Chicken Pox: The reality!

5 days ago my son caught chicken pox. I wrote a blog about how I was looking forward to spending a week at home with him and why I thought having chicken pox wasn’t going to be so bad!

This is what I have found so far:

  1. I am patient.
  2. I need to be more patient!
  3. My son can shout.
  4. He can say ‘mum’ a million times a minute.
  5. He can go from lying on the sofa unable to do anything to bouncing around doing ninja moves when his father pops in with some medicine!
  6. His father thinks I exaggerate.
  7. I am beginning to hate Star Wars.
  8. Nobody’s Christmas biscuits are sacred!
  9. I cant stop eating!
  10. I get pissed off if the postman doesn’t call.
  11. Afternoon naps are a must.
  12. I can tolerate pain well and quietly. Several elbows have landed on my nose in the middle of the night!
  13. I swear a lot in my head!
  14. My son likes to strangle me. I allow him to strangle me.
  15. I can talk about nothing on the phone for a long time!
  16. My son doesn’t have enough pyjamas to get through the amount of daily changes required if a speck of water lands on him.
  17. I accept my flaw of not cutting his sandwiches in the correct shape.
  18. I don’t mind cleaning!
  19. I cant stop itching!


  20. I like to be busy!

My son, on the other hand is an incredible little boy. He is plastered in chicken pox. They look very sore but he hardly ever complains. Luckily I understand his need to vent his discomfort at me and he knows he can do it without consequence.

Today is his 5th birthday! After a very unsettled night, he has been so very happy playing with his birthday toys. Not being able to go out to buy him a birthday card, I made him a Star Wars one and he said “that is so kind of you mummy”!!! His birthday cake was a small section left over from his party on the weekend. He didn’t mind at all!

I will never forget the times I was too ill after my chemotherapy to get out of bed. My little boy would just climb into bed with me and wrap his arms around me, telling me all about his day! I hope I am looking after him as well as he did me. I am the luckiest mummy ever!



Camping with Tanks!

I had the crazy idea last year to take Rory to a ‘Cancer camp’ down in Dorset. A weekend of camping and activities with other young people and their families who have been affected by Cancer. I got very lost and the journey took more than 5 hours, I was exhausted and emotional and knew I had made a bad decision to come. It was too far to travel back so I had to try and make the most out of it. I felt I had totally let Rory down though.

The charity who set up the camp was amazing. I wanted Rory to see that other people his age had mummies with no hair and he wasn’t the only little boy who had a mummy who had been poorly. I wanted it to be so much fun for him. But instead, all of my deep imbedded feelings of having cancer and its effect on my family, came flooding to the surface almost instantly. What a disaster!

After a terrible first night where I was awake all night googling local attractions, we set off on our own little adventure to the Tank Museum.

What a wonderful place it was too!

I have always been deeply moved by history. I want Rory to understand how people fought so bravely and sacrificed their own lives, many just young boys themselves, in order to make our world a better place. Obviously, I do this age appropriately and answer his questions as honestly as I can but I love finding historic finds like this museum which captivates and encourages educational learning. And what’s more, there were many interactive activities such as dressing mummy up as a solider!

There was so much to see and do. We managed to stay a full day. I can totally recommend this place. I vaguely remember that the cost of the ticket enabled you to return to the museum at a later date free of charge. It was just too far for us! If we are ever in the area again though, we will be sure to go.

We returned to camp in the early evening and I felt a lot more emotionally prepared to join in with the activities organised for the children. Thank goodness for that! It wasn’t a total disaster after all!



Arghhhh The Chicken Pox!

In true Rory style, I had no idea he was brewing an illness! We had just had his 5th birthday party with 30 of his friends, he went to bed very late after opening all of his presents and all was ok! At 1am he came into my room, snuggled up next to me and he was boiling hot. He had a temperature of almost 40 degrees Celsius but he was still chatting away happily.

Whilst changing into cooler pyjamas, I noticed 2 blister spots on his chest. Oh no, had the dreaded chicken pox finally caught up with us???

I don’t have immunity against chicken pox! During all of my years as a Nursery Nurse and then a Student Nurse, I have cared for so many children and adults with chicken pox and shingles but have never managed to get the virus myself. Even when many of the children at Rory’s nursery became infected  during the time I was having Chemotherapy, we both managed to avoid catching it. It was always such a worry for me during that time as I don’t think my body would have coped with having chicken pox on top of an already diminished immune system!

So, Day 1 consisted of reducing Rory’s temperature, making sure he had an adequate fluid intake and keeping him as comfortable as possible. A few more red spots had appeared and even though I was almost certain it was chicken pox, there was a tiny bit of doubt in my mind that it might not be. I was hoping it wasn’t as it is Rory’s birthday week, there is the school Christmas trip, Christmas party, a family Christmas and pantomime to look forward to! I arranged for Rory’s father to come up and sit with him for an hour after he finished work so that I could pop to the supermarket to get everything we needed for a potential week or more in quarantine! Strangely enough, Rory’s father hasn’t had chicken pox either, oops!

Day 2 and more spots were slowly appearing. His temperature was under control. He asked for fish fingers! We played with some of his new birthday toys but I wasn’t allowed out of his sight which is unusual for Rory. Every minute or so he would do a chorus of “mum mum mum”, and quite a few times I had “I’m the one with chicken pox you know”! The lack of sleep took its toll and we had a lovely 3 hour afternoon nap!

Day 3 and there is no denying Rory has chicken pox. They have started to come out on his face now too, bless him. He wanted to name the biggest spots and so far they are called “Kevin, Stuart, Dave, Bob 1, Bob 2 and Bob 3”, from the Minions! One of Rory’s favourite things to watch is You Tube review clips of Star Wars toys. With this in mind, he asked me to film him on our tablet reviewing his chicken pox!!! Such a creative little boy!

One of my biggest worries as a single parent is getting ill myself. I have been making lots of vegetable soups and fruit smoothies. We have however just raided someone’s Christmas biscuits!! My house has also never been so clean. I have even rearranged my airing cupboard!

I don’t think having chicken pox is going to be as bad as I’ve been thinking it will be. There is nothing Rory and I like more than being together in our home. Staying in our pj’s all day! Playing with all of his toys. Snuggled up watching Christmas movies (Home Alone on repeat!). Eating whatever and whenever we want, especially treats when poorly! More presents to look forward to in a couple of days on Rory’s actual birthday!

Rory hasn’t itched his spots once yet, I hope this continues. I’m glad in a way he has caught chicken pox at this age as he can tell me what/where hurts. He is such a super little trooper!

I am itching like crazy!!




The second tent: The silver spaceship!

I didn’t do much research on tents at the beginning of our camping life. I had a very small budget and bought what I could afford. If it leaked, I would trade it in for another one when pennies allowed. Today, I am so much more aware of the what “Hydrostatic Head” means and the essential need for a tent with a built-in ground sheet!

My sister asked me one day when I had a rare few minutes to myself, what was I looking at on my phone. I am ALWAYS googling tents! Go Outdoors is my ultimate favourite shop and I spend hours in there! I am forever searching for campsites that are specific to our needs.

This adventure of ours to the Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park was advertised on a camping forum and sounded amazing. The adventure park had created a family camping weekend on the actual park grounds. This was brilliant for me! I was still going through cancer treatment so if I needed a rest, we could simply go back to our tent! Apart from the normal adventure and wildlife park activities, when the park closed to the general public, us campers were treated to numerous exclusive activities such as animal feeding, kids fire making, marshmallow roasting, bat walk, night time story telling and a disco in the barn with non other than ‘Felix the Fox’!

It had everything we needed and so much more to keep Rory happy and entertained.

He knows that we are a team and that he needs to help me at home and when we go camping. He is chief dishwasher when we camp and I am chief dryer! He even takes the rubbish to the bin!

This tent looked good! It was an improvement on the last one. Unfortunately it didn’t have a built-in ground sheet which made it cold and damp! I couldn’t stand up in it and it also leaked!! I didn’t mind as much as it meant I could go for a day out to the tent shop and plan my next bigger and better purchase!!

We managed to camp for the weekend with entrance to the park and all activities included for a bargain price. Rory was still under the age for paying. I think this was the first year  the park had put on a camping weekend and there was a few hiccups along the way, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. I did look at going again this year but the prices had increased but I am sure we will return one day. We even booked glorious weather!