It was certainly a different Easter for a variety of reasons. We had a fresh challenge – we had to change Madeleine’s dressing ourselves for the first time (this covers the entry to her central line).
Due to current circumstances, the hospital at home team asked if we would be comfortable doing this in order to minimise contacts and visits into our home.
We have seen this performed so many times, and they guided us through safely changing it via phone prior to doing so– we even sent pictures via email to confirm we had completed the job successfully.
We are always grateful for the exceptional care from all the NHS staff who oversee Madeleine’s care, and also to modern technology for allowing ways of improvising due to the pandemic.
There was a lovely and hugely welcome surprise late afternoon. Thanks to a dear friend, Heather, who works at Tesco Hanley, a delivery truck pulled up with a surprise shop of foods, crafts, goodies and household essentials. She had been chatting to her store manager, who had been following my blogs. He was reading the latest edition on his lunch break and together they conjured up a plan to have our Easter covered.
It is so humbling when complete strangers are so generous and caring. I was both gobsmacked and in tears, and our entire family is immensely grateful for this thoughtful gesture.
After decontamination of the items Madeleine was straight outside in the back garden soaking up the late afternoon sun with one of her favourite things in the delivery, a huge bubble wand.
The Tesco delivery included various components for an Easter bonnet. Madeleine and I had a lovely hour or so creating a hat, even if I did end up using superglue to stick the little bunnies onto the straw rim. She had great fun parading in it for the rest of the family. She also made some other crafts, painted eggs and made chickens and bunnies, which had arrived in the post from some other friends of ours.
The two younger girls also set to making their favourite slime concoctions. They absolutely love doing this together and it whiles away many an hour. I’m not so sure I love getting all the goo out of the table and implements afterwards though!
Heidi and Madeleine in particular were so excited for Easter Sunday and the prospect of a visit from the Easter bunny. They weren’t disappointed. There were chocolate eggs aplenty from a variety of friends and family (all left on the doorstep). Our kitten, Noodle, tried his best to grab some eggs, but we steered him to his Dreamies in the kitchen.
Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend I would usually see my parents and two sisters however, due to isolation, we made do with a catch up via WhatsApp.
We had a traditional Easter roast and a Belgian chocolate dessert thanks to our food hamper, followed by the obligatory family Easter viewing of the film Hop. We also watched the film Yesterday and were pleasantly surprised. This spurred my husband on to play the entire Beatles’ back catalogue on his guitars on Bank Holiday Monday for around three hours solid!
It was a pleasant weekend, full of family time and far removed from the pain of Christmas when Madeleine had not long started chemo and we had no idea if her tumour was responding to the treatment.
Mum-of-four Emma Cooper, aged 42, lives in Meir Park with her husband Scott, 47, and children Eddie, 15, Louise, 14, Heidi, nine, and Madeleine, four. Madeleine has been undergoing chemotherapy for a stage four germ cell tumour, so the family are only leaving the house for essential medical appointments.