A Magnolia Tree Blossoms - Chapter 4
A few times that we went to visit our grandparents, April and Greg would come down with us; to give their mother that much needed space of having to work late, and not having to worry too much about her children. It was not as though their grandparents could not look after them, it was more the fact they lived too far away; as they lived in Hemel Hempstead. My grandparents liked them both, as they were never any trouble; and grandma always used to say that they were well behaved and good mannered. This weekend though we were going to go to Ramsgate without them, as it was the usual family summer holiday, and it was time to relax and not think of school.
Rebecca had been a little bit poorly over the last few weeks, starting with a fever and a rattley chest. Mother put it down to a chest infection, which was confirmed by her doctor; and she was told that she would be fine in a few days time. So with enough medication to last us for the holiday, we went to visit our grandparents.
This holiday was a little different to the others I had, and it was not just because I had a sister now. Rebecca had come down with a few chest problems of late, and she was spending a considerable amount of time just sleeping. So on this holiday, I was looked after by father and grandpa a lot, so mother and grandma could look after Rebecca.
Father and grandpa did also help mother, by taking over to give them a break; so that I also could spend time with them whilst they did manly things; but mother was so like grandma who was very protective of Rebecca. Being old fashioned like grandma, she often placed a mustard plaster onto Rebecca's chest, as well as reach for a very old book which had lots of grandma's medicine recipes inside. Whilst mother and grandma were fussing over Rebecca, father and grandpa asked me if I wanted to go into town with them.
I jumped at the offer, because otherwise I would have had to stay in the back garden all day. It was a strange two weeks this time around, as I hardly played with Rebecca; as mother and grandma kept her warm and inside all the time. Some days I would just sit in the lounge, and whilst Rebecca was on the sofa, I would let her play with one of my dolls, as I sat next to her and we played contently.
On our return from visiting our grandparents, Rebecca was not her usual self, as she looked rather pale and was always very tired. Mother was beginning to get more worried at this point, as Rebecca had only just got over a chest infection, and now something else seemed to have hit her like a tonne of bricks.
Rebecca had got yet another fever, and at first thought that maybe it was the weather being too hot for her, as we were in the middle of a heatwave. When we got home, mother phoned the doctor to make an appointment, and she was able to get in the following day. She was advised to keep her cool overnight, and not to place her where there may be any sort of draught. The next day when mother took Rebecca to the doctors, the doctor put it down to yet another chest infection, as she was also now having breathing problems. Mother thought that she may have had asthma, as her breathing was very erratic, but that was soon dismissed.
After a week of no change, my mother phoned the doctor again; and this time she got an emergency appointment, as by now she was quite beside herself. She constantly phoned grandma for advice, and she used to tell my mother not to worry; as i heard mother cry on the phone to her. This really did not help, as mother always worried about Rebecca; and she could not understand why she was always poorly. Like me, Rebecca had all of her vaccinations within the first year of being born, with follow ups as she got older. Mother became more concerned, as she thought that no child could catch a cold as much as Rebecca did.
When we went to the surgery, mother was surprised as it was not her usual doctor; so again had to explain everything that had been going on over the last few weeks. Mother explained about all of her chest infections, and how Rebecca had no appetite; and she had since found red blotches on her body. At first the doctor thought that she may have meningitis,and he referred her to the children's hospital. He phoned the hospital, and mother was asked to go there right away so that they could check her over. Once we got to the hospital, Rebecca was rushed straight through; where they then took some blood for testing. After such a long wait, and whilst mother paced up and down the waiting room; her blood results had come back; and the nurse then asked her to follow her towards the doctor's office. He told her that they had looked at her bloods, and it seemed like she had leukemia; but he wanted her to make an appointment to bring Rebecca into hospital for further testing. Mother was so beside herself, as she kept asking the doctor how and why, as her face hit her hands as she cried.
After mother saw the doctor this last time, she only had to wait for a week, before Rebecca was referred to Great Ormand Street Hospital for further tests.
** This is only part of the chapter, just so you can get a brief feel towards the story that begins to unfold