Thursday, October 11, 2007

42. It's a Girl!!

PHOTOS: Chloe Anna Sinclair's first snooze, Skin to Skin to Kas; Matt (Dad) and Chloe; Leaving the Hospital; Struggling with the Car Seat; Kas (Mum) and Chloe at Home; Kas with Chloe in Pram; Kilted Boys; Jason and Jen's Wedding...

Whoever said "once you have a baby, you don't have time for anything else" wasn't kidding! What an eventful few weeks that have just passed - finally I can now proudly announce the arrival of our wee gorgeous daughter, Chloe Anna Sinclair. I've still got a smile from ear to ear as I type this! She came into the world last Tuesday at 5:10pm (the exact same time I was born) and weighing in at a hefty 7 pounds 1 ounce. It'd been a pretty long labour for Kas, one that started on Sunday night when her waters broke...incidentally one day after my duty as Best Man had passed. Very good timing if I do say so myself. Kas did very well and somehow managed to pass the time for over 40 hours, spending most of that time confined to the small walls of her hospital maternity room. Eventually after some slight persuasion from the docs, she made her entry and it wasn't too long until she was putting her lungs into good use and letting out her first cry - such an amazing experience (even though I never ventured to the "business" end") and one that made me the proudest dad in Scotland. Luckily she takes after her mum with the good looks, even though she's got about as much hair as her old man...
After a few eventful days at the Queen Mothers in Glasgow, we were finally allowed to take our wee bundle home. I must have driven like a little old lady that afternoon as I manoeuvered the car back to our house, managing to avoid every pot hole and dip so as I never woke Chloe up. So far she's been a very good baby and not done too much else besides eating, sleeping, damaging her nappies and getting spoiled by everyone - not a bad life. We even managed to take our first family trip yesterday when registered her birth...I was in stitches laughing when I realised how badly I had dressed her (pink, blue, white and yellow were all thrown in the mix). Anyway, the wee lass has arrived and we're even wondering now what we did with our time. Let the good times roll!

As I'd mentioned, my duties as Best Man for Jason and Jen's wedding were slightly strained as we hoped the baby would arrive late and allow me to attend the big day. Even though Kas was due that same day, it was unreal that her brother Gav brought her up to the amazing venue and witness what was to be a very special day. Jas managed to survive the Bucks Event from the weekend before and was now ready to marry his girl, Jennifer. We all met up near stunning Dollar in Scotland. All the boys, including Jason's old man Allan, Drew and Darren all the way from Australia, donned the tartan skirt and prepared to get Jason to the beautiful Solsgirth House (castle!) on time. Jen looked absolutely stunning as she walked down the aisle - I'm a sucker for weddings! After the ceremony, photos on the spectactular grounds (trying not to run out of superlatives), champagne, speeches and a very good feast and wine, it was then time for me to do my stuff and tear up my next dancefloor. Once again I burned the leather sole off my shoes! The night was so good and everyone had a ball...I was very lucky and happy that I was there to be at my best mates side as he married his lovely lady friend and also catch up with all the Aussie crew that ventured over to the sunny Scotland. Let's hope their marriage will be young enough to survive the times, yet old fashioned enough to last forever - I'm sure it will.

On the flip side to the happy news of babies and weddings, it was during the Monday as Kas was dealing with yet another contraction that I knew I was due to receive my latest PCR results - this was the one that would determine so much including prognosis and future management. As I'd received my previous two results that has gone from 1.5%, down to 1.2%, we were all quite positive that the next one would follow the trend. When I did leave Kas for one minute to quickly peruse my Inbox, the email I read from my Doctor probably wasn't the one I should have read to keep me in high spirits... 1.7%. I was stunned. My first thoughts were always with Kas and the baby, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Why did it go up? What does this mean? I can't tell Karen! Leaving Karen that night at 11pm was the hardest drive of my life. Not being sure how long I will being seeing my wife and daughter poses some pretty tough questions to answer on your own...

I somehow snuck out of visiting times to pick up my new increased dosage of Sprycel medication - I would now be taking 140mg once per day instead of 50mg twice per day. I then caught up with Professor Hollyoake on Tuesday to discuss what this latest result means and what we should do. Luckily she is the best doc in the world and managed to get opinions from other leading CML Specialists around the UK on what they feel should be my next step. They did vary, as we expected, but it was felt that I will commence this increased dose, do a repeat PCR test at the end of November and then redo a Bone Marrow sample and Mutations Test to clearly see what is going on inside my body. They also feel that 1.5%, 1.2% and 1.7% are actually the same result and they would only feel a better result would be if it dropped down to 0.15% - if only! The reasons behind this goal of 0.15% would mean a much better long term prognosis and potential of just continuing the tackle CML with medication. However, the final alternative would be the risky Bone Marrow Transplant route but this will take some thinking about as I now have a gorgeous wee girl on the scene. Once given any news from the docs, it always takes Kas and I a few days to digest what is going on and then get on with it. We've never been ones to really dwell. However, as I've only shared this latest info with Kas yesterday, it's only now I feel I can begin to understand and cope with the current situation. I can't imagine what things would be like without her.

Thankfully they've also given me 6 weeks between hospital visits as my blood results continue to be optimal. If only we could have this brilliant result on my Stem Cells!
So until my next visit, I will continue to keep positive, work out my role as being a dad, change nappies and help out where I can. Well done to those who voted for "GIRL" on my poll. Keep the messages and emails rolling in...the Sinclair Clan has arrived!