Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

18 Months

on December 26, 2014

26h June 2013.  Today is 18 months on.  Today is one day after Christmas Day.  Today is the second Christmas we have made it through.  Today is further than doctors had first hoped for 18 months ago.  Today Pippa is still here with us.

I’ve collapsed many times in the past 18 months.  The first was the first time I was told to be prepared for not much longer than 6 months.  The second was the second time I was told to be prepared for not much longer than 6 months.  Then there was 1st September when I was told there was nothing more that could be done or tried.  There have been times I have been told to prepare myself for the worst in the coming hours and days.  I’m not sure what number collapses they have been.  For three weeks in a row I crossed my fingers and my heart each day willing us to make it a few more days.  My heart is almost permanently collapsed.

Pippa is still here.  She ruled the monopoly board again this evening.  One day at a time and Pippa is still here.  Christmas Day, of course, was a milestone.  The next milestone is Pippa’s 11th birthday, but that’s a little way off yet.  One day at a time.

Thank you to many many people across the past 18 months……….

Thank you to every single person who contributed to fundraising that occurred in September 2013 helping us live Pippa’s number one dream of visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  I made a promise to take her there one day sitting on the floor of the corridor waiting for one of many blood tests.  I will never forget that heartbreaking conversation.

Thank you to everyone who has sent a single thought in our direction.  Thank you to my many friends near and far, all of their friends and to new people and friends I have met along this journey.  Thank you to those across the world who read this blog and think of us.   Thank you to friends who drop by, ring, text and message.  It all helps keep me standing.  Thank you to anyone who has ever put themselves forward to spend some time with or do something for my boys.  They are lucky to have so many good men around them who care about their wellbeing.  Thank you to all of James, Patrick and Pippas’ friends.  Thank you to their school. communities.  Thank you to our family.

Thank you to James and Patrick for being the best brothers in the world, giving the best hugs, the best kisses and the strongest support.

Thank you to some of the funds and foundations that have helped catch my tears either down the phone or in person…….

Robert Connor Dawes Fund

Isabella & Marcus Fund

Leila Rose Foundation

Red Kite

Very Special Kids

TLC for Kids


Brain Child


Camp Quality


Kids with Cancer

Peace of Mind Foundation

Kyle Andrews Foundation

Royal Children’s Hospital Children’s Cancer Centre

Thank you to the doctors, surgeons, therapists, nurses, and hospital staff who have walked beside us and continue to do so. Thank you to Pippa’s oncologists at RCH and Peter Mac who have done the very best job they could, offered the very best treatment to a virtually untreatable disease and agreed wholeheartedly to do the further unproven treatment when I asked.

Thank you to Pippa who in the past couple of days has shed little tears with me behind the joyous front of Christmas.  Thank you for being strong and fighting so hard without ever complaining.  Not even once.   Thank you for sharing Christmas 2014 with us.  Your Presence is our Present.  I know you are starting to get saddened by the differences that have taken over your body recently.  I am still hoping this extra radiation is working and know that it ,combined with your strength and determination, is the reason we made it to Christmas yesterday.  As we reduce the steroids your muscles will grow a little bit stronger for a little bit longer and we can spend more time together.  Christmas is over now.  Let’s start planning your birthday party.  It’s not that far away, February 13th, we’d better start getting ourselves organised so we can look forward to it.

How exactly did we spend today, 18 months after I first heard the words Pontine Glioma?  With family of course……A few of the Reas gathered for a family reunion.  No better place to be today.

Some of the Rea Clan

Some of the Rea Clan

just a few of us Reas……

16 responses to “18 Months

  1. martina says:

    just a few …..
    thank you for sharing.

  2. Alison Wilson says:

    As I get in to bed after my Boxing Day party, I have just read this beautiful post. It has touched me so deeply. Thank you Virginia for showing us how to be a positive, strong, and loving role model for our children. Thankyou for helping us all to appreciate the small things in life and to treasure every day with our beloved children. Pippa has been so inspiring, and to get to 18 months is an amazing milestone. Thankyou for sharing xx

  3. Carolyn says:

    Oh Virg, what a post – I am so proud to know you!

    Pip’s strength, love and joy has touched us all – we talk about her daily. I am grateful she’s in our life. Her strength has kept her here this long, that and clearly the unshakable unity she shares with you, James and Patrick.

    You are creating the best life for Pip – fun, moments, colour. It’s a joy to witness the smiles Virg, Thankyou especially for taking precious time to give us these snapshots. The pictures all convey the love, the spreading of that love far and wide.

    You are an inspirational Mum to 3 beautiful children.

    As always, we send much love

    Carolyn, Joby, Coen and Yarra. Xxxx

  4. Lisa says:

    Virginia I have followed Pippa’s paths since you began 18 months ago. I check each day for an update. Good bad or ugly. I think you and the boys are amazing and pippa is some kind of super hero. As I celebrate my second norms 18th today I think of pippa and the boys. I am blessed and you guys have made me feel this way. Pippa you are the spunkiest kid I have known. Even thou only through Facebook. We love you my darling.

  5. Paula groves says:

    Love to you guys . Think of you everyday, your family is an inspiration . Thank you for sharing.

  6. Diane says:

    I agree with every word written by the above people.you certainly are one in a million. God bless.

  7. A says:

    thanks to a beautiful family who have shared and allowed us to help over the months – it has been our pleasure and a priveledge – xxxxxxxxxx

  8. sharra says:

    Rea family you guys are so incredibly strong and such an inspiration. – Love Leigh, sharra and McNaughton Family.

  9. Fleur says:

    Thank you for sharing, I don’t know you or Pippa but I have tears in my eyes for all you.She sounds like a fighter. I totally agree with what Alison says, ;Thank you for helping us appreciate the small things in our lives and treasure each day with our children’. My children were fighting a few minutes ago, but they are here and they are happy and healthy. Have fun planning Pippa’s birthday.
    Love fleur

    • Pamela Nevill says:

      We should also be thanking you Virginia, Pippa, James & Patrick. You’re an inspiration to us all. You’re certainly blessed to have your extended Rea family to support and love you.
      Love Pam

  10. Meredith Shaw says:

    Virginia, Pippa, Patrick & James, I can write your names but I cannot write the depth of where you are at, its so close to the bone, there’s no words for it. I’m so humbled by you Virginia – you are one hell of a Soldier – I’m glad I’m in your army. Love Meredith

  11. Joy says:

    Thank you Virginia, Pippa and boys for making me a better person, more aware of the precious gift that every day is! You are all amazing and as long as I live, I hope I will be a better person for knowing you all. xxoo

  12. Christine Harris says:

    Oh if only there was a magic wand that could cure all cancer! What beautiful words Virginia. xoxox

  13. Suzanne Haebich says:

    We were friends when we were young virginia, just girls really. I knew you as bubbly, vivacious, bright as a button. A real sweetheart. And I’m sure your three gorgeous children share in those traits too. As for pippa, wow! What an extraordinary girl. Her courage literally brought me to tears. Thankyou virginia for telling her story so beautifully. The love you, your boys and pippa give and show is truly humbling xx

  14. Marie Whitney says:

    Beautiful words Virginia…. you are all superstars!!!!!!!!! XXXXXX Maree

  15. Kate says:

    Dear Virginia, James, Patrick & of course Sweet Pippa,

    Thank-you for letting me to be a part of your journey on your way back to Australia. I believe that it was for a good reason that I met you in the lobby during your time in Dubai. I will never forget the energy that the four of you as a family had. Ever since I have met the four of you I have been thinking about you all, praying for you all & most of all thanking you for allowing me to be a part of your journey & showing me how precious life & family is.

    Never have I every had so many questions all at once & so late in the evening.

    It truly was a pleasure to meet each of you.

    With Warm Regards

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