We had to go into hospital yesterday because Vega had a fever. All the girls have been a bit down and out with a cough/cold/tummy ache/ear ache, and on Friday night it seemed to have caught up with Vega. Lyra and Alys didn’t have a fever but Vega woke up on Saturday with a temperature over 39C. As she is still recovering from the chemo, our instructions are the same as they were on treatment- for another six months we will have to go in for intravenous antibiotics. Beside the fact that she has this cold and still is running fevers, she is pretty alright. I tried to convince them yesterday to let us go home with a course of oral antibiotics if must, my main argument being the fact that all the girls are ill with it and it must be viral, surely. But Vega’s temperature was too high, and upon assessment she had an ear infection too, so we had to stay. Fever is still going this morning, I have no idea when we will be leaving. Scrambling for child are again, especially because Lyra and Alys are not well either.
Vega is sad that she can’t give Ray his Father’s Day card this morning. Ray is a great dad. I know he is not finding it easy, but he is unshakeably committed. These last years he has often found himself in the position to pick up pieces, while I disappeared with Vega to the hospital. I think he often felt very powerless, not helped by my need to be in control. I haven’t found it easy to leave Vega with anyone, wanted minute updates about anything that went on in the hospital, not trusting anyone to do the job right. But through everything he remained strong, supportive and present.
This charity bike ride he is doing this summer is very revealing. Partly of course it is about raising the money for a charity we are thankful to, but more than anything I think it is about him being a dad. He has watched Vega struggle through this treatment, always continuing, taking everything we told her to take, even if she knew it would make her very sick. He has lived with her through the difficult parts of treatment and shared her milestones and successes. As a dad he has felt powerless, unable to make anything better or easier, only able to hold her hand from the edge. And I think this just doesn’t feel right. A dad has responsibilities, he shoulders things that are too much a burden for others. Dads are rocks, they are strong. I know he would have done all of Vega’s treatment for her if he could have.
I think in a small way, this charity ride will feel like a replacement for all those times over the last two years when Ray could do nothing but watch. 100 miles a day is pretty punishing, at least from day 4 or so onwards. He will struggle, he will be in some pain, but also feel the elation after a climb. He will go to bed at night, uncomfortable maybe, knowing he will just have to get going the next day. It is his way to prove he is what a dad should be- inspired by the strength of his daughter.
Happy Father’s Day Ray, you are awesome.
Making a contribution to his fundraising drive would make his day. You can find his fundraising page here. You can donate as little as £1 if you text your donation, any amount is very greatly appreciated.