Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Pippa’s Milestone

Once you reach a 12 month milestone it then becomes ongoing – 12 months of……..12 months of diagnosis, 12 months of starting radiation, 12 months of ending radiation, 12 months of starting chemo cycles…….and so on.  The more milestones that are reached and passed, the better.

For Pippa, the date she has continued to refer to and one that she will never forget is the date she underwent a risky and dangerous 6 hour craniotomy to obtain tissue from the tumour within her brainstem in order to reach a diagnosis to treat.

12 months was Friday 11th July.

What to do?  A party? Of course Pippa the social butterfly wanted a party, but celebrating her head being cut open seemed a little bit odd.  Instead, we came up with an idea to not celebrate, but recognise where Pippa is now compared to the same day 12 months ago.  We decided that James and Patrick would come and watch Pippa do three fun activites that she now does on a weekly basis as part of her ongoing brain therapy.  Therapies to keep her brain active, her cognitive function developing, stimulating her left/right brain, working her short and long term memory  and to generally let the “lump” know that it certainly doesn’t belong!  Doing them all on one day was actually quite tiring especially as it was during a chemo week.  Regardless though, it was a perfect way to mark the date.

Twelve months ago Pippa went in for surgery relatively fit and healthy (she was a 9 year old who could walk and talk after all) emerging out 6 hours later with many of her gross motor functions diminished.  A situation quite difficult and frightening for a 9 year old to comprehend.  Most noticeably, she had lost the balance on her left side.  Six weeks later her neurosurgeon was happy with her recovery but did advise me that the balance she still didn’t have may not fully return.

For the past 12 months music has formed a very important part in Pippa’s therapy and will continue to do so for years to come.

On Friday Pippa danced……….

She sang………

And she drummed………..

Each activity James and Patrick watched and they also tried.  They spent a day in Pippa’s brain therapies.

At the end of the day the sun shone in the afternoon light and we flew kites together. Something liberating and free; beautiful and fun……….

Thank you to Pippa’s weekly “brain therapists”………….




Riding High

Today was ride to school day.  Today was a big day!

Pippa and I had talked that she would ride today but this was going to be a pretty big challenge.

Before 26 June Pippa was a natural athlete – able to do any sport, running fast and winning often at school athletics…..

On 11th July, Pippa had a craniotomy and lost her balance…..

After the craniotomy and 7 weeks of radiotherapy Pippa could still not walk in a straight line without losing her balance.  Her neurosurgeon advised that any loss of balance from the surgery should have returned and to be prepared that she may not regain her balance.

Today Pippa rode her bike (slightly large as it used to be James’) along the bike path to school.  She was so proud of herself and even extra excited about receiving a t-shirt for her efforts!


Crossing Lady Lorraine Happy to see Pippa on her Bike again


Riding Along on Your Push Bike, Honey……


Jumping for Joy!

What a great Day!  And to top it off, the sun was shining brilliantly 🙂


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