Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour


For the third cycle now Pippa’s blood counts are too low for too long.  It’s not a major concern, just a small and apparently rather interesting problem that needs solving.  Although now behind on her treatment plan, she continues to be healthy, happy and full of life.  As the plan is written in sand anyway I’m not to be  bothered by it especially as her doctor is not – he just has to figure out the best way to overcome it.  We will make the drive back again to Melbourne on Sunday ready for Monday morning and more blood tests that will hopefully allow chemo treatment.

To think that I am even using the phrase, “hopefully chemo treatment”!

On the upside, Pippa’s MRI report is one, singular word – Stable.

I don’t think I have ever used a singular word to describe anything in my whole life!  I certainly haven’t used a single word to “do” anything!  This one little word doesn’t tell me a whole lot but apparently it is the best outcome for an MRI result and more importantly, it screams to me patience at a time when I’m getting really itchy feet.  I guess the weekly drive down for low blood counts is also teaching me the same lesson.

Seven and a half months ago I literally collapsed into the the doctor who delivered me the very first piece of numbing news.  I still cannot believe the daily conversations I now have, the words I have to learn and the information I have to process.  I had to be patient to get a diagnosis that could be worked with and treated, patient to wait for the steroids to do their job, patient through radiation, patient for an MRI scan that could be read and now patient to get a consistent treatment plan and continue with what lies ahead.   Pippa, although still not missing a beat, is the most patient of all.  Never complaining about numerous appointments, treatments, tests nor the thousands of kilometres that we travel.  She happily went off to school on the first day of the school year full of excitement to see her friends and teacher but completely OK that she would miss the second one and most of the third.

Pippa (along with her understanding and patient brothers as well)  is certainly teaching me some life lessons.

School for 2014


Much Needed Research

Today has been a cancer research themed day.

On Australia Day Pippa was the VIP guest at a fundraising event in Warrnambool.

This understated  little event called Kick-It Down Under was held in aid of the Royal Children’s Hospital Cancer Research.   The second time it has been held in Warrnambool (the only times outside the USA), it is part of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation raising much needed research money across the United States for Paediatric Cancer.  The game (Kick Ball) is similar to baseball but with a large rubber ball that is kicked.  I had to do a bit of googling to work it out but my children tell me in Australia they call it “Boot Ball” and play it at school and with friends in the street.

The participants of the game were the Australian and USA Sprint Car drivers who were in Warrnambool for the Australia Day Long weekend Classic.  This is about where my knowledge of all things sprint cars starts and ends, but I think that this particular meet may be the biggest (should I say in the world? I don’t know, the Southern Hemisphere perhaps sounds pretty safe).  Pippa started the game off with a “pitch” and then also kicked and ran for both teams.  A fun experience!  Today was the cheque presentation to the hospital.

Later this afternoon we also went to meet the family who have started Robert Connor Dawes Fund.   In memory of their son,  brother and friend, this group are campaigning for more brain cancer research.  They are also the inspiration, motivation and support behind Pippa’s yoga and music therapy through her radiation and now her continued yoga therapy in Melbourne.  It was a little bit confronting for me and I was quite apprehensive.  Liz has been on the other end of a text message for me and I felt I wanted to meet her.  I’m glad I did but I am particularly glad that they were abe to meet Pippa.  I applaud them for all they are doing and for speaking up  loud for brain cancer research and hope that by meeting Pippa their fight will be inspired further.

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