'll see how this week goes with the extra afternoon and take it from there. Although Callum is still tiring very easily, we think he's ready for this next step...
Mum is 'well-exhausted' but happy to be back amongst the smiling faces at Fen Drayton! I've missed you guys loads xxx
|In the news again! - 28 September 2008|
Ely Weekly News 25th September 2008 .... click on the image below!
|Latest Relay Update - 23 September 2008|
The total for fund raising to date is: £6,600.24!!!
Staff at Witchford Village College had a staff-room cake sale to boost Callum's fund and we are still collecting money that has been pledged.
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE DONATED AND/OR SUPPORTED US!
|Monday - 22 September 2008|
Today found us back at Addenbrookes to meet up with Mr Garnett and Dr Nicholson for a chat about how Callum is doing.
They were pleased to hear that he is back at school, building things up slowly and taking his time.
All our questions about contact sports, flying etc were answered. Da Ginge should be ok for his planned snowboard trip at Easter as long as he is fit enough - hopefully he'll start PE again after half term and that should help no end.
Flying is not an issue - another tick in the right box!
His next scan is planned for early November and our follow-up appointment with Mr Garnett and Dr Nicholson will be on the 4th Monday of November. Between now and then, it'll be routine blood tests and a general watchful eye from mum!!
We will get another appointment to see the opthalmologist very soon, although Mr Garnett can confirm that there is no pressure or swelling behind Callum's eyes - another tick!!!
Callum's childhood immunisations need re-doing - that will happen in a couple of months, so until then please don't give him measles!!
The huge cake from the Relay has been divided between the radiotherapy staff, C2 nurses and the staff and patients on D9, which is the adult oncology ward at Addenbrookes.
We also saw Danielle, whom some of you may remember from Callum's stay on C2. She is walking around and looking amazing - she made Mum cry because she gave Mr Garnett the biggest hug ever before she went home!!!
It was nice to see everyone again, and even nicer to come home....
|Saturday - Just chillin' - 20 September 2008|
Callum has had a fantastic week back at college. Still mornings only, and he was very tired by Friday, but he is getting stronger every day.
Last count on fund raising totals; £6209.35, which is the total of all our fundraising as a team.
We have three online fundraising pages: www.donatetomyrelay.org/teresabradbury; www.donatetomyrelay.org/helencooper6 and www.donatetomyrelay.org/gingerking which is where I get my figures from!!!!
Still more to come and its not too late - online fundraising doesn't close till 11th October. We may just make £6,500!!!
|Thursday - 18 September 2008|
Money is still coming in to boost the total we have raised for Cancer Research,
Witchford Village College's mufti day has raised over £700 - THANK YOU!!
Callum's blood tests that were done on Monday have come back and are looking very good. His AFP level (which is a tumour marker) is still below 2 and his ureas and electrolytes are normal.
We have an appointment with Mr Garnett on Monday, and will also be seeing James Nicholson (Callum's oncology consultant) for a chat about how Da Ginge is doing.
All is looking good for Callum right now - long may it continue!!!!
A massive thank you to the Jaffa Cake Team - what an outstanding bunch of people!!!
Noises are being made already about next years Relay for Life - early days but looks as though we'll be doing it all again!
|The morning after... - 16 September 2008|
Team Jaffa Cake raised over £6,000 for Cancer Research
Very tired but very proud...
|Lining up for a photo shoot ..... - 14 September 2008|
Seems from the videos I've been able to download that the weather was pretty good yesterday. Anyway, second installment today ...
|Tired but happy... - 15 September 2008|
Da Ginge has gone to school this morning full of himself!
Although very tired (and he isn't the only one - all of those that walked are tired, stiff and achy!) Callum is in amazing spirits.
The team have raised a total of £6033 so far, and there is still some money outstanding which has been pledged.
The whole weekend was a fantastic achievement, not only from the fund raising aspect, but the fact that Callum was there with us all. The Candle of Hope Ceremony at 9pm on Saturday evening was very emotional - just ask any of our younger members and they will tell you!
We said we would walk all night for Callum and we did - well done Team Jaffa Cake!!!
Reality has hit home for Mum again this morning - Community Nurse is coming to take a blood sample for testing this afternoon. Let's not forget that Da Ginge is still quite weak and poorly. Hard though, as he is so bright and cheerful...
|Grooming for a career in Hollywood ? - 14 September 2008|
The first of several videos from the Relay for Life
|Under starters orders ..... - 13 September 2008|
And they are off! Lovely sunny day in Cambridge (well, reported to me in India!)
Callum started the event with a nice buffet lunch with the other cancer survivors at 2pm. Then he had an interview with Anglia News which will be broadcast either on Monday or Tuesday this week. The Relay was opened with a lap of honour by the survivors, followed immediately by all of the teams taking part. So Da Ginge did two laps one after the other - Well done!!
Lots of people turned out to support everyone at the event - thanks to everyone who turned up today to cheer them all on.
Have some piccies & video hopefully by morning (already in the process of transferring to India to edit) .... Apparently Da Ginge met the Mayor of Cambridge!
More soon ....
|The Big Day Is Finally Here... - 13 September 2008|
What an achievement!!!
Today Callum does the Relay for Life as a survivor of cancer. He has a team of people who love him dearly behind him, and we will support him every step of the way.
Please come along to Lodge Farm, Babraham Road, Fulbourn, in time to see him walk the survivors lap of honour at 3pm this afternoon. Bring your spending ,money - thare are lots of stalls and attractions for your entertainment. We are there until 9am on Sunday morning, so if you can't sleep come and join us!!!!
If you haven't yet sponsored Team Jaffa Cake, then please use the link on this page and help Callum to reach the all important target of £5000.
|One day to go .... a BIG day! - 12 September 2008|
Just a day to go before the big day! Big day for the whole family as it was Callum's first thought when diagnosed with Cancer that he would be there as a survivor! Wow - its here already, more importantly for us all, so is Callum!
I do hope the day is dry at least ... am hoping to see the pics and watch the video Saturday night!
Callum has been in the press lately about Relay for Life - Ely News 7th September & below the Star FM Broadcast from the other day -
|A big thank you to Witchford Village College... - 12 September 2008|
After counting and re-counting the huge bag of money given to Callum when he left college at lunchtime, I am very proud to say that a massive £642.11 was raised by Witchford Village College today!!
Many many thanks to all the students who gave so generously, and of course to the Principal, Mr Taylor for giving permission for this to go ahead.
Witchford College have been amazingly supportive of Da Ginge throughout his illness and we, as a family, are extremely grateful to all of you for looking out for Callum now that he is back at school part-time.
A quick reckoning of the money we have raised as a team so far has really pushed us toward the target we set, but we aren't there yet.
Please donate if you haven't yet done so - the link is on the right hand side of this web site. It's not too late ... !!!!!
|A bit of an experiment... - 11 September 2008|
This afternoon Mum and Da Ginge went into town straight from collecting him from college at lunchtime to see how he handled being out all day (Till 3pm anyway!)
Ginge is worn out - a bit too soon for considering all day excursions right now!
However, this evening there is a meeting at college to finalise arrangements for the History Trip to Ypres, and we will be going along to find out what we need to do!
Also in Haddenham this evening are the rehearsals for this year's pantomime - The Princess and the Peas - where Lil Sis will be trying out for a part! We wish her the best of luck... or should that be 'Break a Leg'...?
|Team Jaffa Junior!! - 10 September 2008|
Say no more!!!
Good luck to all - the countdown stands at 3 days to go! Wish i could be there on Saturday, but unfortunately I can't. I will watch the video though, and hopefully post it ASAP for all to see ... Dad/Stuart
|A quiet weekend... - 08 September 2008|
Da Ginge had a quiet weekend recovering from his three mornings at school. His sore throat has resolved itself, although he still isn't eating as much as we would like him to.
He is still incredibly tired and needs to have as much rest as possible. It is still only four weeks since his radiotherapy finished and the after effects carry on for up to eight weeks, so it is understandable that he is feeling so washed out!
Look out for his name in the newspaper again this week - the Relay for Life is happening on Saturday, and we hope to see as many of you there on the day as possible.
The venue is Lodge Farm, Babraham Road, Fulbourn, CB1 5HY and the first lap is at 3pm. Come and see if Da Ginge manages the whole thing without his wheelchair!!!
|Finished - the "medal" proof! - 08 September 2008|
Alison and Christelle with their finisher medals! Congrats & thanks to both ...
|It's official... - 08 September 2008|
We have good news - Witchford Village College are definitely holding a mufti day this week to support Callum's effort for Cancer Research.
Many many thanks to Mr Taylor for organising this event at such short notice, and also to those members of staff that have sponsored Callum on his paper form!!
|Adidas 5k Challenge - London Hyde Park - 07 September 2008|
A very dreary Sunday morning in Hyde Park saw an amazing array of over 15000 ladies, teenage girls and children gathered at the start line for the Adidas 5K Challenge.
Amongst them Alison and Christelle running on behalf of Da Ginge and Cancer Research!
The Pros were off first, along with some celebrities & then wave after wave of not so serious runners!
Unfortunately I had to cut short my support at the 3km mark as I had an appointment at Heathrow Terminal 5 with a flight to Bangalore, but not before I managed to spot Alison and Christelle & camera didn't start quickly enough so a rear shot only!
A text message confirmed they finished in under 35 minutes! Well done & they raised over £500 in the process.
What great technology - posted from the lap of luxury aboard the Heathrow Express train via 3 Mobile Broadband!
|Star FM .... the interview! - 06 September 2008|
Having spent most of the day "resting" in bed, Da Ginge and Lil Sis headed off to Star FM Radio in Cambridge to meet up with Cancer Research Charity for an interview to be released later this week.
Outside Star FM offices, Callum posed in his new T-Shirt, ready for next weekend -
We'll publish a link to the interview as soon as we know it ...
|Good to be back!! - 04 September 2008|
Yep - Da Ginge says its good to be back at school! Although looking tired today, overall Callum is much brighter and full of being beans .... as is Lil Sis who's now in Year 6 and one of the "biggest" in her school ,,,, oldest really!
Callum braved the elements and knocked on the Principal's office today to ask if the school could organise a "mufty day" - non-uniform day to you and me! All in aid of Cancer Research of course .... so next week should see a boost to the total!
Again, many thanks to all for your fund-raising efforts. If you are sick of sponsoring Da Ginge you can sponsor Alison and Christelle from Paul Mason Consulting who are running in Hyde Park on sunday (5km) on behalf of Da Ginge and Cancer Research .... here
|Good Luck Da Ginge... - 03 September 2008|
Callum has a big day today - it's the first day of Year 9 and he is raring to go! We are hoping he will be able to stay awake long enough to attend school till lunchtime each day, gradually building things up until he is able to stay all day.
It's quite strange - he hasn't been to school properly for six months, and so we need him to take things easy. One day at a time...
|Eyebrow alert... - 02 September 2008|
We have news on the status of Callum's eyebrows.
Da Ginge's eyelashes returned without any mishaps in their original ginger state, but his eyebrows have had other ideas; They are... BLACK!
We are still awaiting the return of his hair - any guesses on what colour that might be when it comes back???
|A visit to Nan and Popsey... 9pm - 31 August 2008|
Mum and Daddy D are back from Ibiza, suitably rested and relaxed and ready to pick up the reins once more.
This afternoon we all went down to Enfield to see Jack's Nan and Popsey. A lovely meal in the Halfway House and then back to Nan's to play with the dogs. Toby & Bobby are King Charles Cavalier Spaniels and they are both very gorgeous!
Da Ginge & Little Sis are both showered and shiny and ready for bed. School starts again in a couple of days so time to try and get back to a bit of normality.
Da Ginge has a bit of a sore throat right now, so we are hoping that it doesn't scupper his plans of returning to school. He will be attempting to do five mornings a week for a while until he builds his strength up a bit. We shall wait and see...
Next appointment is on Monday 22nd September with the famous Mr Garnett, who will be checking on the space between Da Ginge's ears...
|Right side of the law! - 28 August 2008|
Da Ginge and Lil Sis were keping on the rght side of the law earlier today. Bert is ex-Chief of Police for Spalding, with over 40 years service, so no mischief today! Long-term friend of the family, Bert last saw Callum when he was half his height and Chloe a mere babe-in-arms.
A quiet week, restful and peaceful - just what the doctor orderd!
Toes Update - doing well, bandages and dressings all off now
|The burnt bum... - 27 August 2008|
Don't worry, no pictures, just an explanation!!
Mum was asleep under the nice big umbrella when the nasty horrible sun moved round in the sky and scorched the top of her leg. Hope this dispels any horrible thoughts anyone was having of nude sunbathing or worse!
Missing the kids but needed the rest! Good to see them both looking so happy in the picture Dad has posted....
|Guitar Hero Ginge! .... - 25 August 2008|
Da Ginge and Lil Sis are enjoying some R&R at Grandma's this week .... the latest spend has included graduating from Guitar Hero on the Nintendo DS to the "real thang" on XBox 360! Apparently we've now stuck stickers on the "blank guitar" - as designed by Lil Sis.
Still tired, but much happier just chilling than heading to and from the hospital & the toes are doing just fine.
Mum phoned from holiday and has "burnt her backside" was about all the kids said! Obviously getting better summer weather than we are!
|Toes are looking good... - 22 August 2008|
Underneath those massive bandages are two very neat and tidy toenails! Nurse Ann at the surgery was very impressed - the official line is that they look clean and dry! Mum (or Dad!) have the daily job now of changing the dressings until the toes have healed, but it was most definitely worth it - they look SO much better already!
Relay preparations are going strong - the date for your diary is the weekend of 13th & 14th of September. Please come along on the day to show your support - kick off is at 3pm. See Da Ginge walk his lap of honour on his brand new feet!!!
We have been asked by Cancer Research to let as many cancer survivors as possible know about the event, as there is a celebratory lunch for anyone that has ever been given a cancer diagnosis, no matter how long ago, or how recent. All we ask is that you let the committee know you would like to attend - email Mum for details. The lunch is at 2pm, before the relay officially opens.
Any Addenbrookes staff that may be reading this - please spread the word to any of the wonderful patients you look after - it really is a lovely event and we would be honoured to see as many of you there as can possibly make it.
That's all for today...
|The toe bandages ! - 21 August 2008|
Da Ginge (well, the bottom half at least!), once again, on the trolley bed after an operation! But proof indeed both toes have been "done" ... Once again many thanks to those lovely, clever people at Addenbrookes.
Today is bandage removal day & instead of a trip to Addenbrookes its off on a short trip to see the nurse at Haddenham Surgery!
Da Ginge is "a little bit sore" .... but not sore enough to stop him chilling out, watch TV & play computer games with his mates .... how long is it until school starts again ? ....
|Relay for Life - Four weeks to go!! - 17 August 2008|
It's only four weeks to go and we need your help!
Melanie Woor is making some phone charms, bookmarks and key rings to sell at the Relay. If you have any old jewellry/beads/necklaces/bracelets that you are happy to have broken up for her to use then please let her have them - she will be very grateful.
We are planning on running a tombola at the Relay too. If you have anything that you can donate as a prize then again, we would be very grateful.
If you would like to attend, then the big weekend is Saturday and Sunday, 13th and 14th of September. The event is taking place at Lodge Farm, Fulbourne and starts at 2pm on the Saturday afternoon. There will be stalls and entertainment - like a big school fete - and it really is a worthwhile event to attend. As far as I know there will be a hog roast and a quiz in the evening. Please come along to show your support, and to see Callum make that first lap - he is determined!!!!
Anyone that feels that they would be able to collect some sponsor money, please contact Sally for a form - it would be easier to collect donations BEFORE the event, so if you can bear that in mind when you are asking for donations it would be a great help! (We can claim Gift Aid on the donations if we have full names, addresses and postcodes!)
I know that I still have to get Team Registration Forms out to a few people - please bear with me and I will sort it out as soon as I can!!!
Thanks for your support - Sally
|Tigs braves the toes for one last time! - 18 August 2008|
The Tigs faced up to his sixth operation this year alongside those dreaded toes!
We had a long wait today, but hopefully it was worth it. Da Ginge, Tigs and the toes came through unscathed, and celebrated with toasted cheese sandwiches ..... Homer Simpson style!
as prepared by C2's very own chef Mick!
|8.30pm Sunday - 17 August 2008|
This afternoon Vicky from the Community Nursing Team came to take a blood sample from Callum. We needed to check that he has enough platelets and some immune system, so that the long-awaited toe operation can happen tomorrow morning.
Mum has just called C2 and we have the go-ahead! Finally Callum's hb level is normal!! His white blood count, neutrophils and platelets are only just below normal - his blood is recovering amazingly well, and he has enough of everything for the operation to happen!!
|Doing well .... - 15 August 2008|
Pleased to report that Auntie Jane's operation went well yesterday - she has another scar to compare with Callum when they next meet up!
By 2pm yesterday she was back on the ward, awake and drinking fluids. Unfortunately visiting hours were cut short by the nursing staff, so had to leave Auntie Jane waiting for some food.
Speaking to the nurses on duty this morning all is well, up and about, eating and drinkng normally & a text a few minutes ago confirmed that she can go home tomorrow.
According to texts from Mum, a good if not tiring holiday at Butlins has been had by all, and a restful weekend at Grandmas lays ahead.
Auntie Jane's "plaster" .....
|Thoughts are with Auntie Jane .... - 13 August 2008|
Our thoughts over the next few days are very much with Auntie Jane. You may or may not know that she was diagnosed and treated for a different type of brain tumour a few years ago. Unfortunately she has recently been diagnosed with a new tuimour (same type as before).
She's heading over to Hampstead to the Royal Free Hospital for an operation tomorrow by Mr Dorwood (our other favourite neurosurgeon) .... to be followed by Gamma Knife Radiation treatment.
We wish her well .... (Dad will be there)
|Off to Butlins for a well-earned holiday! - 11 August 2008|
Think everyone is tired out now ... Lil Sis returned from Camp having had a fantastic time on Thursday, also with little sleep from the night before!
STOP PRESS! Chloe has also returned with tonsilitus AND an in-growing toe-nail!! Not quite as severe as Da Ginge's, but infected nonetheless!
Mum, Dad and Callum had an emotional and tirng last day of full-on treatment too, but this is not the end. After the toes on the 18th we have monthly check-ups, regular scans etc so still a long way to go. After three lots of brain surgery it will take a while for the internal bruising and "disturbance" to subside, so we have to be very careful and vigilant as time goes by.
A weekend of winding down and sleep seemed to be the order of the day, although an excursion to the cinema to see WALL-E on Friday was fun.
Sunday evening was packing time & this morning a departure bound for Butlins at Skegness! (deliberately not far from Addenbrookes, just in case!) .... hopefully some fun-packed photos to come.
Da Ginge with two of the unsung heroes of Ward C2 at Addenbrookes ( my apologies as my mind is befuddled and their names elude me right now ....) These ladies always cleaned the ward with a huge smile on their faces Thanks!
Maureen on the left and Hazel on the right! (Mum remembers everyone!!!)
|That kind of day ... - 07 August 2008|
Go team LA06!!
From left .... Dan, Lulu, Da Ginge, Dad (with hair!), Lorna
Thanks a million to everyone at Addenbrookes, loads more photos to sort out and post, but hopefully we have a little more time to organise them!
Its not the end of trips to Addenbrookes, but it is the end of Radiotherapy today! Mum, Callum and Lil Sis off with Derek and Jack to Butlins at Skegness next week for a few days away from it all before the "major op" we have all been waiting for "THE TOES!!!" ....
After that, PDU want to see us om a monthly basis for check-ups.
|A special day... - 07 August 2008|
It's 9.30am and we are getting ready for the last of Callum's planned treatment - mixed emotions here this morning....
|The Penultimate Treatment... - 06 August 2008|
Today was the 'one before last' as far as radiotherapy goes. Brave Lewis stayed over last night, so was on hand to help Mum get Da Ginge out of bed this morning! We threatened him with feet tickling when he asked for 'just five more minutes' and that did the trick!
The Emery girls met us at the radiotherapy department this morning, and we were lucky enough to see the inside of the Linear Accelerator as the machine was undergoing some maintenance. All the staff were on top form this morning, lots of laughing and joking around, all the while explaining to Helen and Zoe what exactly they were doing and why!
Back to Haddenham for lunch (boring old sandwiches) and a few rounds on the XBox, and then we headed into Ely to do some 'thank you' shopping for the staff at Addenbrooke's.
Tomorrow is the last treatment, and Callum has some fantastic people to see and say goodbye to. We know that his check-ups will continue for the next few years(!) - yes, years, really!!! but the end of radiotherapy marks the end of a chapter in Callum's Great Hospital Adventure.
More tomorrow and hopefully Dad will upload some piccies (Last time I did it wrong apparently and he had to fix it all afterwards!!)
|Number Thirty Three... - 05 August 2008|
Today was number 33 of 35, and we took along with us Eloise, Jamie and Lewis for a bit of company. Like a numpty mum forgot to take any photos, despite having the camera in her bag! Lorna gave our boy a dressing down for having surgery whilst she was on holiday, and blamed it entirely on leaving him in LuLu's 'capable' hands!!!
Dan The Main Man played a pretty awful CD instead of the one that Callum had brought with him, and tried to convince the guys that Callum really listened to rubbish music every day! There are no flies on Da Ginge's mates though - they realised it was just a joke!!! (I hope!!) Back to sunny Haddenham for bacon sarnies (Lewis had tuna!!) and an afternoon playing games...
We also had a visit from Bev - otherwise known as the Skittles Lady - and her boys, Luke and Adam. Mum and Bev have made a start on arranging stuff for the Relay - thank goodness Bev is organised as Mum is a complete waste of space right now. (Did I hear you say 'What's new?' Mel????) The boys played on the Wii and ate chocolate biscuits - great fun when you are 6 and 9 years old.
It's nearly six o'clock and the four of them are STILL playing on the XBox 360 - Eloise is winning a football game as I type - how cool is that??
It's been lovely to hear the house full of chatting and laughter - let's hope it continues...!
|Two Gingers! - 04 August 2008|
Callum had to report to PDU today to have his dressing removed from his "C" Scar. We got a little more than we bargained for with news that his last blood test on friday had returned with a low haemoglobin level. Whilst waiting we ran into fellow ginger Rory ...
Fortunately a blood test whilst we were at radiotherapy proved that Callum had manufactured some of his own blood naturally so a blood transfusion was not quite necessary!
Spare a thought for the shirt - borrowed from dad!
|Lil Sis off to camp... - 02 August 2008|
This morning dawned grey and rainy, but nothing stops 1st Haddenham Scout Group. They congregated at Robert Arkenstall School to head off to Sandringham for a week's camp.
Da Ginge stopped by to wish them luck and let slip that 'you don't want to lose at rock/paper/scissors at the end of the week' - whatever that means!
Lewis, Dad and Callum are off to the cinema to see Hancock this afternoon, leaving Mum to recharge her batteries. Daddy D and Lil Jack are doing a grand job taking care of her - Jack's tea making skills are ace!!!
|Discharged...! - 01 August 2008|
Da Ginge has been discharged! Mum is knackered so he has gone to stay with Dad for the weekend. Still feeling a little under the weather and being sick on and off, but well enough to leave the hospital.
All his various tests have come back as within normal limits, so the mysteriously low blood pressure remains a mystery - just one of those things.
Mr Garnett is happy that the ventricles inside Callum's brain have returned to normal, reducing the pressure and eliminating the headaches. Well done that man - Mr Garnett is most definitely our hero and we are lucky to have him as Callum's neurosurgeon!
|C Scar re-opened ! - 31 July 2008|
Mr Garnett opened up the same C Scar as before (he had hair back then) and cut another hole into the base membrane as the previous one had resealed. Much less intrusive as before, to our Callum "been there, done that, am I bovverred!?"!
|Da Ninja Ginge ... - 01 August 2008|
Feeling a little better today (Friday). Head "Ninja" bandage is just a precaution & no need for alarm. Keeps his ears out to help his body temperature!
Not sure quite when we can go home, but hoping soon!
|Op went well ... - 30 July 2008|
Good news .... da Ginge is back! His operation today went well & hs headaches have cleared. He's "a little bit sore" on top of his head (surgeon opened up his "C" scar again) but otherwise is cracking those terrible jokes and eating / drinking well.
More later incl photos ..
|Tuesday afternoon - 29 July 2008|
Da Ginge has had some more tests overnight - things to do with hormones and thyroid function, to thoroughly check him over. We will report back as soon as we have some results on those.
Mr Garnett came by this morning to tell us that surgery has been scheduled for first thing tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. It appears that the fluid circulating inside Da Ginge's brain is showing a reduced flow pattern, so the plan is to reopen the ventricolostomy that was originally performed at the end of February and hopefully sort this problem out.
Da Ginge is very tired, appears to be a bit 'confused' and is telling us his headache scores 4 or 5 out of 10. Regular codeine and paracetamol should keep things at bay for the next 18 hours until surgery. Radiotherapy will have to be given a miss tomorrow, resuming on Thursday all being well.
For those of you out there that were planning on accompanying us for treatment - sorry!!!
Many thanks to Julie and Astrid for stepping into the breach as such short notice - Chloe really appreciates it!!! (And so does Mum!)
|Mr Garnett has paid us a visit... - 28 July 2008|
This morning brought the welcome sight of Mr Garnett, Callum's neurosurgeon. He was concerned to hear about Callum's latest trouble, so he packed us off to the MRI department for some more detailed scans to help tell us what is going on inside Da Ginge's head.
Although Callum is feeling better than when he was admitted yesterday, he still has some pain in his head.
The new scans revealed a build up of pressure inside Callum's brain, so we have to stay in until Mr Garnett can operate to relieve it. Surgery will be either Wednesday or Thursday, so we just have to wait and see.
Happy Birthday to Daddy D - 41 and 12/12ths today!!!!!
|The rollercoaster ride continues ..... - 27 July 2008|
Well, what a weekend ... that is all I can say!
Saturday morning Callum was complaining (well, not actually complaining because he doesn't) of a headache - on a scale of 1 to 10 a 3. Mum and I chatted to the nurses and doctors on C2 and were advised that plenty of fluid and regular food was good and to be aware of him feeling sick.
He was determined to go to see his Grandma in hospital, which we did and then to see the latest Batman movie - the Dark Knight. By this time he was shattered and ready for bed. He awoke early Sunday to be sick and a lot of sharp pains in his head. Straight off back to hospital then.
A CT Scan, blood tests etc followed but drew a blank, but codeine and paracetomol settled the pain and he slept most of the day. He awoke this evening to go to the loo and then ask what he was doing in hospital - as if nothing had happened!! He remembers little of the days events and we are hoping will be well enough to leave hospital on Monday!
We have had many twists and turns over the last few months but this has to go down as the most bizarre ...
Eight more radiotherapy sessions to go!
|Friday at last... - 25 July 2008|
Thank goodness it's Friday! Callum has been awake long enough today to go to the hospital and is now back in bed, where he will stay until it's time for him to eat. The long haul is finally taking its toll - he is exhausted. Everything is an effort and so we just have to do as little as possible now, till the treatment is over.
Fantastic news from the 'toe' surgeon - Monday 18th August is the day we have been waiting for. Da Ginge will have those darn toes sorted out once and for all!!!!
|Home again.... - 24 July 2008|
Hurray - discharged today, with a promise from Mum to get Callum's toes checked out again in the morning!
We have some great news - even Addenbrooke's are sick of 'those darn toes' - a surgeon came by for a look yesterday and decided that as soon as Callum's radiotherapy treatment has finished and his blood levels have recovered enough they will operate!!! (We asked for a double amputation but they think that just removing the nails will be good enough!) No date yet but the surgeons are on the case.
Antibiotics will be continued for the next 10 days, but we have tablets - no more IVs required for now !
Callum has slept since he came home this afternoon - he really is shattered. Back to Addenbrooke's in the morning for radiotherapy number 27 - we are counting down now - NINE to go....
|Escape from C2 .... Kung Fu Panda !! - 23 July 2008|
Callum spent the day planning his evening escape from C2! Between his antibiotics he has 6 hours to kill, so Tuesday he tried a dummy escape to school to pick Lil Sis up on her last day!
6pm Callum gets his drugs ....
6.45pm dinner at Pizza Hut ....
8.15pm Chloe steals Callum's hat! Movie begins ..... Kung Fu Panda ...
10.15pm All aboard .... back to the ward ..
Thanks to Cineworld for a free "carers" ticket ! Have to pay for the patient .... carer goes for free!
|Not a happy bunny! - 22 July 2008|
Callum is not enjoying this stay in hospital, so mum decided to cheer him up and take him out for dinner to Frankie and Bennies .... and planning a trip to the cinema today!
His antibiotics are only every 6 hours so there is time to kill in-between ....
|Maybe 7 days ... - 21 July 2008|
Callum's stay in hospital will be slightly longer than the 24 hours we first thought
Dr Mike inspected the toes and does not want him to leave until the toes have shown "significant improvement" as Callum's blood counts have dropped - basically he has no immune system left to fight it so lets hope the antibiotics get a hold quickly.
So, we may be in for the week! Anyone who wants to visit is sure welcome - please email/phone or text us just to check as Radiotherapy will still be done.
|iPhone Saves The Day! - 20 July 2008|
Back in hospital but much happier with his new toy! Da Ginge and his iPhone ....
Dad managed to brave the queues in Oxford Street (well, actually he walked out of the Apple Store as the 200 people ahead of him was slightly too many!) & managed to get the last iPhone in Carphone Warehouse on Saturday. Just as well, as Callum was "Mr Grumpy" on Sunday ... now he's Mr Happy & the world is a brighter place again!
Once again, many thanks to all of you for your fundraising efforts!
|Them there toes strike back! - 19 July 2008|
Just when we were starting to relax over the reduction in Da Ginge's treatment them there toes have come back to bite!
Thursday in PDU the docs didn't like the look of them so prescribed some more Fluclox antibiotics. By Saturday evening the infection was much worse so Mum decided to take Da Ginge (under much protest!) back to C2 for the doctors to take another look .... good job Mum packed the overnight bag as they decided to keep him in for 24 hours and administer antibiotics by IV.
Callum was definitely not happy being back on C2 ......
|The start of the end.. - 17 July 2008|
We had a long day today - the beginning of the radiotherapy concentrating on Callum's brain. Lots of measuring and checking as the staff made sure that the radiowaves are going to the right place.
Blood tests show that Callum has managed to achieve a normal red blood count for the first time - well done that boy! Platelets are still dropping, but not enough for any extra ones; another blood test on Monday just to make sure that he is still ok.
This evening was nice - we went along to the end of year Scouts barbeque. Da Ginge had everyone in stitches as he recounted some of his adventures - Addenbrooke's will miss him when we are done, he sure is entertaining these days!
We now have another four definite walkers for September's relay - thanks to Skip, Swallow, Sandy Young and David Pollard for volunteering!
|Great News... - 16 July 2008|
Treatment number 20 all done and dusted now. And good news - the radiotherapy to Callum's spine finished today!! What a nice surprise!
The remaining 15 treatments are to his brain only - should take half as long every day so we are VERY happy!
If there is anyone that would like to come along to see what he is going through then please email Mum and we will gladly take you along.
|It's getting tough now... - 15 July 2008|
Callum is starting to feel the effects of his treatment now. He is very tired and feeling sick for a large part of the day. He wasn't able to go to school this morning as he was just too tired.
Still cheerful with the staff on LA6 though - today he was teasing Lorna with some 'Ultimate Boy Band' music - she hates it with a passion, and he said it was his choice for today! Only joking though - Top Gear Really Cool Driving Music was the REAL choice!
His spine is gradually getting pinker, but we are keeping on with the creams. No blistering yet - the longer we can avoid that the better!
Over half way - and still counting down...
|Site update .... - 15 July 2008|
Moved the videos to access more easily here. Hopefully will sort out some more videos from the party & post here soon.
|A weekend in Spalding... - 12 July 2008|
Da Ginge, Lil Sis and Dad spent the weekend in Spalding with Grandma, just chillin'
Mum and Daddy D drank too much wine and ate too much curry - lovely!
Thanks again to Bruce for sorting out the garden - much appreciated!
|Half Way...! - 14 July 2008|
Today was treatment number 18 - definitely half way there now! Treatment was in LA5 - LA6 being 'serviced' today and tomorrow so a change of room, but NOT staff, thank goodness!
Callum charmed Lorna and Lulu today - both ladies have had haircuts since we last saw them, and Da Ginge not only noticed but commented on how nice they both looked - what a smooth talker!!
Just a couple of photos so you can see what actually goes on in there...
|Saved again... - 11 July 2008|
Just spoken to PDU, and Callum's platelet level is high enough for him to continue his treatment. He can afford to lose a few more before they need to intervene!
|Need some platelets... - 10 July 2008|
Have the results of Da Ginge's blood tests, and below is a picture of how they are getting his blood these days - Callum's veins are very 'tired' so we catch it, drop by drop, in a lttle bottle...
He is holding his own with regard to red blood cells, but is most definitely lacking platelets. Looks as though we need a top up in the morning.
Special thanks to Mr Murray (Callum's Dean of House) who has registered as a platelet donor - we quite possibly owe you one!!!
|PDU Day... - 10 July 2008|
Da Ginge was very sick when he woke up this morning, but insisted that he was ok for school. We left for Addenbrooke's at the usual time for his daily zapping.
Thursday is check-up day at the Paediatric Day Unit. Dr Nicholson is very pleased with Callum's continuing progress. We had a chat about follow-ups when his radiotherapy is finished. It would appear that he will need monthly check-ups for the first year, every two months for the second year and every three months for the third year, so Addenbrooke's haven't got rid of Da Ginge just yet!
Still waiting for blood test results to determine whether or not Callum needs a blood transfusion this week - keep 'em crossed that he is still holding his own....
His next scan will probably be three months after the radiotherapy finishes - November time.
Preparations for the Relay on September 13th are under way. If anyone out there has said they would like to walk, but hasn't yet officially registered then please contact me asap - Cancer Research are chasing me for team details....
Only 19 more treatments to go - it'll pass in a flash....
|A change of scenery... - 09 July 2008|
Da Ginge managed his two lessons plus a bit of maths this morning, before heading off to Addenbrooke's in the rain. When we arrived, there was a change of venue for his daily zapping - usually we are in LA6, today it was LA1 (Perhaps Da Ginge broke the machine yesterday!)
His mask has had modifications - sections of the back have been removed to be a bit kinder to the skin on his skull. According to Kylie (lady in charge, not Kylie Minogue!) the perspex acts as a magnifyer and can cause the skin to burn more easily, so the kindest thing is to chop a bit out where they can to try and limit the burning effect.
Tigs has also had some more surgery - his arms were looking a little floppy (what do you expect for a bear of his age?!?) so Mum got busy with the scalpel, stuffing and needle and thread. Think she overdid it a bit - Tigs now looks like he has been training hard at the gym, with Popeye biceps!!! Not a drug in sight though - that bear is VERY brave...
|Tuesday - 08 July 2008|
An early start to get to school on time, and then the same old trip to Addenbrooke's. Mum is getting a bruised leg - we play 'Yellow Car' to pass the time during the journey. That boy really is quick at spotting them, and a punch on the leg for Mum for being too slow! He's added in 'Mini Cooper' as well - no hope for his poor long suffering mother - she can't tell a double decker bus from a pushbike!
Dad has come to take Da Ginge and Lil Sis out for a bite to eat. Last I heard they were arguing over where they were going - glad that things are beginning to get back to normal!
Louise (otherwise known as Lulu Trixiebell Fluff Ball) was singing today - it really makes things easier with such friendly and happy-to-see-you medical staff - thanks guys!
Only 21 to go now - and still counting....
|Monday - 07 July 2008|
Still tired after his 'hectic?' weekend, Da Ginge slept late and arrived for his treatment just in time. The back of his neck is looking a tiny bit on the red side - cream to be applied is the instruction of the day from the lovely ladies at the radiotherapy suite. No scouts tonight as Callum wants to go to school tomorrow. He's finally done his RE assignment Miss Leggett!!!
The radiotherapy must be catching up on him - he was a bit sick in the middle of the night. As long as he continues to take his anti-emetic medication, the symptoms shouldn't get too much worse. Number 13 today, and still counting down....
Tigs couldn't stand Callum's stinky feet today, so he borrowed a mask from one of the staff!
|The Weekend... - 06 July 2008|
A chillin' weekend for Callum - too much exertion Monday to Friday I think!
We had what is called a 'Pyjama Day' in the Brown household on Saturday. It's just what the name suggests - wear your pyjamas all day and do absolutely nothing!
On Sunday afternoon, Daddy D, Da Ginge, Lil Sis and Step-Bruv went into Cambridge for a swim at Parkside Pool. From what I gather (Mum HATES swimming, so stayed at home!) Lil Sis and Step-Bruv did all the swimming while Daddy D and Da Ginge 'bobbed about a bit'! Personally I think they must have been trying to impress some girls somewhere, but I wasn't there, so who really knows what happened!!!!
|Friday - end of the week already! - 04 July 2008|
No school for Da Ginge today - too tired after yesterdays excitement!
Treatment number 12 went without a hitch, and we headed into Cambridge to get Callum a new hat. Whilst having radiotherapy he can't use sun cream, and with no hair to protect his head from sunburn we had a little bit of a problem! Baseball caps don't solve the problem so Callum has a wicked new hat to keep him sunburn-free until we can either grow his hair or use the sunblock!
So, 12 treatments down and 23 to go! Aside from a slight reddening at the back of his neck, all is going well. Keep 'em crossed that next week goes as well for him!
Have a fantastic weekend...
|Thursday - 03 July 2008|
Da Ginge had a busy day today. After his treatment we went for his weekly checkups. He is doing really well; no blood transfusion needed this week! However, a long walk from PDU to the blood clinic and back again left him absolutely shattered!
This evening we went to see Fen Drayton's performance of Oliver! Da Ginge was so tired he decided to sleep on the sofas in reception! However, Lil Sis and Mum thoroughly enjoyed the show. There are some fantastic singers at Fen Drayton - well done!!!
|Wednesday - 02 July 2008|
Da Ginge is doing really well - because of treatment times he was able to do three lessons at school today before heading off to Addenbrookes for his daily zapping. 10 down and 25 to go. (Not that we are counting!)
From what he tells me, his maths class were treated to the 'Eyebrow' video. Thanks Miss McCarthy for letting him entertain you all...
|Tuesday - 01 July 2008|
Not much to report today. Da Ginge did his two lessons and break, before heading off to Addenbrookes for number 9 of 35.
So far so good; for the first day since the radiotherapy started Callum doesn't feel sick - that must be good! A reasonably early night tonight, school in the morning!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARVEY! THIRTEEN TODAY!
|The Last Day of June already...! - 30 June 2008|
Today was radiotherapy number 8 - only another 27 to go and we'll be done!
Callum certainly made a hit with the staff last week; I had so many compliments this morning that I felt a bit dizzy! Apparently he is one of the most 'together young people' they have had the pleasure of treating - and they STILL like his music! He's now listening to Top Gear Really Cool Driving Music while he's being zapped, and one of the ladies was actually dancing to it while he got himself ready and in position!
The plan for this week is to go to school until 10.30am each day, when Mum will collect him for more 'Top Gear' tunes and more zapping! He's catching up with his zzz's (he went to scouts tonight!) - I hope he hears his alarm clock in the morning.... :o)
|Catching Up with some video and pictures from the party!! - 28 June 2008|
I have uploaded to the gallery a set of photos from the party on 13th June. If you'd like to watch the bike presentation then click on the video below!
|Callum at his brilliant best ....! - 27 June 2008|
Just a few more left ....
|Update on the fundraising from Callum's Disco - 27 June 2008|
Many thanks to the kitchen staff at Witchford Village College. Mrs Martin passed over the collection that they held for Callum in lieu of his disco celebrations and the grand total now stands at £1640. We have received several more cheques since the disco for Callum, and would like to once again thank everyone for their generosity.
Callum has bought his Lil Sis and Step Bro a gift each - he wanted to thank them for being so good while he has been ill - only Da Ginge would think to do that! Bless him... we are so very proud of his good nature and we are so lucky to have him!
|The Toe is back ..... !!!! - 27 June 2008|
Treatment went ok today at Addenbrookes, nothing much to write home about. A stop-over at the golden arches for lunch en-route to Lil Sis's school for the Robert Arkenstall Key Stage 2 Production of "The Jungle Book 2008" ....
Some light entertainment had by all! Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves ... Callum even won a Raffle prize (whilst Dad paid for the ticket!).
The bad news of the day, however, is that the infected toe is back with a vengeance! Back on the antibiotics for seven to ten days & a swab on Monday .... when will that toe be fixed ? Mum, Dr Rangu & I suggest amputation of the leg .... that'll sort it once and for all!
|Tests Update .... from 11th June! - 26 June 2008|
Had a review today of all the results from Callum's end of chemo tests .... no results that weren't expected after the treatment he's had. More tests on a regular basis from now on. More bloods today & up again, so he's still growing his own!
One result we did like was seeing the MRI scan with no "Brian", just a brain!
Apparently still a little bruised inside, but looking much better without the over-sized golf ball lurking in the middle ....
Treat after radiotherapy today, a KFC followed by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!
|A Halo 3 whooping ..... - 25 June 2008|
Not much to report on Da Ginge over the last couple of days .... Radiotherapy is going "ok" - bit of a scare early in the week with a low blood count but he managed "to grow lots" overnight on Monday so a test late Tuesday showed much improvement so a transfusion was not necessary!
So instead of being at the hospital all day, Da Ginge gave Dad a whooping at Halo 3!!
|Brian Alert! - 23 June 2008|
Thanks Louise in PDU for the new definition of Callum's tumour ... renamed "Brian"! On checking Callum's blood test forms under the "reason for test" section, Louise wrote "radiotherapy following a brian tumour" .... that must be a new one in the medical dictionary ...
Here's what we get to see when Callum is in his "room" receiving his radiotherapy treatment -
We get to watch three TV monitors ... if you look closely you can see Tigs is along for the ride!
|Hamleys, then home! - 22 June 2008|
Up and about on Sunday morning we headed to Regent Street and the delight that is Hamleys! Major snag ... we arrived before opening at midday so the doors were locked!
Undeterred, we headed for Waterstones to buy books for Isobel, Rebecca & Lil Sis ... Regent Street is not designed for wheelchairs! Just about every ramp was 2 inches or more away from the road and not the most comfortable ride for Callum!
Some problems at Kings Cross (Welwyn Garden City actually) delayed our return but not too bad considering ...
|A busy Saturday .... - 21 June 2008|
Madame Tussauds ...
London Eye ...
China Town ...
So, a very busy day followed by an evening in bed watching Ratatouille :) A good day had by all!
|London Watch Out! - 21 June 2008|
Platform 8 at Kings Cross around 12pm Saturday! Ready to hit the town ....
|Day Two - 20 June 2008|
The treatment was much quicker today - less measuring as everything went well yesterday. Callum wasn't sick afterwards either - thank heavens for small mercies!
Monday's radiographers will have a field day - there will be a Man U supporter, a Gooner and Daniel (Liverpool of course!) Dad will be taking Callum all of next week - Mum is suffering from tennis elbow (or pushing bigger than me kid in wheelchair syndrome) so a week's break should do the trick!
Tomorrow Da Ginge, Lil Sis and cousins from Taiwan are going to London for the weekend - hope it doesn't rain!!
|Day One of Radiotherapy - 19 June 2008|
Da Ginge's treatment went well this morning - lots of planning and measuring, but he coped with it all without complaining. He was allowed to listen to one of his own CD's throughout, which helped to pass the time away.
His Chelsea shirt didn't go down too well with Daniel who was treating him (Daniel's a Liverpool supporter) but Callum's taste in music saved the day!
Unfortunately the radiotherapy has made Da Ginge quite sick this evening. We shall have to have a chat with the radiotherapy staff tomorrow to see if we can give him something to help.
|Callum "Da Ginge" Brown - as you've never seen him before! - 18 June 2008|
Yes - this is Callum! Image recreated from a CT-Scan ...
A tiring day at hospital yesterday preparing for the start of radiotherapy today. Also we got to see some fascinating images of Da Ginge - except for the circumstances. Not only does he have a brain (minus the tumour), but a reasonable jaw-line and spinal structure!
We had a bit of a wait for our appointments, but Callum remained true to form entertaining the other patients - from 2 year olds in PDU to 80+ in the Radiotherapy department. Here's a more orthodox view ...
|Retail Therapy! - 16 June 2008|
Callum had an itching for some retail therapy this morning! The Disco on Friday evening raised a whopping £1,370.00, that and some cash donations for a further £150.00 made a grand total of £1,520.00!! Quite amazing .... once again, many many thanks to all those involved in organising a wonderful evening. Callum riding around the hall on his brand new bike 7 weeks after 11+ hours of brain surgery was a feat few of us could have imagined!
Mum and I persuaded Callum to bank most of the money and leave it awhile to think through how he'd really like to spend the money ... he refused to buy me a new HD Plasma TV !!
He bought a few little things like Fifa Street 3 for the X-box 360 and a charger for his ipod and found time to call into City Cycle Centre to meet and thank Mark, one of the partners -
Hopefully we wil get round to thank more people in the weeks to come .....
|Latest update on Hospital Tests ..... !! - 16 June 2008|
For those of you who weren't there on Friday evening we can tell you that the latest MRI scan showed no tumour! Blood tests have also indicated that the cancer cells have been destroyed!
Today, Monday, we also discovered that a sample of fluid taken from the reservoir in his head last week has also shown there are no cancer cells in his spinal fluid!!!!!!!! The latest blood tests also show his blood is fighting back to fitness ready for radio-therapy later this week!!
It's by no means the end of the road yet, a few more milestones and treatments to come, but for where we are today things could not have turned out much better!
|The bike .... - 16 June 2008|
Many thanks to Haddenham Social Club and City Cycle Centre for Callums bike - presented to him by Bernie and Roy on Friday evening. For those of you who didn't see it, here's Callum posing on Saturday morning ....
Callum is thrilled to bits with it ...
|Introducing the Hulkettes ..... - 15 June 2008|
After a days rest on Saturday after the disco and travelling to Grandmas, Sunday started for Callum with roast beef & all the trimmings for brunch!! (two servings, as "I missed breakfast" said Callum).
A trip to the cinema in Boston followed to see The Incredible Hulk with cousins Isobel, Rebecca, Aunty Jen Jen and Lil Sis. Dad doubled as camera-man and chauffeur ....
|Boogie Nights !! ..... - 14 June 2008|
Everyone had a great time last night at the Disco!
Just a quick note to say a HUGE thanks to all that helped out last night particularly Bernie and Roy ........... it was amazing !
Lots more photos & video to come .... feel free to email me your pics - email@example.com
|Disco Ticket Update ... Single ticket sales ... - 12 June 2008|
Been asked by quite a few people about individuals buying tickets for the Disco tomorrow night ....
Child Ticket - £2.50
Adult Ticket - £5.00
2 Adults & 2 Children - £12.50
And yes you can pay at the door ...
See you there!
|The Big Day of Tests - 11 June 2008|
Apologies for not updating last night - we were all exhausted after the long day at Addenbrookes.
Good news - Callum's hearing has escaped permanent damage - the audiology test showed a very slight loss of very high frequency sounds, but it is hardly noticeable.
His eyes are improving rapidly - it is only 7 weeks since his operation and the improvement is tremendous already. Another tick in the right box!
We weren't able to see his scan results Dr Nicholson wasn't available to see us, so we will update you as soon as we have some news on the inside of his head!
Kidney function tests were carried out - again we need to wait for these results.
Callum's blood count has risen - very good news! The combination of Intraveneous antibiotics and improvement in his own immune system, plus the medicines we are giving him should mean that the infection from his Hickman Line will resolve itself soon. Healing will take a while, but things are looking good! His temperature is under control and he is bright and cheerful.
Fingers crossed that he remains well - tomorrow's disco should be a fantastic affair.
|11.45am Tuesday - 10 June 2008|
A visit from Harv ad Lewis last night cheered Ginge up no end - they played on the PS2 in the Teenage Room while Mum, Daddy D and Baby Nan (Harv's Nan) went for a cup of coffee and a chat.
Da Ginge managed to achieve the goal of keeping his temperature under 37 degrees overnight, so we were allowed to come home this morning! Traffic and road works made it a long journey but Callum is now eating a yoghurt and watching his own television!
His blood count is slowly on the up (helped obviously by the blood transfusions!) and with a warning to watch the wound where his Hickman Line has been taken out, his temperature and his toe (Yes - the toe is back!) together with a carrier bag full of antibiotics, we have been allowed out!
Tomorrow is the Big Day - another MRI Scan, and checks on Callum's kidneys, sight and hearing. Hopefully all is fine and we can have a big celebration on Friday. If you don't yet have your ticket for the disco then Bernie or Roy will be pleased to hear from you.
We also saw the famous Mr Garnett yesterday morning. He is 'very, very pleased' with Callum's recovery so far after the surgery and expects him to continue improving - fantastic news!
This morning's treat was a sample of brain fluid for analysis before we start radiotherapy. Callum is sporting a fluorescent yellow plaster on his head - the fluid was crystal clear - so another good indication that things are going well in there!!!
Many many thanks for all the help we have received - you can't begin to imagine how much it helps! Sally x
|Not today :( ... Docs say NO ... - 09 June 2008|
Doctor says NO! So another 24 hours couped up now on a chilled section of C2 .. bay C!
Unfortunately the docs want to see Callum's temerature remain under 37 degrees for the day to be happy that the infection is under control...
|Waiting for the nod to return home .... - 09 June 2008|
A chilled night (hoorah & thanks to those wonderful nurses for moving Callum to C Bay where the air-con works!) required TWO blankets for comfort! Body temperature down on average 1 degree all night ....
Waiting for the Drs rounds this morning to see if they can switch the antibiotics to tablets instead of through a drip, then hopefully home !!
|Bored now ..... - 08 June 2008|
After the excitement of blood, platelets and an operation Sunday was rather pedestrian in comparison ....
After another rather warm night on G Bay, Callum got up to escape to the concourse with Dad, Chloe and Alison for a cooked breakfast. Dad and Chloe disappeared off to London to work and Callum returned to his pit.
Dad and Chloe returned later to find Mum and Callum chilling (literally) in the teenagers room as it was far too hot on G bay. Callum and Mum suspended their Game Of Life to grab some air-time off the ward again.
The evening was spent driving Homer around on the PS/2 .... Callum not been awake this late for ages! Obviously a good sign!
|Bad jokes abound ..... - 07 June 2008|
Yesterday Callum was playing with his electronic bed ... when raised to its highest he said "I'm high on blood" :( ....
Today Daddy D arrives and says "Nice fan club!" ....
Rather sad that one!
Last week it was freezing on C2, this week boiling - which doesn't help when you have a temperature and are trying to keep it down! So enter the fan club ....
|Goodbye Mr Grumpy .... Hello Mr Smiley! - 07 June 2008|
Mr Wiggly has gone!! 9am Saturday Mum, Dad and Chloe saw Callum and Mr Wiggly disappear into the Operating Theatre on the 3rd Floor. An hour or so later Callum was wheeled back to C2 with a big smile on his face ...
And just to prove it ... the evidence ...
Still a lttle red, sore and infected, but the antibiotics should help clear things up pretty soon. Likely to be in hospital for at least another 48 hours, so escape plan being hatched for Monday morning after the doctors rounds.
Nice to see Callum happy and full of mischief .... probably helped by the couple of pints of red blood cells he got yesterday .... they seemed to perk him up too!
|And another one ... this time for Lil Sis! - 06 June 2008|
Introducing "My Little Friend" aka Miss NoNameYet ...
Callum to be NBM (nil by mouth or "starved") from midnight tonight! ..... Be back to Mr Grumpy soon!
|Introducing a new family member ..... - 06 June 2008|
Chloe bought Callum Mr Monkey when he was admiited back to C2 on Thursday evening. He has obviously brought good luck as when the Doctors saw Callum today (Friday) they decided that the Hickman Line aka Mr Wiggly was to be no longer .... so booked him in for an operation first thing Saturday to be removed!!
Callum was over the moon with the news, but then became rather camera shy ...
More soon ....
|Back to C2 ... - 06 June 2008|
Bit of a lapse .... Callum went back to PDU yesterday afternoon to be checked out after the nurse visited him at home. After seeing the nurses and doctor on duty it was decided to keep him in for a few days and have a course of strong antibiotics as he has an infection around his hickman line.
|New wheels!!! .... - 04 June 2008|
A trip out to the Anglia Mobility Shop in Ely saw Callum propel himself out on a "new" set of wheels .... no more pushing him around! Well, that lasted about 5 minutes & then "Dad, can you push ....?"!!
Additions to the game console repository quickly followed, as well as trip to the card shop for Grandmas birthday ensued with a well earned cake from Norths Bakery ...
Tired, but happy, we returned to pump up the new wheels as they were decidedly flat!
|Tesco.... - 03 June 2008|
Da Ginge woke up at 2.45pm and we decided to have a trip to Tesco. (Cupboards were bare!)
For the first time ever Callum used his wheelchair for the trip. We met a few lovely people and he proudly showed off his scar.
The trip did wear him out, so he was off to bed early - 7 hours awake and he was exhausted!
|Disco arrangements well under way... - 03 June 2008|
Just a quick update on this rainy Tuesday morning.
The arrangements for Callum's disco are well under way. Those of you that want tickets, please contact Bernie Dennis or Roy Woodbridge - some idea of numbers would help with catering for the buffet. Lots of local businesses have donated some fantastic raffle prizes - I want to win them all!
Da Ginge went to scouts last night; he came back wet but happy. The chemo has completely wiped him out this time - he is very pale and tired, but as you all know by now, not a lot gets him down. He is still as cheerful as ever and the bad jokes just keep on coming!!
We plan to make Callum get as much rest as we can - it's only 15 days till radiotherapy starts and we want him to be as fit as possible for then. His appetite is not great, but I am sure it will pick up very soon!
|Fire, Fire! .... :( - 02 June 2008|
Sorry to all who've tried to access the site since saturday evening .... but as you can see we are back!! (10.30AM Monday)
A major fire at the datacentre in Texas, USA where this site is hosted caused major outages for over 9,000 servers - probably 10 to 20,000 websites were affected.... Sally did complain to me yesterday that she couldn't play her online scrabble either ... so not just the Gingerking affected!!
|11pm Thursday - 29 May 2008|
Da Ginge has been awake since he got home from the hospital. His appetite isn't very great yet, but it's early days. Just packed him off to bed - he's still being a bit sick, so will have to sleep with one ear open tonight.
Seems like just the other day we started Chemo Round One, and now we've finished Chemo Round Four!
If any of Callum's mates want to come and see him I think he'd be pleased to have the company. His dad and I are very boring, especially when you've been in prison for a week!!!
|Just had word from Dad... - 29 May 2008|
Da Ginge is just about to finish his post-hydration so should be able to leave the hospital at mid-day! I've put clean sheets on his bed, so he can carry on sleeping - Round Four was very tough! Three cheers for Callum - (otherwise known as 'Rocky' - Mrs Smart at Robert Arkenstall thinks it suits him - she says he is such a fighter!)
Plan now - get him fit and well for his disco - don't forget - Friday 13th June at the Social Club!!
|End of a busy day ..... + a tattoo on the NHS!! - 28 May 2008|
Not long to go now until chemo 4 finishes! 12 hours of fluids & we should be home .... Callum is, as most of this visit, asleep.
We had a complex CT Scan today - learning how to mark and position Callum for his Radiotherapy to come. It is a very precise treatment, with checks and double-checks. Again, all the staff were lovely and patient . Part of the procedure involved some "X" marks the spot - only these "spots" were made permanent by ink and a needle .... so Callum now has two tiny tattoos on his back.
All was captured on film (digitally speaking), so enjoy!
I just want to know if he can have a free tattoo removal on the NHS ?!?!
|Stop Press!! Tiggs throws toys out of pram ..... - 28 May 2008|
Tiggs insisted during da Ginge's mask fitting today that he HAS to have a Hannibal Lector mask too. A stunned Rita and Alastair had to agree to the demand and sure enough a fitting took place for a full bear body mask.
See our gallery here ...
|Hannibal Round 2 .... More excuses to sleep !! - 28 May 2008|
Mum calls this the "Back to The Future" Grandpa Brown shot ....
Well, round 2 of the Hannbal mask fitting took place yesterday afternoon. Mum was cameraman, Tiggs around for support and kind Rita supervised the ritual!
Check out the photos here ...
|Mario Party 8 - 27 May 2008|
Da Ginge has had his second stage for the Hannibal Lector mask - he didn't let us down, but slept through the whole ten minutes!
Once back on the ward Mum has refused to let him go back to bed. He is in the teenage room thrashing Mum at Mario Party 8 on the Wii. Defeat is so painful that Mum has surrendered the controller to 7 year old Reece who is in visiting his little brother!!
No more sickness since the Frosties so we might try something a bit more substantial soon. C2 although mimicking the arctic at the start of Callum's stay is now like the Tropics - hot, stuffy and muggy. One day the Air Conditioning Engineers will get the settings right!
|A bit sick :( - 27 May 2008|
... not so good this time. Just spoke to Mum and da Ginge has been sick most of the night and today, although he was tucking into a bowl of frosties as we spoke!
Hannibal Lector fitting delayed until later today, so no more piccies until I get to the hospital tomorrow lunchtime.
ETA to finish chemo is 10pm Wednesday evening, so should be home mid-morning Thursday after 12 hours of fluids.
|Change of shifts .... - 26 May 2008|
After 3 grunts from Callum "want to sleep" during the morning, he finally woke up around 11am when his Mum, Daddy D, Lil Sis and "Cracker"Jack turned up for a shift change.
Unfortunately Mum was greeted with a "need a sick bowl" and Callum promptly threw up! This for the 2nd time in two days. Sunday he was sick at a similar time, but improved afterwards well enough to eat his lunch and dinner.
Tuesday is the 2nd fitting for the rest of his Hannibal Lector mask, then Wednesday we get to see what they've made!
Piccies to follow .....
|Failed parent .... ! - 25 May 2008|
I have obviously failed somewhere along the line as during (very) brief sleep respites, discussions have taken place on Indiana Jones .... well, Indiana who ? Says Callum.....
So, this afternoon Callum watched Raiders of the Lost Ark for the very first time - now he knows Hans Solo is also Indiana Jones! Another two to go then I can treat Callum to the very latest blockbuster ...
Fresh shepherds pie for dinner, no take-away in sight today
Counting down ... end of day 2!
|Sleep .... - 24 May 2008|
1st full day of chemo version 4 and we're upto our old tricks - sleep, eat, sleep, eat! Sadly not much to report, other than Grandma's gammon is yummy!
Burger King are reporting a slight increase in trade, but only as a result of a free Saturday night meal to all kids on C2. Callum did succomb to a chicken bite kids meal yesterday evening with a BK Fusion ice cream!
Sunday will be healthier with home-made Shepherds Pie arriving around 18:30 via special Sunday delivery aka Alison.
Hoping for a warmer night tonight .... the arctic hit C2 last night and the engineer only fixed air-con around 11am.
|Hannibal - Part 1 - 23 May 2008|
In for chemo & also time to prepare for radiotherapy ....
It is important for the radiotherapy treatment that Callum is kept 100% still and in the same position each time (every day for 7 weeks, mon-fri). To help, a mask is made from a "plaster cast" of Callum's head - made in two parts, the front and the back. Check out his Hannibal Lector photo gallery here to see all the photos from his "fitting" today!
Many thanks to Rita and Katie who patiently "plastered" our Callum! A taster -
Part II will be next Tuesday all ready for a fitting of the real thing on Wednesday .... hope Mum can add to the photo gallery then.
All being well, Callum should finish his current (fourth) and final chemo on Thursday!! He's counting down the hours already ... in his sleep that is!
|Da Ginge has left the building.... - 23 May 2008|
Da Ginge and Dad have finally left for Round Four of Chemo.
Beds are at a shortage on C2 and so there won't be one till 3pm this afternoon. The fitting of the Hannibal Lecter/Darth Vader mask is due at 2pm so the boys are stopping for a bite to eat on the way!
Good luck Callum x
|Last meal before prison... - 22 May 2008|
Hi - it's 10.30pm on Thursday and Da Ginge has just gone to bed.
Mum and Daddy D took him for his last meal before Round Four of chemo - this time at the Traveller's Rest, Girton!! (I knew I'd wean him off pizza eventually!)
He tucked into Nachos and Chicken & Ribs followed by a whopping great Brownie Icecream Sundae, and now he is tucked up in bed before the Big Day tomorrow.
We were chatting with the staff about Callum and his unfortunate event - before you knew it all involved were sniffling - Mum, Callum and all the lovely staff at the Beefeater. (Daddy D was 'well hard' and didn't, but then geezers don't do they?)
Amateur's estimate: Thursday next week before he is out.
Callum's Plan: Sleep till Thursday!!!! :o)
|He's done it - the hat trick!!! - 22 May 2008|
Well done Ginge! He managed three lessons and lunch at school today (although he WAS a bit late for R.E....!)
Stuffing skittles now - thanks Bev :o) and watching rubbish telly.
Chemo confirmed for tomorrow and also the fitting of his 'Hannibal Lecter' mask is at 2pm. Callum is 'not bovvered' by this - He needs to have a perspex mask made of his face so that his head can be held completely still when he has the radiotherapy on his brain. I think the process is a bit like ModRock all over his face and then they make a mould from which they then do the perspex thing!
The whole thing is quite freaky for Mum and Dad, but Callum wants to keep the mask afterwards because he reckons 'it will look cool....' What will he do with it I wonder???
|Just another Wednesday... - 21 May 2008|
Da Ginge has had quite a relaxing day today. Dad came over and they went to Ely for a spot of retail therapy (computer related I think..).
An afternoon in front of the television and then a Pizza Express with Lil Sis after she finished school.
When Callum got home the house was full of visitors - Helen from Mum's work and her girls were over for a cup of tea and a look at his scar! Judy and Helen came for a cuppa too, so we were busy for ages having a gossip and listening to Callum's tales...
Tomorrow was supposed to be the start of Chemo Round Four, but due to the ward being relocated again admission has been delayed until Friday. This means that Callum can go to school on his favorite day (what is it about Thursday's???) and is going for gold - three lessons in a row!!!
As I have been caught out before on reporting stuff before it happens I will update again tomorrow - will he or won't he do the hat-trick???
Right now he is shouting at the telly - something about a Man U and Chelsea match - never did understand football..... :o)
|*** FAMILY DISCO *** FAMILY DISCO *** FAMILY DISCO *** - 20 May 2008|
Bernie Dennis has kindly arranged a family disco for Callum on Friday 13th June at Haddenham Sports and Social Club, Chewells Lane, Haddenham.
Kick-off is at 7.30pm till midnight, with a disco and one of Bernie's famous buffets.
Tickets cost £12.50 for a family of four, and includes buffet!!! :o)
Please spread the word - the proceeds of the disco are for Callum to do as he pleases. He has decided that he would like to put the money raised towards the Relay for Life that he is doing in September. (More on the Relay later!) I am trying to persuade him to buy himself a present with some of the proceeds, but he's adamant that it should all be for Cancer Research!
If anyone would like tickets, please contact either Bernie Dennis or Roy Woodbridge. I haven't posted their telephone numbers on here for safety reasons, but if you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com I will give you a contact number for them!
I also know that Bernie would be grateful for any prizes - in true Haddenham tradition there will be a raffle!!!
Many many thanks to Bernie, Roy and all the Social Club Committee. I am truly moved by the warmth and support from everyone for my boy.
|We have the date for Callum's next tests... - 19 May 2008|
Addenbrookes have contacted us with the date for Da Ginge's next lot of tests.
Wednesday 11th June will be a big day. Callum has another MRI scan to check on the goings on inside his head. He also has his 'radioactive' test for kidney function; hearing and sight tests.
Hopefully he will pass all with flying colours!
Today he has taken things slowly as he wants to go to scouts tonight. Cooking in Robert Norman's orchard is on the agenda - you know Da Ginge - if you can eat it he is there!!
Hope it doesn't rain... :o)
|It's been a hard day for some ..... Angus! - 17 May 2008|
Angus slaving away ...
Lil Sis is being kept fit running around after Angus and Mrs (the cat), earning a few pounds towards her new wardrobe from Matalan .... talking of which Callum has a lovely new shirt !!
Currently lounging around watching DVD's until dinner ...
|Callum is on the move... - 16 May 2008|
I'm pleased to tell you that Callum has gone to spend the weekend with his grandma!
The Community Nurse came to see him today for routine bloods and a bit of a chat. We had to wake him (and it was only 11.15am!!).
The nurse was pleased to see that Callum's pressure sores from the operation are healing nicely now and although he is blistering a bit under his Hickman Line dressing she feels we have everything under control!
Here's hoping Callum has a great weekend! Mum is catching up on sleep and trying to do a bit more college work. (Apparently I passed the main maths assignment - Hurray!!)
Have a good weekend, Sally x
|Recycle for a good cause.... - 15 May 2008|
Da Ginge has a request. Can you all start saving the plastic tops from your milk cartons please? We have a friend who is collecting them to help a young lad who has lost both his legs in an accident. The milk carton tops are being recycled to raise money to provide him with a state of the art wheelchair, and as they are only worth about half a penny each she needs lots and lots!!! Collecting is on-going, so instead of binning them please put them in a plastic bag and do someone a good turn.
|He's off to school again! - 15 May 2008|
Da Ginge boarded the bus with a smile on his face this morning! Who would have thought only 22 days after major surgery that he would even be thinking about going to school??
His plan is two lessons and break - bet he sleeps the rest of the day!! :o)
|A little bit every day... - 13 May 2008|
Today Da Ginge was up at 9.30am - better and better every day!
He collected Lil Sis from school and then a visit to the Spar shop to buy a round of Slush Puppies - after all the sun WAS shining!!!
We then popped round to see Matthew, who is sporting a broken arm. Best wishes and fast healing to Callum's mate!
Off to bed at 9 o'clock and peace and quiet in the Brown household this evening!
Dad in charge tomorrow - let's see what Da Ginge achieves under Dad's management....
|Off to scouts... - 12 May 2008|
Callum has done well today. He collected Lil Sis from school and showed off his scar to a few people. He is now on his way to scouts - rounders apparently, so he has taken the deck chair so that he can watch!!
The hospital called this morning to say that he has to go back in on Thursday 22nd for his final round of chemo. Three down and one to go - we're getting there!
|Lazy Sunday - 11 May 2008|
Today has been a quiet one for Callum. After wearing himself out yesterday he has been taking it easy today.
Miss Duck has taken her brood away, so we were able to get out the garden table and chairs and have our tea 'Al Fresco'.
Callum then had a bit of a snooze in the late evening sunshine - we have to be very careful of sunburn now!
Nothing much planned for the next couple of days. Da Ginge has to take things easy and regain his strength; chemo and surgery have really worn him out and we don't want him to overdo things....
|Birthday for Mumma Jim - 10 May 2008|
Callum managed to get up a bit earlier today - 12.30 instead of 2.30pm!
We popped over to celebrate Mumma Jim's birthday; a lovely barbecue and a sit in the sunshine.
Callum did really well - he managed four hours before it was time to take him home. Grandad's burgers were much better than the ones he has been getting from Burger King! (A good advert for Haddenham butchers - only the best will do when Baby Nan is catering!)
|Miss Duck is a mum...!!!! - 09 May 2008|
Great news - Miss Duck's eggs are hatching.
First noticed that something was happening at about 10am this morning. I think she has hatched about 5 so far; difficult to tell as she hasn't so much as moved a muscle all day!
We are now seeing little yellow and black heads peeping out from underneath her wings, and a couple of brave little ducklings are jumping around the edge of the nest. Miss Duck shoos them straight back in so it's been very difficult to get any decent pictures!
The empty shells seem to be getting eaten - not sure if it is Mum or babies that are pecking them away, but there won't be any clearing up to do at this rate!
Da Ginge is doing well too. He didn't sleep for quite as long today - he has been awake since about 2.30pm. We want him to take things easy - the chemo and the surgery have taken their toll and the lad is most definitely tired out.
|The toe has returned... - 08 May 2008|
Good evening everyone
Callum has had a very good day today - lots of rest and a trip to support Lil Sis and Team in the Maths Challenge. Sadly, they didn't make it to the final, but an outstanding effort by all.
On our return home (Callum couldn't stay awake for all the Challenge) we discovered that the dreaded ingrowing toe nail has become infected again. Dad and I discussed amputation, but decided to take medical advice and restart antibiotics to try and combat the infection before it gets any worse!
Da Ginge may well have proved himself against a brain tumour, but he seems unable to keep his toenail in order!
These things are sent to try us!
|The Great Escape... 3.15am - 08 May 2008|
Good morning all
Callum's post hydration finished at 3am this morning. It's now 4am and he is sleeping in his own bed, and Mum is having a well earned cup of tea before bed. (C2 didn't move the kettle!!!)
Lil Sis will have a big surprise in the morning when she sees her bruv!
End of Round Three - Round Four will start on Friday 23rd May - just in time for half-term!!!
Good luck to Lil Sis and friends in the Maths Challenge this afternoon.... :o)
|We have moved!! - 07 May 2008|
To Ward D4 .... C2 is to undergo a "deep clean" as part of the NHS Deep Clean program .... nothing to do with the fact they can't shift the sickness and diarrhoea bug ....
Callum is now asleep in his new environment .... no change there then!
Count down began at 9.30pm yesterday when "escape time" was formally calculated as 11.30PM - Callum immediately asked if he can leave promptly ..... meds have been ordered and should be here shortly.
|Last leg... - 07 May 2008|
Shift change again today - Mum off to the hospital as soon as she finishes college.
Haven't heard from Dad yet this morning - no news is good news....!
|Still sleeping... - 06 May 2008|
According to Jo (Callum's nurse) he is a typical teenager as he has been fast asleep for a large portion of the day. Dad and I had a quick chat earlier - Da Ginge has been sick today, but is bearing up well.
Work was just what the doctor ordered for Mum - really pleased to be back in the thick of things - those children have all grown so much!!! Great to see the other staff members and to have - wait for it - a school dinner!!!!
Day five of Chemo now - towards the end Callum does get worn out, and understandably so. Nearly done now, and barring something unexpected we will have him home on Thursday morning.
Only one more course to follow this one, and then we are on to radiotherapy. Approx 11 weeks of treatment left - every day is one day closer to the finishing line.
|Monday Evening ... - 05 May 2008|
9.30 pm and Ward C2 is like a ghost town .... After a weekend rush of child chemo cases, Callum is the only one left in his room of 4 beds! He's currently sleeping, as will Dad be soon after a busy day with Lil Sis.
Callum's spirits are still high, although staying in until Thursday was not part of the plan. Delays in starting on Thurs/Fri have pushed back going home so he's not best pleased.
Continues to improve his movement and eye contact - now mastered the bath pretty well accoeding to Mum!
More tomorrow I guess ....
|Early one Sunday morning ..... - 04 May 2008|
There was little to write about! Ward C2 right now is an isolated and pretty boring place to be!
As far as Da Ginge is concerned, not much to say other than he sleeps, he eats & so far he has not had any side effects with the latest chemo. Its 9.30am and we've just had a sausage and bacon roll, J2O drink and slumped in front of the Wii playing Mario. I wouldn't say he's grumpy - just fed-up being somewhere he really doesn't want to be!!
With regards to his continuing recovery from his brain op he continues to amaze. Virtually full movement in his neck - up, down & side to side. Vision is improving (less of the "gaze") and overall movement is much improved.
Mum & Lil Sis arriving at 10/10.30 for Mum and Dad to swap shifts & Dad and Lil Sis off to see Grandma. Next scheduled shift change Monday evening 7pm - Mum to see if she can start to get back to a normal life by going to work on Tuesday!
|Friday evening... - 02 May 2008|
Sorry for no updates for a couple of days, but Callum's appointment at the day unit on Thursday turned into an admission, as Dr Nicholson wanted him to start his third lot of chemo PDQ!!!
C2 is officially closed except for urgent Chemo - this means no visitors (not even the other parent) and it's very much like being in prison - Honest guv we ain't done nuffink!!
Callum and I broke out on Thursday evening to go to the cinema - his chemo wasn't going to be ready until first thing this morning, so we seized the moment! We saw Three and Out (I know - it's a 15 but who cares!!!) and Callum really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too - a snooze on the back row at Cineworld, Cambridge was just what the doctor ordered!!! Something quite bad about arriving back on the ward at 11.15pm full of Pizza and Diet Coke!!!!
Then today Callum asks for his dad to stay over tonight - quick change of plan and I gathered together the dirty washing and ran for the door!!! Much as the staff on C2 are great, freedom is better! Callum, however, has had to stay - his chemo started this morning so he needs to stay put till Wednesday - Dad is a hero - Callum is SO GRUMPY!!!!!
I have a pass to spend time with Daddy D - Astrid has Chloe and I am sure she is having a great time. Chloe had arranged a date with her step-dad tomorrow night - as long as Da Ginge is happy, I intend to gatecrash the date and go back to prison on Sunday morning.
Da Ginge was 'fit and well' when I left him - playing on the Wii all afternoon with not a civil word to his poor long suffering mum all day!!! (Can't blame him really - I get on his nerves!)
Many many thanks to Bruce for the fantastic job he has made on my garden - you are a star!!
Love to all for the unending support - we all appreciate it!
PS Miss Duck (a mallard) is STILL sitting patiently on her nest - surely she'll hatch those eggs soon!!!
|The things kids say.... - 30 April 2008|
Just wanted to share this latest gem from Step-Bro Jack
In the car with Daddy D last night, little Jack was unusually quiet. Daddy D asks if he was ok. He said 'I'm thinking...' Daddy D says 'Are you? What about buddy?'
Jack said 'How many sausages and bits of bacon do you get from a pig.....?'
Kids - whatever next......!!
|A week already !! - 30 April 2008|
To look at Callum today it is difficult to imagine a week ago! Come to think of it, most of last week seems ages ago and is all a blur now anyway.
A craving for ritz crackers and philadelphia cream cheese saw us off to the Spar shop this morning. Now Callum is sat in his chair eating lunch and watching TV! Hard to imagine, with the operation Callum faced last week, that such a "normal" thing would be such an achievement - believe me it is one hell of an achievement! Particularly in such a short amount of time. We had envisaged several weeks of slow progress - a marathon not a sprint, only no-one told Callum that you can't sprint a marathon.
And no, he's not going crazy doing lots of things - good rest, followed by small amounts of movement & streching have worked wonders .... as well as copious amounts of determination!
|Lunchtime on Tuesday.... - 29 April 2008|
Yesterday was a whirlwind of people and I think Da Ginge must have tired himself out. He is still sleeping and only woke up for his breakfast this morning.
This is how our day went:
First up was the neurosurgery team, headed by Mr Garnett. All very pleased with Callum’s progress and slightly amazed at how well he has done in such a small space of time.
Next to visit were the oncology (cancer) team. They were all there: Dr Matt, Dr Mike, Dr Amos, Dr Denise and another doctor from Ipswich whose name I have forgotten! We had a brief discussion about re-starting Chemo, but no decision yet for when this will be, and we shall have to wait until Thursday at the Paediatric Day Unit for more news.
Then we saw the community nurses – Lucy and Vicky. Congratulations to Vicky; she’s expecting a baby. We were given some advice for dressing Callum’s pressure sores on his tummy. The sores happened during surgery because of the length of time he was laid on his front. His skin is very sensitive following the chemo and he is blistering from the usual dressings. We are now using some special ones, which should help a bit until the sores heal.
Mr Garnett came back with a special request for Callum. There were some neurosurgery students at the hospital and Mr Garnett asked if Callum would talk to them about his little problem with ‘Jim’. Well done to Callum – five students asking him questions and looking into his eyes was quite an ordeal! Callum’s advice: If you get to be half as good as Mr Garnett then the world will be a better place!
The main man for the day was Helen, the physiotherapist. All the surgeons and oncologists said that Callum could only be discharged if she was happy that he could manage at home. Tigs was mortally wounded; as part of her assessment she dropped him on the floor for Callum to pick up!
Finally we saw Miss Allen, Consultant Ophthalmologist, to check out Da Ginge’s eyes. She was happy with what she saw, and will monitor him closely for improvement. Mr Garnett did warn us that Callum’s vision would be affected – it’s called ‘downward gaze’ and with time we hope this will improve.
We still have a long, tough and tiring road ahead of us. Mr Garnett was able to remove all of the tumour and Callum is recovering remarkably well from surgery. However, we may still have stray cancer cells to mop up, which is why we have to continue with the rest of his treatment. Hopefully the chemo and radiotherapy will eradicate them and we will be able to stop worrying!
Thank you all for your overwhelming support – we couldn’t do it without you!
Love to all, Sally x
|Scouts cancelled.. 10.30pm - 28 April 2008|
Consultants at Addenbrookes very pleased with Callum, so he was allowed home! Next check-up is on Thursday this week (1st May already!) with a view to start his third course of Chemo on Friday if a bed is available. We are hoping to have him home until Monday though - he needs a break from all those burgers!
Scouts was cancelled tonight, so Callum couldn't go along to see everyone. Instead, as it's Monday, he came line dancing. He drank lots and lots of diet coke, but is tiring very easily. To squash any rumours, Callum doesn't DO the line dancing, he just drinks diet coke!!
For those that are asking after her, Miss Duck is still sitting on her 14 eggs - her ducklings should hatch very soon and I hope to be able to get some photographs before she takes them off to the pond.
Good night everyone!
|Weetabix.... 8.10am - 28 April 2008|
Callum has had a comfortable night at home. He is munching his way through some Weetabix, prepared by him of course! He put the kettle on for Mum's tea, but gave way and let her make it because he said 'It's safer!!'
We're battling Chloe to get ready for school - hair, puffer etc - (She is a nightmare in the mornings isn't she Astrid!!!!) and then when we've dropped her off we'll pop back to Addenbrookes to see Mr Garnett and the physiotherapist. We have some good news for the hospital staff - Callum climbed a short flight of stairs yesterday - seems like the physio won't have a lot to do when she sees him!
Fingers crossed that we can come home today - Callum deserves a break. As he says, he used to have a brain tumour but he's alright now!
Love to all xxx
|Guess what...? 8.45pm - 27 April 2008|
We had a call from the hospital - Callum's last blood test was a bit strange, so after all the effort to make it home we had to go back again!
Repeat blood tests were passed as fine and he is just about to have something to eat at home!
Poor Daddy D - he's been cooking all day!
For the second time today - WELCOME HOME CALLUM!!!
|It's Super Ginge... 1.30pm Sunday - 27 April 2008|
I am pleased to report that after only three days, Callum is home and asleep in his own bed.
After much discussion with Mr Garnett (neurosurgeon) it has been decided that Callum can come home on leave until 9.30am tomorrow morning. We need to go back for ward rounds and physio, before a final decision on discharge is made. We are also waiting to hear when Chemo will start again, so his visit home is likely to be short and sweet.
Super Ginge walked from the ward to the car, with Mum trailing behind with a wheelchair, just in case! A quick McDonald's Drive-Through on the way home and we did it!
Mumma Jim, Harvey and Eleanor have had a quick five minutes with him, and he is now resting his weary bones. Lil Sis and Step-Bro Jack are really pleased to see him - WELL DONE CALLUM!!!!
|Change of diet .... - 26 April 2008|
It's 1pm Saturday and Callum is "taking a rest". Been up twice already today - determined to go home tomorrow! The doctors have gone from ignoring the request to go home to "considering it"!! Well done Da Ginge!
A trip out to the concourse for breakfast was a slight anti-climax as Burger King was closed! Does not open on Saturday and Sunday until 11am - we went at 10am .... Too late for sausage and bacon rolls too, so we had to settle for a ham and cheese baguette from Upper Crust with the trade-mark diet coke.
Eye-sight has improved, still appears to "stare" but that is quite natural with what Callum has been through. Still taking each day as it comes.
|7.30 pm - 25 April 2008|
Mum has departed Addenbrookes for a well-earned rest and Dad is on duty. (Shift-swaps are great!)
Da Ginge is a determined and stubborn trooper. Last night he couldn't roll over in bed without help. This morning he got himself into a wheelchair with very little help and went out onto the Concourse for.... wait for it..... A BURGERKING!!! He had a sit outside in the sunshine and then went back to D2 for some zzzzz's.
This afternoon, when Lil Sis and Step-Bro came to visit, he got into the wheelchair ALL BY HIMSELF and came out to the carpark to wave goodbye to Mum!
Nurse Anna (in charge today) was all ready to call security in case he tried to make a run for it - he has asked why he couldn't go home with Mum!!
His next goal (set by him, NOT by the nursing staff) is to climb the stairs. He reckons that when he has done that he will come home.
The expression 'run before you can walk' springs to mind, but we wouldn't put anything past him now!!!
Dad will update again soon no doubt - as for Mum - she's going to bed!!!
|The Orme's and Brown's are Happy To Announce the marriage of .... - 25 April 2008|
of Rabbit Orme (the pink one) and Bob Brown (the white one) on 23rd April 2008 in Aldreth. In attendance were many friends of the happy couple along with Chloe aka Lil Sis, Emily and Olivia. Photography by kind permission of Mum Orme!!
More photos and commentary to come over the weekend as further details of honeymoon etc are released.
|The brain .... Jim is no more! - 25 April 2008|
(Click on image to enlarge)
Now we have the real scary bit out of the way (but still a long way to go) we can show you and share with you some of what has been going on.
On the left was the original scan from 28th February, which most of you have seen on the Ginge's Brain Page, with the tumour "Jim" in the middle - the size of a golf ball. Last Thursday (17th April) we had the middle picture shown to us, which showed that the golf ball had grown by 60% .... not what the doctors had ordered! Hence the urgent need to have a major operation to remove "Jim". We knew this would be incredibly difficult because of where the tumour was - no choice though as it was growing so rapidly.
On the right is the picture from yesterday - slightly distorted as Callum had a few difficulties lying still because of his sore neck. This shows that the clever surgeons had removed 100% of Jim. It also shows that a few bits at the back of the head have been moved down and squashed a little, plus the "tunnel" from the back of his neck that the surgeons worked along!!
Recovery from this will take some time. It will be several weeks before we know if there are any long-term side-effects. Callum is very tired, has a very stiff neck and some problems with eye movement an focus which we hope will improve as the days go by. He CAN see, which is very encouraging.
Amazingly he does NOT have a headache and his appetite has not been affected :o)
The most frustrating things for Callum are things we all take for granted. He wants to roll over, but because his neck is so stiff he can't do this unaided. We know that Callum WILL achieve his goals, and all those that love him will need oodles of patience!!!
Callum still needs two more lots of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiotherapy which again will make him weaker and poorly and reduce the effectiveness of his immune system - so still risks of infection etc. and the road ahead is not necessarily straightforward. We have been told by the doctors that he MUST finish his treatment, as we can't afford even one stray cell left in his body.
However, he really is bullet proof and so determined - just wish he'd had the same dedication with his literacy skills!!!
Love to all..... xxx
|Burger King issue profits warning ..... - 24 April 2008|
Burger King issue profits increase as Da Ginge has returned to his Chemo diet not 18 hours after major surgery. Mum and dad may have to take out 2nd and 3rd mortgages to cover the food bill.
He muttered "food and morphine" which made the nurses laugh.
Still groggy, very sore neck (the operation was through the back of his head/neck) but up and watching DVD's. A very brave and courageous young man!!
Tigs is well and keeping Da Ginge company.
Thanks for everyone's kind wishes. More when we know it.
|So far so good ...... - 24 April 2008|
Da Ginge has had a comfortable night thanks! His request at 10pm last night for a Burger King had to be declined in favour of some water.... but once he is properly awake this morning he can eat and drink as he pleases!
Overall, remarkable progress. Eleven and a half hours in surgery, the tumour is no more. We have some MRI scans today to double-check that, so will report later. He gave up the oxygen mask 2 hours after surgery, had some water and gone back to sleep. Vital signs are good and we hope to be released from PICU later this afternoon - providing there is a bed on D2!!
Everyone on PICU has been great ! Doctors and nurses a million thanks. We saw two of the three surgeons this morning who were smiling and pleased with his progress. Will be reviewing his scans later this afternoon.
|"A little bit tired ..." says Da Ginge! - 23 April 2008|
We haven't seen him yet (it's 19:55) but spoken to the surgeon who has told us that Da Ginge has spoken to him and moved his arms and legs.
All we know so far is he seems to be OK (as well as can be expected coming out of an 11 hour operation) and the surgeon is pleased with the operation.
He's currently in the recovery area, to be moved to PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) in nex half hour when we can see him.
|9 hours and 50 minutes and still waiting .... - 23 April 2008|
Sorry if you are tuning in for an update but we don't have one ... other than Da Ginge is still under protective custody in the operating theatre.
|Hot off the press (well, camera!) ... Tiggs too! - 23 April 2008|
Just found the lead for laptop to phone so we can post these photos of Tiggs preparation for surgery too! You can't read the "leg label" but says Tiggs, owned by Callum Brown .... & below, he gets his own chariot prepared to go to theatre!
|Anyone for a cuppa…? - 23 April 2008|
We arrived this morning at 7.30am (Ginge was well impressed – for the first time ever we got here before Dad!!!)
Mr Garnett has had a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast – we checked!!!!
Mum was very concerned – in true numpty fashion she signed the wrong box yesterday, so officially is the ‘Consultant-In-Charge’! Luckily for Da Ginge, Mr Garnett wouldn’t let her operate – so Da Ginge breathed a huge sigh of relief. (She’s on-call to make tea though!)
Callum’s sense of humour was in top gear this morning – he insisted on walking to the operating theatre and gave us all a treat by flashing his boxers all the way down the corridor!!!!
As we type, its coffee and pastries all round – second mortgage applied for – Addenbrookes love their inflated prices!
Wish we had the camera this morning – all three of us (Mum, Dad and Daddy D) got to dress up in pretty white dresses and hats. Dad looked like a smurf, Daddy D a smurfette and Mum apparently just like the village idiot. (Has Haddenham lost one today then?)
Alison has arrived in one piece after the momentous task of taking Lil Sis to school. Mum forgot to pack the gin and tranquillisers but Alison looks pretty well considering. (Good luck Astrid – it’s an experience!!)
There won’t be any news from neurosurgery until late this afternoon, so we’re all contemplating taking up knitting!!!
Many thanks to all those who have sent us their messages of support – truly appreciated!
More later ...
|It's all a game .... - 22 April 2008|
Neither Ginge or Mum could work this game out !! In the teenage room on Ward F2 between tests Mum decided that it was time to play ....
|A busy day for Callum.... - 22 April 2008|
Callum has had a long, tiring day today. Thought you'd like to know that in true Ginge fashion we have three consultants on the case tomorrow.
Da Ginge is being cared for by the best, and has the best supporting him for his big day tomorrow.
Please excuse us if we don't post tomorrow - all of us are tired and just want the big operation over and done with.
Love to you all, and thank you..... :o) xxx
|Another fun-packed day .... - 22 April 2008|
Off to school this morning for Maths and History followed by break! Then off to the hospital to have a CT Scan and meet Mr Garnett - our surgeon for the day on Wednesday.
Then it will be home time, to starve overnight and back to Addenbrookes for 7.30am Wednesday.
|Scouts and Line Dancing - AGAIN!!! - 21 April 2008|
Good evening all...
Remember when I said never say Ginge will, always say Ginge HAS...?
Well, this evening Callum (and Chloe) have been to scouts and afterwards invaded line dancing. Lots of fun had by all - sweeties from Bernie and hugs and kisses from all the ladies and Danny. Thank you all so much for the lovely Get Well card - and I'll keep my promise - if he is out of hospital I'll bring him next week!!
Chloe has some very important news - she was invested into Scouts tonight - and Mum and Dad missed it!! Good job Da Ginge was there to make sure she remembered her promise! Cheers to Skip, Tug, Dee and Andy for making that happen tonight - even if us parents weren't there to witness it!
For those that would like an update on Miss Duck in the garden - she is still sitting on her eggs. My estimate is that they will hatch towards the end of the month. 14 eggs so she'll be a very busy lady when they do eventually hatch!!
More on Da Ginge tomorrow.... :o)
|Grandma's ..... - 19 April 2008|
Ginge and Lil Sis spent the last 24 hours at Grandma's along with Uncle Richard on a "flying visit" from his home in Taiwan to England en-route to India.
Of course Bob (Lil Sis's furry friend) had to contend with "Mrs" (the cat - originally named!) for Lil Sis's affection.
|Ginge 1 Mum & Daddy Del 0 - 19 April 2008|
There has been an argument in the Brown household today, involving .... FOOD!!
The Ginge decided that after his escapades yesterday (cinema/fish & chips/grandma's etc) he fancied a nice meal out! With Lil Sis off at Dad's house, we thought he would choose somewhere grown up and sophisticated to eat. Where did he want to go???? Pizza Hut - AGAIN!
We tried everything: Yellow Pages, Good Food Guide, recommendations etc etc but nothing would suit. Mum complained the whole time we were out, but Da Ginge got his way - Pizza Hut it was!
He's gone to bed now - and Mum is STILL sulking..... :o)
|Did you know...? - 19 April 2008|
Did you know only 5% of the population donates blood?
Children with cancer regularly need blood transfusions, and if no-one donated blood ever again the hospitals would run out within 7 days.
It doesn't hurt and it takes me only 5 minutes to donate 470ml, that's less than a pint!
If you think you'd like to make a difference and help save a life, then please consider becoming a blood donor.
Callum hasn't needed any transfusions yet, but he may do. Lots of the leukemia patients have them several times a week. Help if you can.... :o)
|Busy day .... - 18 April 2008|
Busy day today. No school - teacher training, so went to the cinema with friends & saw 21 then on to Grandma's to stay the night. Uncle Richard is staying over from Taiwan and was pleased to se Callum and Chloe. Fish and chip supper followed by NCIS and maltesers!
|Revenge is sweet ..... Ginge on Mum! - 17 April 2008|
Forgot to mention earlier ... Ginge managed to extract some revenge on mum by watching her receive a needle and then lay on a hospital bed for a while!
All in a good cause - giving blood!
|The Department of Nuclear Medicine - Ginge made radioactive for the day!!! - 17 April 2008|
What a long and interesting day we have had! Up bright and early to pop over to Addenbrookes for a day of tests.
First up were the standard height, weight, blood pressure etc followed by an MRI scan.
Next up a trip to the "Department of Nuclear Medicine"!! This is where they carry out the GFR test - it measures how functional the kidneys are by testing the blood 2, 3 and four hours after the "radioactive material" is injected.
BY THE WAY - THIS IS NOT HARMFUL or PAINFUL in any way!
Lunch (Burger King - what else!) and further blood tests followed.
Onto the more boringly named "Audiology Department". Callum's hearing is absolutely fine - take note teachers - he really IS ignoring you!
We then had some more news on the lump inside Callum's head. Not one, not two, but THREE types of tumour. Trust Da Ginge to be different!
The shape of the tumour has changed, and the chemo has managed to make little holes in it, a bit like a chocolate chip muffin after you have taken all the bits of chocolate out of it.
Dr Nicholson has decided that the best thing to do now is to remove it, so Callum will be having an operation on Wednesday 23rd April. Will be admitted the day before to be starved!
He will then resume his chemo treatment as soon as he has recovered from the surgery.
We'll keep you posted.....
|Ginge looks tired.... - 16 April 2008|
The Ginge has been to school again today - seems to be a bit of a pattern here - two lessons and home!
Mum has been to college this morning, and handed in half an assignment - better some than none!
Ginge looks very tired today - he didn't have a catnap yesterday, so think it must be catching up with him! Early night tonight as we have a long day of tests tomorrow.
Well done to the girls for their fantastic result yesterday. Best of luck for your next match....!
|Victorious Year 4 and 5 Ladies Team !! Well done Lil Sis and Friends .... - 15 April 2008|
Chloe and friends victorious !!
A hard fought one nil victory over Waterbeach.
|Never count your chickens before they've hatched... - 15 April 2008|
After yesterday, when Callum made me tell fibs on the internet, I have learnt my lesson! Never say Da Ginge will, always say Da Ginge has....
Well, this morning, Da Ginge HAS gone to school...! Surprisingly enough, after his late(ish) night following Scouts, he was up and raring to go this morning! The young man really is indestructable!!!!
Thanks to Skip and Dee for watching over him - he had a great time. I too had a great time - line dancing, as always, made me smile. (Laugh actually, you have to when you are as rubbish as me!)
Good luck to Lil Sis this afternoon, in her 'friendly' against Waterbeach - Is there such a thing as a friendly footie match??? :o)
|Off to scouts .... - 14 April 2008|
Mum was fibbing earlier ... slept today so didn't make it to school this afternoon!
Woke up in time to go to Ely and be fed by Dad though! Made an appearance at Scouts this evening with Lil Sis ...
|Monday afternoon... - 14 April 2008|
Apologies to every one - Da Ginge was too tired at lunchtime to go to school - strike one!
It depends on how he is feeling later on as to whether or not he goes to Scouts.
We shall just have to wait and see......
|Monday Morning... - 14 April 2008|
All quiet on the Ginge front today. A good night's sleep in readiness for today's challenge. Ginge will be going to school for the afternoon - Science and English are on the timetable.
We also hope that if he isn't too tired he will be at Scouts this evening. (That means Mum can go line dancing in peace!!!)
Nothing much else to report - no news is good news so they say!
|Cinema and F&B - 12 April 2008|
Ginge had a long lie in this morning in readiness for a trip to the cinema this afternoon. He picked the film (The Son of Rambow) and demolished popcorn and diet Coke throughout.
As he was still hungry we popped next door to Frankie & Bennies - garlic bread with cheese, cheeseburger and fries, followed by a triple icecream and the Ginge announced that he was full. (Thank goodness he isn't still on steroids!!!)
Enough excitement for one day - won't be long and he'll be off to bed for some more zeds!
|Double Art... - 11 April 2008|
Ginge had such a good time yesterday seeing all his mates that he thought he'd pop into school again today. Double Art with Mr Murray on Friday afternoons, so that's what he is doing!!
Just dropped him off with his pack-up and pencils - he'll come home on the bus. Never have I been so grateful to live opposite the school bus stop!
Thought I'd take this opportunity to give a general update on how he is doing. Since the week after the first lot of Chemo Callum hasn't had any more pain in his head. Aside from being very tired he is really well in himself. For those of you that saw him in the early days, you'll understand when I say he is less 'random' and more the old Ginge! His short-term memory is a bit rusty, but with prompts and reminders he is retaining more information every day.
We have a whole heap of tests next Thursday, including hearing, kidney function and the long awaited MRI scan, which should give us an up to date picture of what is actually going on inside his head. Not sure how long we will have to wait for the results, but as soon as we know then you will all know!
We are now half way through the Chemotherapy stage of Callum's treatment. Another two week-long courses and then we can re-group, ready for the next stage, which will be radiotherapy. We don't have many details about that yet, other than it will be a visit to Addenbrookes every day for five weeks, Again, when we know, you will know!
Many thanks to everyone for the support you are all giving. I know that many people check in for updates regularly and I can't begin to express how much it helps all of us to know that so many people care.
Have a great weekend..... :o)
|School was cool... - 10 April 2008|
Ginge said that being back at school was cool because he got to see all his mates. He's tired out, but I think it did him the world of good! The plan is that he does a bit every day as long as he is up to it.
Cheers to all his mates for being there for him :o)
|On the bus... - 10 April 2008|
Ginge has left the building!
The school bus has just left with Callum on board. The plan is two lessons and then home as the nurse is coming to do some more blood tests.
Hope all goes well for Da Ginge this morning....
|Out and about .... - 09 April 2008|
Yes, we've been out and about this afternoon so the Ginge has seen a few friends lurking outside Lil Sis's school and in the village. Don't know if its the lack of hair but dad got a few strange looks from smaller people too!
Rumour has it a bus trip may be on the cards tomorrow!
|Home Sweet Home.... - 08 April 2008|
Ginge has had 12 hours at home now. Both of us (Ginge and Mum) had a little sleep this afternoon, and by popular demand Ginge has had a bath!!
Unfortunately the exertion made him sick again, but it's good news for the rest of us as we can remove the pegs from our noses! (Barrier nursing means no escape from your room, not even to bath, and he was a bit too big to fit in the sink in his room!)
Dad will be in charge tomorrow - Mum has college to attend - assignment due in next week (NO CHANCE!!)
Plans so far for the rest of the week:
Chill on Wednesday - Chelsea match to watch with Dad :o)
School on Thursday for a bit. Callum is hoping to go in (ON THE BUS!!!!) for 'Form' and the first two lessons. Mr Murray is cool with that, so watch out Miss Leggett - Da Ginge is back!!!
Sleep well tonight - we will...... :o)
P.S. Tigs is sulking - he has seen Frank on the Website AND he had to go through the washing machine AGAIN - It shouldn't happen to a bear of his age!!!
|Jail Break... - 08 April 2008|
Da Ginge escaped custody at 7.30am this morning.
Unfortunately we didn't have time for him to get changed and ready for school before the bus left! (Only joking - he needs a bit of time to rest before we send him back to school...!)
He is eating Weetabix and then he will have a little sleep no doubt!
Round Two - all over! Winner - Da Ginge!!!!
|The Duck and The New Scout (aka Lil Sis) ... - 07 April 2008|
Lil Sis would like to share a new family member with the world (soon to be "many new members") as mother duck is brooding over her eggs in the garden - even after Mum was over-eager doing the gardening and exposed the nest!
At the same time, Lil Sis has left the Brownies fold and joined Haddenham Scouts and spent her first evening amongst other new starters Emily and Gabrielle.
|STILL Sleeping... - 07 April 2008|
Da Ginge is such rubbish company today - all he does is sleep!
We did have a busy morning though - the Opthalmologist agreed to see Callum today instead of on Wednesday to save us a trip back in. She is very pleased indeed with his eyes. Although the double vision hasn't resolved itself just yet, the improvement is tremendous since the last time she saw him. We are very optimistic that eventually his eyes may right themselves and Callum will be able to see without his patch. (Shame really, I quite like the Pirate Look!)
Too lazy to walk back to his room ! Any excuse ....
No sign of any sickness now, so we hope that is the end of it until next time!!!!
Will keep you all posted when we have a definate discharge time.
Good luck to Lil Sis for tonight - she starts Scouts!!! Just a shame that Callum can't take her; Dad will have to do....... :o)
|Back Online ... - 07 April 2008|
Sorry if you've been trying to check up on the Ginge since 2am GMT ... had a hardware server failure, so been off-line until 10am.
Thankfully all is well again & back on-line.
As for the Ginge, a touch of the trots along with his vomiting saw him moved to an isolation room. Waiting for the results. On the homeward stretch now as about 4pm today his actual chemo finishes & then he has 12 hours of fluids. With a bit of luck he should be home again Tuesday.
|Shift change again... - 05 April 2008|
Mum and Dad swapped again at 4.30 this afternoon.
Ginge's period of not vomiting didn't last long - he is off again! Cheerful with it though - not a lot gets our Callum down.
Thankfully he is sleeping between bouts - roll on the end of this round...
|Meet Frank .... the Chelsea Bear! - 05 April 2008|
Ginge has been sleeping most of the day so far - not been sick since 9.30am (its now 3pm). Managed to eat some lunch and placed an order for his free Saturday night Burger King - standard Bacon Double Cheeseburger meal!!
Thought I'd introduce Frank - a new bear given to Callum by the Ward Manager on C3 last week when we were in for antibiotics for a few days.
|Sickness has started... - 05 April 2008|
Just had a call from Dad at the hospital. (10.15am)
Apparently Da Ginge has finally succumbed to throwing up. According to his consultant the chemo is 'a very nasty cocktail' and strong as Da Ginge is, he couldn't hold it off any longer. Dad and Callum had a busy night throwing up, but in true Ginge form, he isn't making a fuss, just getting on with the job in hand.
We are so very proud of him - as little fuss as possible, that's his motto!!
|Shift change... - 04 April 2008|
Shifts changed this afternoon for taking care of the Ginge. Mum departed for a pizza with Chloe and Dad moved in for the next 24 hours.
Daddy D, Chloe and Jack collected Mum from the hospital after their swim this afternoon and Daddy D placated Da Ginge with a promise that next time he can have a pizza too!
So far, so good. No sickness, and not as sleepy as the last round made him; Callum has been playing on the Wii and taking a spin on the exercise bike in the corridor outside his room.
2 days down and 4 left to go - chemo should finish in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and we can bring him home again!!!!
|Slow but sure .... - 03 April 2008|
A slow day so far with not much going on. After 12 hours sleep for the Ginge, a day spent between the WII and PS2 intermingled with sleep and of course the ubiquitous food!
Things are bound to liven up around 4pm when Mum, Chloe, Jack and Derek are due to arrive to celebrate Mum's 40th Birthday!
Happy Birthday Mum ....
|Ginge's New Home - for the next 7 days anyway ..... - 02 April 2008|
Arrived safely and moved into our new home! Unpacked and hooked up already in a ward of 4 people - confusing so far with two Callums, Laura and an empty bed (soon to be filled no doubt).
Wireless broadband that works on the Ward this time, so this is a "live" update at 18:30 (although the piccie taken a couple of hours ago). Ginge has been hogging the laptop playing on his PS2 .... yes, we have the technology!
Currently sleeping so Dad gets the laptop.
|Feel like a newspaper reporter! Breaking news..... - 02 April 2008|
It's 11.18 am and Da Ginge has just been collected (by Lotti of course!) for Round Two!!
Chemo is due to kick off at 1pm this afternoon, so we ask that you all cross your fingers that he copes as well as last time with no vomiting!!
We estimate that he will be incarcerated until next Wednesday, but as we are only amateurs we could be wrong!
Special message for Mrs McCarthy - he hasn't done his English yet, although he has watched the film and we have acquired an audio CD, duly up (or down?) loaded onto his IPod! Message from Callum is 'It's hard to read with only the one eye!' (Poor excuse - he HATES reading anyway!)
Science is finished - not a bad score from what I can tell, and Maths is in his bag!! Brain tumours are no excuse for not doing your schoolwork!!!
|Better news today .... - 02 April 2008|
Finally Addenbrookes are about to re-open Ward C2 !! We've just had the call to tell us to pack the Ginge's bags and be at the Paediatric Day Unit at midday today .... Chemo will start this afternoon. More later ...
|Still waiting... - 01 April 2008|
We still have no news on when Callum will be going back into hospital for his treatment.
Ward C2 is still closed and apparently there is nowhere else at Addenbrookes that can administer his Chemo.
We are getting very frustrated as there is absolutely nothing we can do other than wait. His consultants have no answers right now - it all depends on Infection Control to complete their checks and tests.
|A bit of a delay.... - 31 March 2008|
We have to report that Callum's Chemo has been delayed. There is some sort of hold up on the ward due to a bug and so Infection Control are not admitting new patients until it is under control.
We are waiting for the all clear as we type - hopefully the people at Infection Control will let him in very soon so that we can carry on with his treatment.
We will keep you all posted as soon as we have some up to date news.
|First day of British Summer Time - 30 March 2008|
A quiet kind of day today. Ginge went out for lunch and a bit of shopping today with Dad.
Chloe and Jack took Daddy D swimming and Mum did some gardening!
Due to go into hospital (C2) tomorrow but need to ring at 9am to confirm bed availability etc.
Nothing else to report, although Callum has been practising on the X-Box today. I think he wants revenge for his earlier losses to Dad when he hadn't adjusted to just using the one eye!
|Chinese Restaurant.... - 29 March 2008|
Ginge has had a busy day today. We resorted to a wet shave to get rid of the last irritating little bits of hair - took ages as Mum was a bit chicken and didn't want to add any new scars!
Helen and Steph came for a visit - thanks girls for keeping him occupied for me! (Mum sloped off to catch up on some sleep!)
This evening we had a trip into Ely - The China Inn to be precise! Ginge ate plenty, but then so did the rest of us!
An early night for us all - who knows what tomorrow will bring?!?
|Allowed out for good behaviour...! - 28 March 2008|
Ginge has been given the all clear - no nasty bugs growing anywhere so he has been allowed to come home till Round Two of his Chemo. Should be starting on Monday 31st March, all being well.
Quite a fun morning - Ann (the Play Specialist on C3) brought a special version of Monopoly for Callum from home - the chocolate version!
We relaxed the rules on 'no snacks' and they went head to head - winner got to eat all the chocolate!! Needless to say competition was fierce - Ann and Ginge drew - 16 pieces of chocolate each!!!
We'll miss all the ladies on C3 - they were all so very nice. Callum got a pressie from the lady in charge - a really cute Chelsea Bear who has been christened Frank! Watch out Tigs, you could have competition!!!!
Ginge is now at home in Haddenham and happier...!!!!
|Day 2 of Antibiotics .... - 27 March 2008|
Nothing too exciting to report today. Seems the drugs have worked and Ginge's temperature is under control. With a fine wind and fair sail they should let him out on Friday morning.
"I'm bored" has been the saying of the day - Chloe managed to defeat the Ginge at Advanced Connect 4 (some new-fangled 3-D version of the classic game), whilst Dad defeated Chloe!
Monopoly ended all-square after 2 hours or so - the Ginge was hungry! (Surprise, surprise!!).
Shock for the Ginge's diet - the dietician has ruled return to "normal" diet with only three regular meals per day! No snacks, and back to normal everything not full-fat - so more vegetables and fruit will be the order of the day!
|Sleeping like a baby... - 26 March 2008|
Da Ginge is settled in his bed and has been sleeping through the nurse's administrations during the night.
His temperature is now under 37 and his anti-biotics are well under way! No idea yet what caused the spike in temperature - according to him he feels fine!
Personally I think he has been missing Mick - he's the resident chef on Ward C2 - and the fantastic milk shakes he makes. (Callum calls them 'Mick-Shakes'!!!)
Keep smiling.... :o)
|Ginge not playing the game .... :( - 25 March 2008|
The game was to keep his body temperature under 38 degrees ... he failed this afternoon so we all trooped over to Addenbrooke's to let the Drs and Nurses take a look.
The Drs have decided he needs 48 hours of antibiotics and close monitoring in hospital in case he has developed an infection or something. Besides a temperature, he's feeling well and not too happy to be spending the next 48 hours in hospital.
As usual, we shall keep you posted! Sorry if you'd planned on calling round in next 48 hours.... noone home!
|The Day Has Come... - 24 March 2008|
Today was the day we have been waiting for since the start of Callum's Chemo...
Yes, you've guessed it - the ginger hair is no more.
Callum woke up this morning and decided that it had to go. His partner in crime, Harvey 'The Great' Feltwell, brought forward the date of his sponsored head shave in honour of this grand occasion. It was a fantastic thing to do for a mate and we are all very proud of him. If anyone wants to make a donation to Harvey's great cause then please feel free to do so.
The boys looked great before...
...and even better afterwards!!!
Dad promised that he would shave his hair off when Callum's fell out, so he jumped on the end of the queue while the clippers were whirring! Assistant hairdressers were Chloe 'Lil Sis' Brown and Eleanor 'Me too - I want a go!' Feltwell.
We have some exclusive pictures of the Great Easter Monday Head Shaving Ceremony - Mistress of Ceremonies wielding the clippers is none other than Mumma Jim! What a way to spend Easter Monday!
Well done to all the boys for sitting still - we still have three pairs of ears and no-one was damaged!!
|New Layout .... hope you like it! - 23 March 2008|
Many thanks to the designers at Design Russia for doing us a huge favour and marrying the Simpsons with Chelsea FC ! They have done a great job in producing this "skin" to brighten Ginge's site.
A few changes as well -
1) The home page will only have the last seven days of news
2) Ginge's News Page has all the history from day one
Another lovely pic sent by Julie (Harv's Mum) - Step-Brother Jack, Callum, Eleanor and Lil Sis Chloe at Mum's wedding to Derek
|Happy Easter.... - 23 March 2008|
Callum is going for the world record on the number of Easter Eggs one person can eat! Thankfully he is now weaned off his steroids so hopefully the massive appetite will slow down!
Jamie and Eloise came for a visit bearing all manner of chocolatey gifts.
A special thanks to Melanie Woor for the 'healthy eating' option - Callum HAS eaten something other than junk today!
|A day at Grandma's - 22 March 2008|
Da Ginge ventured north and spent some time with his Grandma.
Dad will fill in the blanks, but from what I gather they all went out for a curry... (Food plays an important part in Callum's life these days.)
|Today's Plan... - 21 March 2008|
Last night MiniMatt and his mum came to see Da Ginge. Callum kept them entertained with his infamous sense of humour - what a star!
Callum's Grandma isn't too well and Da Ginge has decided to visit her this afternoon. He will be heading north to Spalding with Dad and staying overnight. Let's hope Grandma has a huge stock of junk for him to munch on!
Only a small breakfast this morning - Rice Krispies, pancakes and maple syrup, toast and jam, followed by a sausage sandwich!! (Easter eggs as well - where DOES he put it all?!?)
|Doing well... - 20 March 2008|
Callum had a bright and early start this morning to see the doctor at Addenbrookes.
Pleased to report that Callum is 'doing well'. Home now and not expected to return to hospital until 31st March for his next bout of chemotherapy.
Happy Easter! :o)
|More visitors.....! - 19 March 2008|
Da Ginge had some more visitors this afternoon.
Thanks to Helen G, Steph and Kirsty McK for their visit and the box of Heroes! It was lovely to hear Callum and the girls laughing. Halfway through their visit, Harv and MiniGinge aka Jake came to visit, shortly followed by Dozer (Harv's bulldog!)
Mum had a lovely chat with Helen's mum Alison too. After only two hours Helen's mum decided that it was time for the girls to go!
Fantastic for Da Ginge to have such great mates - cheers! :o)
Homemade curry for tea and an early night - Addenbrookes want to poke him in the morning. Will update when we have the latest news...
|Home from school ... to eat & then sleep! - 19 March 2008|
We made it to school in time for Geography - only to find Mr Hill absent. DVD of the Simpsons was today's lesson!! How hard can that be??
Still, great for Callum to catch-up with his friends over lunch, then home for a second lunch and more sleep!
|Preparing for school today! - 19 March 2008|
Callum is just getting ready for school - yes I know he's late (it's 10.30am) but better late than never!
Yesterday evening was snooker - looks like Callum, Harvey and Lewis were having a good time.
|Travelling in style .... he's always done it! - 18 March 2008|
Callum has been up for most of the day and seems to get stronger on a daily basis! Good news, but not much to write about, so I thought I'd delve into the archives and find a shot of Callum of old ... well 5 months old actually!
Callum 5 months old appreciating the finer points of Great British Motoring!
|Da Ginge's Next Appointment with Addenbrookes - 18 March 2008|
Apparently we haven't been very clear about the whereabouts of Da Ginge over the next few days/weeks.
Appointments with Addenbrookes so far:
Thursday 20th March - Day Patient Check Up - expected to come home afterwards
Monday 31st March - Round Two of Chemotherapy - in for a week!
We hope that Ginge will be at home or at school - (yes, at school!!!) on the days in between. In reality school will be a little bit at a time, he isn't up for going all day every day just yet! If he gets poorly and has to go back into hospital unexpectedly we will post on the site to keep you all up to date...
Witchford can play a real live game of 'Where's Wally?' - He'll be the one with the eye patch and the Minders! (Harv and Lewis have self appointed roles as his two side kicks!)
Ginge has been playing pool with them today; he managed to win one game, but I think Lewis was being kind!
|Quattor Formaggi .... a la Pizza Express! - 17 March 2008|
Ginge "One-Eyed Pirate" was not "bovvered" when Dad came to visit Monday after school until the magic words "see you later, Chloe and I are going to Ely for a pizza for dinner" ... That was it, up and out of bed, dressed and in the car before you knew it!
Was amazing to see happen just 36 hours after leaving hospital! Makes you appreciate the small things in life ...
|A good day at home - 17 March 2008|
Ginge's mates had a visit at school from the Amanda, the Out Reach nurse, today. She popped in to see Callum at home afterwards and she sent him up for a shower! (I didn't think the smell was that bad!)
Dad took Ginge and Lil Sis to Pizza Express in Ely after school - apparently Ginge ate well and enjoyed the change of scenery.
Ginge also had a visit from Skip (Scouts) - many thanks for the fantastic card - someone is very talented!
Much to my surprise Ginge decided to come Line Dancing with me tonight. The ladies were all very pleased to see him - I will post a photo when Dad shows me how to! Thanks to Angela for the Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers - all demolished within record time!
Daddy D is cooking a high calorie omlette for him now, with a nice big plate of chips and tomato ketchup, and then we'll pack him off to bed.
All in all a very good day....
|Sleeping in his own bed - 16 March 2008|
Good evening everyone!
Home at last - the smile that says it all!
Callum is sleeping peacefully in his own bed and has been for most of the day! He had a brief interlude of wakefullness when Lewis and Harvey came to visit. It was so nice to hear him laugh - I think his friends are probably the best medicine right now!
Appetite not great, but there's always tomorrow....
Not sure who was more excited that he was home - him or me!
Keep 'em crossed.....
|Good News... - 16 March 2008|
Just spoken to Dad and Callum has managed to behave himself - no reason for him to stay any longer so he will be on the move very soon.
Ready to escape !!
We wanted to let you know that Callum really brightens up when we read him your messages, but a combination of being really sleepy and not being able to see very well means that so far he hasn't been well enough to reply to any of you personally.
I will make it a priority that as soon as he is able to, he will start posting more himself, and he can make a start on replying to his emails. Please bear with him at this skanky time!
ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE, PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY FRESH FLOWERS TO CALLUM AS THEY POSE A SERIOUS INFECTION RISK!
Visitors are obviously very welcome, but he is very, very tired and may not stay awake for very long.
|Home stretch now... - 15 March 2008|
Hi from Addenbrookes
Callum's last bottle of chemo treatment is about to run out, which means we've successfully completed Round One! He now has a few hours of 'Post-Hydration' which basically means lots of fluids to flush through his system before we can bring him home. The 'flush' is due to finish at about 1am and fingers crossed we can ship him out in the morning back to sunny Haddenham!
Lil Sis and Step-Bro Jack are frantically cleaning the house under the supervision of Daddy D - hope they remember to clean the loo's!!!
Dr Nicholson is as happy as he can be about Da Ginge - personally I think they're fed up with his snoring....
Tigs doesn't know it yet, but he will be straight in the washing machine when he gets home - Callum says that Tigs' arms are a bit floppy - may mean more surgery for Wonder Bear, but he can take it! Both Callum and Tigs have eye patches now - Dad will post a photo as soon as he can - I'm not equipped for such technical wizardry outside Burger King!!
Watch this space....!
|Dad beat me to it....! - 14 March 2008|
I've just managed to find a place in the hospital with a wireless internet signal to update you all on Callum's diet.
Obviously great minds think alike as Dad has already beaten me to it! It's true - add double cream to tinned soup, feed him fried everything, chocolate, cakes and all the things us 'good' parents dread our children having...
(When Chloe suddenly puts on 14 stone, you'll all know why!!!)
Ginge STILL sleeping! It's like having a lazy baby - we are literally waking him up to eat!
Dad was a hero this morning - he brought BK Double Chocolate Fusions for breakfast!
Dr Nicholson came round this morning and is very happy with Ginge's progress. Long may it continue....
|The diet sheet from hell .... or heaven if you are on Chemo! - 14 March 2008|
A few people have commented on Callum's eating habits (BK Fusions etc!!). Any parents out there will be horrified to learn that we were handed the diet sheet from hell!! Full-fat everything (& lots of), fried everything, chocolate, sweets - you name it, but everything that the government would have us believe to be unhealthy!!
This will actually help anyone on Chemo - so yes, Callum can basically eat anything and everything "bad" for normal people. Funnily enough he's not complaining!
|Thursday 13th March 2008 - 13 March 2008|
The Ginge is very sleepy now - looks like he intends to sleep through this first round of Chemotherapy.
His appetite is calming down now - he'd rather sleep than eat at the moment. Still doing well and the staff are very pleased with the way he is coping with his treatment.
Thanks to Harvey and Eleanor for their visit yesterday - funny how Ginge will get out of bed for his mates but not for his mum and dad!!
Take care and best wishes - Sally x
|More details of Tiggle Bear's operation emerge .... an archive search! - 13 March 2008|
A search in the Brown household photo archive has revealed more on the major surgery Tiggle Bear Brown had to undergo ...
read more ...
|Smile please - you are on candid camera!! - 13 March 2008|
From 2004 - thanks to Sandra Young for the photo!!
|Man and machines .... - 12 March 2008|
Here's Callum hooked upto his machines! Day 3 of Chemo and he is doing very well. Still has a heavy appetite for BK Fusion Double Chocolate Ice Cream ... so all is not lost.
|Some Site Changes .... - 12 March 2008|
Moved some items in the menu so we can add some more ... Ginge's Brain and Diagnosis have moved to menu items under Ginge's Home - just hover the mouse over Ginge's Home above & a menu will appear.
Also, by popular demand (mainly from the ladies in Callum's life!!), a "Tiggle" page here.
|Another rumour quashed ... not a skiing accident! - 12 March 2008|
Contrary to popular belief Callum did not suffer any injury or have an accident whilst away snowboarding with the school. He has not banged his head or been hit in/on the head by anything!!
The tumour has been caused "naturally" and no-one is to blame at all.
|Tuesday - Day 2 Chemo - 11 March 2008|
Callum has done well today. Despite his "flatulance" (wind - nothing new there!!) he's still the same .... Sorry Mr Murray, he was entertaining me with his best impressions of you today!
Thanks to cousin Isobel for this picture -
|Monday - Day 1 Chemo - 10 March 2008|
Drs and Nurses are happy with Callum's first day of Chemo today. Currently sleeping, been a hard day, but Callum is comfortable and not been sick so far.
The support from everyone has been fantastic - a big thanks to all.
A huge thanks to all the Drs and Nurses too - they have all been great.
|Dad 2 (!!) Callum "One-Eyed" Pirate 0 (Yes, Zero!) - 08 March 2008|
Some crappy excuse about "only having one eye" left Ginge smarting from a heavy defeat in Gran Tourismo racing .... also struggled to keep a sports saloon car on the road in some other PS2 game!!
Staying on the road proving little difficult!
|Weekend progress report ... - 09 March 2008|
In Callum's own words "better but feeling pretty rubbish" if that makes any sense at all !! If any friends have called round this weekend - sorry, he's been kept in for observations all weekend. We hope he'll be fit to see some friends soon. For now, thanks to Jess Lenton for this photo taken in Year 6 at Stoke - I know he had a great time there & still talks about it.
|Pirates of the Carribean Audition - 07 March 2008|
After the eye-tests Callum "Toga Ginge One-Eyed Pirate" Brown tucks into his third meal of the day - and its only 3.30pm! Fresh with a pack of patches to help correct his "double-vision" in his left eye.
|Eye tests .... - 07 March 2008|
Friday afternoon saw Callum's last set of tests before he starts his Chemotherapy on Monday morning. This nice lady is assessing Callum's vision - unfortunately Callum has been suffering from double-vision in his left eye since his operation last Thursday. This is hopefully short-term and will return to normal in a few weeks.
|Chloe Extends Nursing Duties - 06 March 2008|
Chloe learning her trade .... so what is in the bucket ? Mr Wiggly's (aka Callum's Hickman Line) cleaning stuff, dressings etc.
|Stayed In Overnight ... The Morning After - 05 March 2008|
Due to the lateness of the Toga Party, Ginge slept through in the comfort of Ward C2 at Addenbrookes. On with the testing ... although he looks pretty rough to me!
This kind lady (Veronica) setting up Callum's kidney tests.
|Squashing the toe rumour !! - 06 March 2008|
Callum "Toga Ginge" Brown would like to set the record straight to all those who may believe that the "toe injury" a.k.a. infected toe was the cause of his brain tumour - this is NOT the case!!
In-grown toe-nails have never been proven to cause brain tumours!!
|Hickman Line Toga Party .... its a knockout! - 04 March 2008|
Late Tuesday afternoon Callum heads off to his Hickman Line toga party ... isn't he handsome!!
|Back in as a day case ... the tests begin! - 04 March 2008|
Callum has returned to Addenbrookes as a day patient. He passed his hearing test "impeccably" ... so no excuses when he's back in school!! (Teachers take note!)
Currently in the operating theatre having a Hickman Line fitted to save him having any more needles.
Updates later ...
PS Mr "Ginge" Grumpy has been denied food all day ...
|Discharged ..... - 03 March 2008|
Monday afternoon saw Callum discharged from Ward D2 at Addenbrookes. Not before his request - yes, please mark this as a black day for the Ginge's hair - he INSISTED on a haircut ... see the evidence (thanks to Coleen who was very patient with him).
|Ginge sees mates :) - 02 March 2008|
Ginge's friends visit and give him a big boost ...
|Home on leave ... - 02 March 2008|
Drs allowed Callum home on temporary leave until Monday morning.
Lunch on Sunday !! A week without food for Callum was tough, but Tesco's profits are set to soar over the next 7 days ....
|STOP PRESS!!! It's official, Callum has a brain .... - 01 March 2008|
A momentous day in the life of Callum "Ginge" Brown - it has been officialy confirmed that a real "live" brain exists. We have an exclusive set of pictures that prove, beyond any doubt, that this is fact!
Unfortunately, we have to report that it has something extra that shouldn't be there. The "squidgy" golf-ball size white/grey area in the centre needs to get zapped to make him well again.....
Please check the site regularly to follow Ginge's road to recovery. If you'd like to offer your support then by all means please post your messages of support here. read more ...