So while I have been in ‘hiding’, I have been getting “encouragement” from my Mother to write on here for weeks and weeks and weeks….
Although I have finally done so, my Mum did write a post the other week, and I thought it would be nice to share her thoughts and opinions on these past couple of months alongside my own…
Linda’s Takeover: Message from Anna’s Mum
I thought I would just give you an update as to how Anna is progressing at the moment. Unfortunately she has been feeling quite poorly over the last few weeks and has not had the energy to write a post herself.
As you know, Anna finished her 7 weeks of radio/chemotherapy, she then had a 4 week break before her follow up appointment on 14th July at Charing Cross Hospital. This was a full day at the hospital; bloods taken, MRI scans and a meeting with the consultant in the afternoon. Even though prior to commencing her course of treatment, we had been warned that Anna’s type of tumour does not usually respond well to radiotherapy, I don’t think any of us were prepared to hear the shattering news that her tumour had grown during the 7 week period. We were made aware that it was particularly aggressive growth. Anna was very strong on hearing the news and typically asked to see the scans for herself. It was very apparent that Trev had decided to take up more room!! I must admit, I wasn’t as strong as Anna and had a bit of a ‘meltdown’. The consultant decided to delay the start of Anna’s next round of intensive chemotherapy until another scan could be performed; this was to ensure that chemo was the correct next step. An appointment was made for Anna to return on Thursday 16th July to have a ‘perfusion MRI scan’; this is a more detailed scan that can identify if and how blood flows through the tumorous/non tumorous brain tissue. Obviously we’re still reeling from the scan results but we are hopeful for any slight positivity that may arise from this secondary scan.
Since that day, Anna has now started her intensive chemotherapy treatment. Wow!!! This is rough for her to say the least. The dose is double the strength and doesn’t she know it; Day one she was very sick, followed by a couple of fairly good days; it was all downhill after that. This session has wiped her out completely! Sickness, loss of appetite (which I know Anna would usually be pleased about!!), tiredness, headaches… The most frightening thing has been periods of ‘drifting away’, which for her family and friends has been so awful to see. Through it all previously, Anna has been so brave and ‘with it’, even when sick, however, this latest round has wiped her out completely, even engaging in conversation has been so tiring for her and her enthusiasm has waned for even the simplest task. To say “I want my Anna back” is so selfish, but I feel so helpless at the moment. I just want to take away all the pain all the sickness and to make her smile and laugh again.
It’s now 10 days before she starts her next round of chemotherapy, hopefully, these days will be good ones for her. At least she and we know what to expect this time! I do hope a different anti sickness drug will help her to battle the side effects and that it won’t be as bad; everything crossed.
Meanwhile, normal life has continued; Anna has celebrated her 24th birthday!! Believe it or not, we’ve bought a puppy for her!!! Now, for those of you that know me personally, I can’t believe I’ve allowed this to happen!! Actually, the new addition to Anna’s family is Enid, a Springer Spaniel puppy. She won’t join Anna until the end of August when she will be 8 weeks old. Anna is beside herself and has met Enid twice; lots of photos, videos and cuddles took place and she can’t wait for her to arrive. Puppy training classes will be booked pronto!!!! Anna has always wanted a dog but as Keith and I were always working full time, we decided it wouldn’t be fair. Our family circumstances have changed a lot over the last couple of years and of course, Anna’s have changed dramatically, we’ve now decided the time is right!! Over to you Anna for puppy walking, training, babysitting, cleaning, feeding etc …
Since Anna’s last blog, so many of you have continued to organise fundraising events. Some events have already taken place, some pending. What is consistent is that you are all totally amazing!! We are all very grateful for your continued love and support and cannot thank you enough for the efforts put into raising money for The Brain Tumour Research Campaign. I’m sure when Anna is feeling up to it, she will fill in the details of all the events and money raised. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart!!
I have always believed things happen for a reason, but sometimes I do have to question this. One thing I am sure of though is that I couldn’t be more proud of my very brave daughter. I am proud of the way she has handled the original diagnosis, how she is continuing to battle her illness with every breath in her body, but I am so, so proud of the selfless way she has thrown herself into fundraising for such a fabulous charity. I know Anna, her family and her friends want a cure for her to save her life, but as Anna said in one of her earlier blogs, if she can do something to stop anyone else from going through what she is having to endure then it will have been worthwhile.
I will do everything and anything I possibly can to keep my daughter here with us for as long as I can and I know you all will too. I’m not ready to let her go for a long time yet!!!! Gloves are still on Trev!!!!!