Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Winter Blues

A friend of mine once told me she thought the “Winter Blues” were just a myth until she met me.

I’m not a cold weather person. I don’t like layers of clothes; I am much happier in shorts and a t-shirt with the sun shining warm on my skin.

This week has seen Pippa complete her 8th cycle of chemotherapy.  She only had one uncomfortable night on day 2 but we managed that with some stomach cramping medication and our normal chemo routine of massage, healthy food, baths and of course, cuddles from not only me but James and Patrick as well.

I was perhaps exaggerating how cold I was during the southern WA cold spell a couple of weeks ago – I’m now feeling that was warmish…….  This week Victoria has seen the weather change to real winter weather  and along with it (and during the chemo cycle) came a cough for Pippa.  It started small and only at night time.  It wasn’t bothering her much but listening to it I knew it was going to become nasty.  I watched and waited.  On Monday it turned and she couldn’t stop coughing.  I knew that based on the last cough she would end up in hospital but wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to wait for that to happen or if there was something I could actually do.

Yet again I rang the Royal Children’s Hospital Oncology department for help and advice and then off we went to visit the GP.  My suspicions were confirmed and the GP gave us some antibiotics in the hope that we were just enough ahead of the infection to help her compromised immune system fight it before it got the better of her.

The first night on anti biotics I spent popping ice into her mouth so she could sleep.  The second night I gave her strong pain relief which also acts as a cough suppressant because she has pulled all her stomach muscles from coughing.  So far the anti biotics have supported her and her immune system is holding up instead of shutting down.  She’s happy enough within herself but she can’t go to school.  We still went to dancing yesterday which in itself was good medicine – some lovely light movement to some beautiful music that of course brought an emotional mix of tears, smiles and laughs (to everyone but Pippa, she’s just the smiles and laughs part).

Fingers crossed Pippa and her immune system can hang on and win this mini fight………

This is going to be the longest bout of the “Winter Blues” I have ever had.  Summer with its warming, happy sunshine can’t come quickly enough as far as I’m concerned.


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