An Update on Patrick - Fall 2003

-Letter from Raylene to Lorna Stevens

Hi Lorna,

Four years post transplant on August 17th!!!

Thought I would drop you a quick line to let you know Patrick is doing very well and now having six monthly checkups. We have been very busy over the past few months. My husband and I decided it was time to move on and start afresh (after consultation with the boys). We sold our house and are now nearly finished having our new house built just outside of Melbourne.

I have returned to the workforce in an area I have never been involved in before - Childcare! Crazy...probably. Began this new adventure in mid January. I have nearly finished my certificate 3 and will be doing my diploma next year. I have two to three year olds in a sixty place centre. It is such a change from the life I have been used to, but as you can imagine, it has its ups and downs. I love the kids I work with, but the study ha been a shock to the system. Been many years since I have had to do this.

I had a little boy come in a couple of weeks ago, his family life had been a pretty sad effort and they were supposedly under the watchful eye of what we call in Australia, Human Services. I didn't like his general condition and colour and therefore asked that the mother take him to the doctor for blood tests to be done. That was Monday weeks ago. The results came back Thursday that he had leukemia. A bone marrow biopsy was done the following day, and on Monday he suddenly passed away from an aneurysm. They are currently doing an autopsy to confirm this and see why. Terry (my husband) is concerned that I have had to deal with cancer again, but it's okay. It's odd that I view it in a whole different way. After seeing what some children go through with the treatment, I feel that for this little guy it was just meant to be. His family (if you could call them that), would not have supported him through his illness, they would have just left him at the hospital and gone on their way.

Besides that, the kids are an absolute joy to be with, cheeky, healthy and happy, just the way they should be. Patrick is happy that I have gone back to work, he has said that normal mothers work and so should I! He will have to change schools when we move, but I think this will be a good move for him. The town we are moving to is a regional town, but still only 30 minutes from the city of Melbourne (and the hospital).

Other than that, life is good (but I still cringe when Pat gets a cold or some other bug. It is always sitting in the back of our minds).

I hope you are keeping well and getting some time to yourself.

Your friend in Oz,

Raylene