As Yasmin recovered from her port operation in the hospital bed, the pharmacist came to talk to us about the oral chemotherapy our daughter had to start that day and would be on for the next two years. As it was a daily dose, we would be administering it ourselves at home. The pharmacist explained that we had to take extra care. We were advised to wear rubber gloves in case the toxic medicine spilled onto our skin. We also had to be careful in disposing of Yasmin's nappies because of the toxicity of her urine. This only made us worry about what it was doing to her little body.
It was the day before the Liberal Democrats conference which Andrew would be attending in his capacity as a news photographer and a hilarious video of the Party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, making an apology speech had been turned into a song and had become a YouTube hit. Andrew hadn't seen the video yet so we watched it on his laptop with Yasmin. She immediately also started singing the catchy chorus: “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry.” This cheered us all up.
As Yasmin hated being in the hospital, we were hoping to get home that day but as she had been running a high temperature, she had to stay in another night to be monitored, to everyone's dismay. Andrew had to get to Brighton by 8am the next day and I needed to get home to feed Isaac at night so we were left with a logistical nightmare. In the end, I went home at about 8pm and returned with the car for 7am the following day, exhausted from the night feeds.
A very fed up Yasmin was already up and positioned in her buggy, which had become her refuge over the months of illness. She repeated: ''I want to go home," for five hours straight until her temperature came down and the doctors were satisfied she could leave.
As soon as we were out of the door, she brightened up and was incredibly chatty in the taxi, prompting the driver to marvel that she was only two. It is true that Yasmin talks more like a four year old than a two year old.
Once home we went to the supermarket for supplies and treats, one of Yasmin's favourite activities. She was full of beans laughing in the trolley as she danced with a jar of pesto while making up songs.
An hour after she had eaten her dinner I put on yellow washing up gloves to give Yasmin 2ml of Mercaptopurine chemotherapy through a medical syringe. Yasmin had got used to taking a constant stream of medication by this stage and took it more or less uncomplainingly. This one obviously tasted horrible as she pulled a face before quickly drinking from her beaker of juice.