Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Hospital Waiting Games

It just can’t be avoided and sometimes the waiting is just so painfully long.  This week the waiting around kept us so late I had to drive the majority of the way home in the dark.

After two and a half hours in the eye clinic waiting room we were told in a 2 minute consult the redness will go in a couple of weeks and there is now single vision straight ahead………Pippa and I had already figured out both those pieces of information on our own now that the soreness has eased and the weeping has subsided.  Really, the only person who can truly know how beneficial the surgery has been is Pippa. I can’t imagine what it was like for her to see double all the time and only she can decide whether the resulting single vision is enough for her to feel a bit more normal. Healing, time and the messages her very clever brain receives and interprets will let her know that.  At least once the redness has gone he eye will sit more central and look normal which in itself is rather important for a 10 year old girl.

Luckily I have an unwritten rule that we always combine hospital trips with something fun.  I try my hardest not to just make our trips about waiting rooms and appointments.  Last week it was dinner in Lygon St with cousins; this week it was a games night with Julie and yoga in the morning followed by breakfast with Pippa’s favourite puppies, Chip and Frenchie before heading to the hospital.  Thank goodness we came away from the games night with a new game to entertain us in the busy waiting room (aptly named “Too Many Monkeys”). I’m absolutely positive I won the most rounds………although after two and a half hours it all became a bit of a blur!

There was no chance of staying down again Thursday night – there was a very pressing reason to come back.  Today is Book Week dress up day at school.  Pippa had been planning for weeks and had an outfit that she had made with Nan ready for her to go dressed up as Agatha Christie’s “Miss Marple”.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen brown and tweed look so stylish!






Back on Track

After a quiet, restful weekend Pippa’s back to school this morning. Wearing sunglasses, she’s opening her eye a little but she can’t judge her vision just yet because there is still a lot of scarring both in and on the surface of the eye.


Eye surgery part 2

After an huge day in recovery we eventually made it to a ward bed and Pippa has now settled comfortably and pain free. Her little chemo body just needed a bit longer than normal to get through all the surgery medication.



Eye surgery

Pippa has come out of surgery but is in a lot of discomfort and pain. From a surgical perspective it went well however until she can open her eye I don’t know if it has resulted in single vision.
Her loving brothers were there for her when she went in and came out of surgery.
Pippa has spent a long time in recovery and we were all a little surprised at her level of discomfort and pain so after a few hours the decision was made to keep Pippa in overnight.
I was not expecting this at all and it’s not normally a requirement. A big thank you to our driver Adriano (Risotto Man to Pippa) who not only picked up James as planned and took him to meet friends at the 4wd exhibition but then came back for Patrick to take him there as well so they can both get a ride home tonight.
I’m sure Pippa will be feeling much better tomorrow.


There’s a Monkey in Pippa’s Chair!

Recently Pippa’s teacher and I were searching for resources to assist not only Pippa and her teacher, but also her class and school community when necessary.  Among other information and support, we came across a program called Monkey in My Chair.   A phone call to the organisation Missing School resulted in  a connection to the Cure Starts Now who manage and distribute the Monkeys in Australia.

Pippa’s Monkey (aptly named, Monkey) arrived yesterday complete with his back pack full of extra information and ideas, a picture story book to explain his purpose and a “Monkey Junior” to stay at home and go to hospital with Pippa.  We thought before rushing into things it would be best to make sure that Pippa and Monkey got along.  His arrival was perfectly timed to test out his dancing skills………..

After passing that with flying (dancing) colours there was no doubt that he would easily slot into class so off he went to school today for his introduction to the rest of D4 and his first day at school.

Apparently, Monkey likes to sit very still in class, is a great listener and his long arms and legs are perfect for giving hugs.

Monkey will get straight to work and sit in Pippa’s chair while she is away Thursday to watch Patrick and his St Joseph’s team mates play in the State Football finals and then again on Friday when Pippa is in hospital for some surgery on her eye to tighten and loosen the muscles.  The aim of the eye surgery is to hopefully give her some single  vision (instead of always seeing double) by tightening and loosening the eye muscles.

Lets hope Monkey doesn’t monkey around in her chair while she’s away and get up to mischief!



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