Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

A Science Lesson

Just like any other oncology patient, Pippa is regularly required to have blood tests.  The first one coincided with her very first chemotherapy tablet way back in July:  It was not a very happening time for either of us!  Pippa was scared about having the test and I was resentful and emotional about having to hand over the chemo tablet, “Please darling, don’t cry, it won’t hurt and anyway you need to stop crying so you can swallow this cute little peach coloured capsule…….”  Probably a memory that will stay with both of us for different yet similar reasons.

Blood tests these days are a breeze.  Most often we are at the Royal Children’s Hospital where many of the staff know us as we have been so many times.  Today we needed to have blood taken locally which for one reason or another hasn’t happened that much to date.  Local blood testing came with a bonus thanks to our friend who is in the lab.   Pippa had her very own educational tour and learnt what happens on the other side of the needle.  Just another way to help her understand and process everything that is happening.  Oh yes, and bloods were all good so that was an added bonus!

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Taylor Swift

When I was very first pregnant with James 14 years ago I was told by a friend your children will take you to your highest highs and your lowest lows but they are the most wonderful thing that will ever happen to you.  I had no idea how extreme these highs and lows would be and how right he was.

Yesterday was a highly anticipated day as we were going to the Taylor Swift ‘Red’ Concert and Pippa was a lucky girl; one of four little girls chosen by Challenge to meet Taylor.

A red dress and a red flower hairpiece were arranged.  A little bracelet was made by a friend as a gift – one for Pippa and one for Taylor.  An autograph book and pen were on hand. All was set, what a day it was going to be!

We woke in the morning to a bit of blood smeared across Pippa’s face and a slight blood nose – James wondered if Pippa was perhaps going a little too far with the Red theme!

We drove to the RCH with ice and tissues.  Blood tests were done and an emergency blood platelet transfusion was ordered.  Pippa was not pale and lethargic, she was literally running around the hospital whilst we were waiting.  The nurses and doctors knew about the date with Taylor and explained to Pippa she needed to have safe blood to be able to meet her.  

Plans were changed and we got ready for the concert in the emergency department.  There was a point were I didn’t know if we would make it in time and if we would would still be able to meet her.  Challenge were so supportive and communicated everything with Taylor’s management to please still let Pippa come to meet her

The hospital rushed through the transfusion to as fast as it could go.  We were late but Taylor waited for Pippa and what a beautiful time it was.  Special cuddles with a world superstar.  Taylor told Pippa how gorgeous she looked in her dress and how pretty the yellow strap on the bracelet was (Pippa’s new favourite colour).  Pippa was so happy.  I, on the other hand, was still pulling myself together just from getting there and wondering how much can one mother bear?

The concert was an amazing spectacle and every song was sung along to.  Taylor has been on this journey with us from the start.  Her songs have been sung through the highs and the lows.  She can get rid of  nausea and now also is capable of making blood transfusions bearable.

What concert, what a superstar, what a girl….peaks and troughs; what a day!

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