Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

A Brave Face

This Thursday 13th February is Pippa’s 10th birthday. We had planned on having a sleepover birthday party on Friday 14th.  Last week’s delay of chemo though meant that was not going to be possible – it would not be much fun having your birthday during a treatment week!  Thus, the date was brought forward to  Friday 7th February and her friends were coming after their weekly tennis lesson.  They were all so excited about the activities Pippa had planned.

Pippa’s description of her party………, “Mummy I know my friends enjoyed my birthday party, but I didn’t.”

Pippa waited until her 6 friends had fallen asleep before she came to me feeling terribly unwell.  She had been coughing a bit during the week which I had reported to oncology at the hospital but it had become noticeably worse that evening.    She told me that she knew she wasn’t well when she just couldn’t laugh enough during the movie they watched but she didn’t want to worry her friends.  A hotline to the Royal Children’s hospital for the next few hours, a visit by her GP  (very grateful as this was a far better option than taking 9 children to the ED) to make sure she didn’t have a chest infection and she finally fell asleep at 4am.  Unfortunately she woke with a temperature that only got worse the next morning. Breakfast in bed from her gorgeous friends barely raised a spark.

We went to ED where she became more lethargic but was still responsive.  Blood tests were taken and I again learnt more about this journey.  Here I was thinking Pippa must have had a chronic infection or critically low bloods.  However tests showed neither was the case and she was diagnosed with bronchitis or as a I would have called it not so long ago, a really bad cough.  A really bad cough though can obviously hospitalise her.   We spent the night in and she bounced back pretty quickly but will spend a few days off school to rest and have oncology appointments in Melbourne that had to be postponed on Monday.

I now know why I have to be on watch and on standby for every little sign every day.

Pippa will undoubtably have to have another birthday party where she too can have fun without having to put on a brave face.

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