Hello! Its been a while!
Back in March I had grand plans of starting up again after Maternity leave, then Covid hit with the joys of home schooling and daily exercise routines. Things let up a bit over the summer and we were able to enjoy sunny socially distanced days on the beach. Then at the end of August, just as we were buying school shoes and looking forward to a hint of normally returning, my little family's world was turning upside down!
After trip to the Drs with what we thought was the tail end of a virus, we were whisked off to Leeds Children’s Hospital where Genevieve (Evie) was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Within 24 hours we had a full diagnosis and had started on an intensive course of chemotherapy.
Evie has a rare type of cancer called Acute Myeloid Leukaemia with around only 100 children diagnosed in the UK each year. It is a type of cancer that affects blood producing myeloid cells in the bone marrow. ‘Acute’ means it develops quickly hence why we had no idea what was coming! AML is treated with an intense course of chemotherapy that usually takes around six months. The specific treatment can vary depending on their individual condition and general health. There are three risk groups and your risk group can change depending on how their treatment is working. Due to the impact it has on her immune system where she could need urgent treatment for infections, and the need for regular blood and platelet transfusions she will remain in hospital for the majority of her treatment with a few days at home in between each course.
We are just reaching the end of her second round of chemo and looking forward to a week or so of family life before we head back to start it all again. This does mean we may end up spending both her birthday and Christmas there but we will worry about that closer to the time. Covid has also made it particularly difficult for us as only one parent is allowed in hospital with her at any time, meaning conversations with Consultants are done on speakerphone or relayed third hand, birthdays have been spent separately and outside the hospital we live in a permanent state of lockdown to minimise the risk of taking any form of infection into the hospital with us. However, all of her treatment has been outstanding and we could not ask any more of the wonderful staff at Leeds Childrens Hospital! She is responding very well and we are hopeful she will make a strong recovery.
Now we are finding our new "normal" we are finding ways for our daily lives outside the hospital to continue in order to support our family. I have opened my online shops on Etsy and Not On The Highstreet with a range of festive favourites ready for posting. I aim to post out twice a week and everything listed is either ready to go or can be made within a few days (hospital visits permitting). If you see anything on my social media which you would really like that isn't showing as available in my shops, please get in touch and I will see if it is possible! I've also added a cute little shell box option to some of my Seashore collection for an extra special gift. I will not be taking on any further commissions until Spring 2021 but I will keep you updated once KWJ is back in full swing.
Thank you for reading this far! We hope normal service will resume in 2021 as I have a head full of ideas I can't wait to share with you.
If I could please ask you to consider donating some blood, platelets or joining the bone marrow donor register and you can help others in a way that we can’t thank you enough!