Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

This title is rather overdramatic which I sometime fear is a word should be applied to me. Overdramatic Harriet. Sometimes I am too. Earlier in the year I fell over and I was certain that I had broken my foot and told everyone so, I hadn't. I am still embarrassed to this day what a drama queen I was about it.
But most of the time I like to think I am not.

I have been having a ridiculous amount of fun. I turned 20!! I actually did it!! I'm 20! This is a huge milestone and I have spent the last two weeks celebrating it. My parents have dubbed it my birthday festival as I have been so spoiled and been having soo much fun with the most wondrous people!

I think I should defiantly turn 20 more often. I would recommend it to anyone. It has been the best birthday I have ever had! Jannie even flew in from Zurich to come and celebrate with me and so many wonderful people flew in from all over the country to spend the day with me. So much delicious food and wonderful people and copious amount of alcohol. What more could you want?

But like everything you can't have the highs without the lows. Two days ago I felt a sharp pain in the back side of my ribcage every time I breathed in. I told myself that I had just pulled a muscle with all my vigorous dancing but on Sunday night I decided that I couldn't really ignore it anymore and I sent an email with Anne.

She replied quickly on Monday morning telling me that it was important that I call her and arrange an appointment. I awoke to a call from Sophie asking what I was doing as she was on her way over and was I out of bed yet (I had to confess that her call had woken me, she just laughed and told me to get in the shower and playfully reminded me most people would be waking up when the clock still read AM).

Instead of having a showering like Sophie suggested I decided to read my emails to see if Anne had emailed. She had so I called her and she said that it was important that I come in and we check out what is going on. So, as per usual, when Sophie showed up I was still in my pj's and she had to run me through the motions of getting ready. I was being rather toddler like as even though the rational part of me knew I should go, I really didn't want to.

With the help of Sophie and Tessa they finally got me into Will's car. Will had very luckily decided to bring his dog Molly along for the ride which left me completely and utterly smitten as Molly and I cuddled all the way to the hospital. I cannot describe how gorgeous she is.

When I got to the hospital I started to get nervous again but as anyone knows in hospitals there is a lot of waiting around. I went and got an x-ray and managed to see Anne's registrar before they had only done one x-ray rather than two so I had to go and get another one done. Luckily, I had Sophie with me who is rather excellent company and continuously made me laugh.

However both scans showed nothing so then they became worried that I might have a blood clot in my lungs and they got very worried, words were being thrown around like clexane injections which are better known as rat poison. At this point I decided I should tell mum that I was in hospital.

After much grumbling and being a fraidy-cat (all on my part) a nurse was able to get a line in and I headed down get a CT scan. I even got a ride on a bed as they were so worried with mum and Soph chuckling all the way, making many a princess Harriet jokes.

Luckily, the CT scan showed that I have no clots so yay! No rat poison for me!!! One of my little tumors has decided to get a little infection around it and attach itself to my lung lining which is what is causing the pain. Rather annoying. So hopefully I will be able to take antibiotics for a week and it shall go away. I have an appointment with Anne next week, if it isn't better by then I will cross that bridge when I get there.

What's been more scary rather than the hospital visit is the pain. It makes everything so much more real. Like I do understand what is happening to me but most of the time I can ignore it and try to live my life and be as happy as I can be but when you feel pain every time you breathe, it's right there, staring you in the face. There is no way around this, I am dying.

There is not that much time left for me. I don't mean this in the sense that I am dying as we speak but I mean I don't have years, I have months. One thing that I do is every time I see people whom I love I try to tell them that I love you because I don't know how much more I will be able to tell them that.

If this week has shown me anything it's that I have so many people whom I love and who love me and I am going to try to tell them so much as possible.

Because I do

Always have, Always will.

 The Wonderful Jess flew from Dunedin for my birthday
The spectacular Sophie who looks after me!
Pizza dinner with a few friends on my birthday

 My surprise birthday dinner with wonderful friends

 Boulcott Gatsby Party
I may or may not have picked the theme so I could wear the dress again.... 

 I may have missed Tessa slightly

 Quick trip to hospital with Sophe

 But luckily this pup was around for cuddles! 

Sadly, this puppy is my granddads. 

I haven't got a puppy.



  1. Harriet, you don't know me but I found you whilst looking for patient information for my mother, who is also on a similar journey as yours. I am an oncology nurse educator in the United States, and I've just finished my victory dance for you for turning 20! I'm thrilled! You are the kind of person that keeps oncology nurses in oncology practice - you are an inspiration to anyone who faces challenges, especially as you do with your grace, wit, and compassion. Your friends are the lucky ones, Harriet - you are something special! I just wanted to say Happy Birthday, and thank you for sharing your story! Lots of love from Massachusetts, USA, Laurl

  2. I've been following your journey for some time now and first of all, happy birthday! I'm all for turning twenty more than once! It should be a yearly thing really.
    I'm glad to know that your pain had nothing to do with a blood clot in your lung and hopefully the infection has cleared by now. You are such a strong and beautiful spirit and are an inspiration to me. Thank you.

  3. Hi Lovely, Georgi told me all about you and your blog, you sound like a beautiful person! You really honestly are an inspiration xx

    Hayleigh at