Thursday, 29 December 2011

Not So Good News

So today we had some news which left dad a bit red around the eyes. My histology results. If these were just like my history results it would be ok.

Histology results are the results about cell necrosis. Cell necrosis in the histology results is looking at the percentage of cancer cells that were killed by the chemotherapy. My oncologist was hoping for a 90% kill rate, unfortunately we have only got a 40% kill rate.

This sucks as it means that the next lot of chemotherapy is going to be much harder as stronger and even more potent chemicals are going to be added. Joy to the world.

On a happier note, the operation went well from a oncologist point of view! So I am very happy and I am home for another 10 days to 2 weeks before I start the next round of chemo.

NB Oncologist is the person who controls my chemo, not a vag doctor.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas


I GOT TO GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was actually amazing, the entirety of my mums side of the family also came out to our house! It was soo lovely as some of them had to come from Aussie. I was soo spoilt as well this christmas!! It was such a wonderful day and I enjoyed it so much! I hope everyone else had as amazing day as I did! Great food and amazing family. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Happy and Home!

I made it! I am back in Wellington! I have set up residence in Bed 1 on 6 North. I am so happy to be home. Auckland hospital was something very special. It was... useless. completely and utterly useless. Don't get me wrong my surgeon is amazing, he did such a fabulous job but the nurses...

I had this one wonderful nurse Sarah and I was very lucky to have her for as long as I did because most of the other nurses were useless. On the first day after the surgery the epidural did not work properly so I was in soo much pain.

I had involuntary tears pouring down my face and I was like this for about 2 nearly 3 hours while the nurses were trying to find a doctor. My mother was very unimpressed. She became like a mother lion protecting her cub. I would not have wanted to be on the end of that rampage.

It was so different to Wellington. In Auckland we had to ask to see the physio's. In Wellington today I have had so much help from 2 physio's who have spent a lot of time with me my leg has got better in leaps and bounds just today.

In Wellington when I call for pain medication they actually bring it whereas in Auckland I was sometimes waiting up to an hour. I had to have help getting to the bathroom, then the nurse would usually wait outside and then help me back to my bed.

However, one lovely nurse decided that while I was on the toilet it would be a great time to go for a break and leave me sitting there while my legs got progressively sorer and sorer as all the blood was pooling in them and making them go blue.

But it was amazing to see Jess and Nick (my friends who lived up in Auckland). They are some of the nicest people you have ever met!! :) They helped to keep me sane along with Pan and Ollie who flew up from Wellington to keep me company!

I was very lucky and managed to get a ride home in the medical airplane.

It was such a weird feeling as you can see in the beds face backwards. In the photo above you are looking from the front of the plane down to the back. It was such a weird thing as it felt soo weird taking off as you were pushed forward and you were leaning on your seltbelt which sort of led to me having a little freak out that the bed would come unlock and roll into the back of the plane!! I think I prefer going the right way!!

Today in Wellington I have been soo lucky and seen soo many friends. Seeing everybody makes me soo happy as I have missed all my friends terribly!! So I am very happy to be home. In Wellington now lets just cross our fingers and hope I am out in time for christmas!

Friday, 16 December 2011

My Big Outing

Today I went on a HUGE outing!! Since my surgery (which was on the 6th of December) until today I have not left my room. I have barely even left my bed. So today my mother and my lovely nurse Sarah managed to get me into a wheelchair and I managed to get down to muffin break!!

This is such an achievement!! I was soo happy, I mean how many people are cool enough to go to muffin break in a hospital gown and fist pumping in the wheelchair? If only some grandma's had decided to accept  my challenge and raced me...

I have also been really lucky up here because my friend Nick and Jess have been amazing in coming to visit me heaps! Otherwise I would get rather lonely!! I am rather excited though because I should be coming back to Wellington on Tuesday! On Tuesday I am just being taken to Wellington hospital but hopefully home before x-mas!

So, overall I think that we deserve a nice drink. Take heed from my mother...

G&T coz they're classy like that

Monday, 12 December 2011

Tomorrow Is Always Better

The morning of the surgery I awoke with my family and surgeons around me. My family was giving me words of encouragement. The surgeons were trying to make sure I understood the procedure. In me there was a war raging as the nausea was battling with the feeling of "curling up like a baby and refusing to go”.

As I am now 18, I thought that this battle raging inside me was ridiculous, as I wanted this surgery to happen so I just smiled and nodded.

Luckily for me, I didn’t  have to do this for long since I was soon surrounded by bewildering blue creatures which probed me with needles (even one in my SPINE) and then BAM!!!! All went black.
9 Hours Later… 

Please Note before I start my explanation all surgeries had the same end goal, to remove the tumor.

The tumor was located in the bottom of my left femur. The surgeons when they got into surgery realized that the tumor in my femur was too large and if they saved the joint surface the minute I put weight on it, the joint would break so that was a bummer. Then they tried to put in the bone graph with the knee joint from another person BUT the bone graph did not fit with my leg properly. In the end I have a knee which is a mixture of metal, donor bone and my au natural bone. It’s a bit of a tight fit to have all three in there so lets hope the party doesn’t get to ruckus!

This new knee is awesome in the way that I might be able to put weight on my leg by January rather than November!!! This is an amazing advantage as it means that I can go and visit my friends around the world, wherever they are! But as with any replacement there are disadvantages.

One disadvantage of this surgery is that it is a partial knee replacement so there is metal within my knee so I am going to look like a fool with my pants on the ground (in airport security).

Another disadvantage of this surgery is that I will need another knee replacement in 10-20 years and I will always have to be careful and after that knee replacement I will have to have another one and then once that knee replacement has worn out I may have to get my leg amputated.

I have to live a careful life, this means no skiing, no running. I always will have to be careful of my weight. That’s perhaps is not such a bad thing, but I love food sooo much!!

Plus I hear scars are pretty impressive and help us get them boys. Who needs milkshakes?

Over the past couple of days I have been in a lot of pain as we have had some problems with the pain medication but finally we have sorted most of it out. I have been really lucky though because my whole family and Pan (my boyfriend) and Ollie (one of my seriously amazing friends) and my cousins (Sophie and Alice) and lots of other friends and family have visited me here in Auckland hospital.  

I went through a dark patch while my pain medication wasn't working.  I felt this huge weight was on my shoulders and I could see no way of ever getting past it but I was so lucky that Pan and Ollie were there reminding me I wasn't alone.

I would then think about 'The Hobbits' and it made things easier. I was going through a hazy consciousness and Pan and Ollie and my friends stuck with me through it reminding me that it would get better because things always do. 

Today with the physio I managed to walk one metre on a grandma walker to the seat but I MADE IT. It is getting better, I never thought it would but it is.

Lets see what tomorrow brings.

PS Thanks to everyone who sent flowers, chocolates, presents and cards! They are all so lovely and they mean a lot to me!

Monday, 5 December 2011

From The Ridiculously Happy To The Ridiculously Nervous

I am lying in the hospital bed looking out across Auckland. I am in a room with four elderly old ladies. Two of them are rather sick and have been sleeping all day but there is one old lady who is lovely. The room looks out over Auckland city.

I have the most beautiful view of the sky tower and the city as I happen to be on the 14th floor. Ward 75 represent. Even though I am surrounded by such a lovely view I can't help but wish the sky would just  come and rescue me.

I am so nervous I want to cry, scream and put my foot down about the surgery tomorrow. I do not want to do it. I want to be a child again. I want to be able to walk, I know that for at least the next year I am not going to be able to walk.

My life is going to get harder. The chemo is going to intensify after the surgery, I am going to be in hospital more and I am not going to be able to put any weight on my leg AT ALL for the next year. My life is already hard. Excuse my french but this is not f**king fair.

The worst thing is I know that I have to do this. It's either this or I will die. That sounds overly dramatic but it's the truth. Those are my options and I have no intention of letting myself die. I can't do that, not to my family, my friends and most importantly I have a Euro trip which I have planned to take on my parents credit card.

Next year is going to suck but I am lucky I have the most amazing friends. Life could be so much worse. I could be a hermit and have no friends. I am lucky, my friends have literally not let me be lonely.

I have been out of hospital for the past two weeks (the first time since I started chemo that I actually stayed out for my full two weeks) and for that time I have been out for lunch and dinner nearly every meal, been to soo many parties.

I have spent so much time with friends that I will treasure as they have made me feel normal. It gives me strength to face tomorrow.

Life would be easier if I didn't wake up tomorrow BUT there are so many good things in life you just have to be strong and get through the bad. The bad may be ridiculously hard but when I think over the last two weeks or over the last year I have had soo many good times that it vastly outweighs the bad.

"I am richer in one moment with my friends than if I had all the money in the world" and I am so lucky because I have so many moments so thank you. You make me stronger than I thought I ever could be.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Ridiculously Happy

As the title may point out, I am ridiculously happy!! I have now been out of hospital for eight days!! This is  the longest time I have been out of hospital since I started chemo!!! I have managed to have the most amazing week seeing my friends and just feeling normal. 

I never have thought that such little things could give me such pleasure. I am not a religious person but I feel like I should thank someone because I am so happy. I look at my bed (where the quilt is that the Hobbits made me) and I smile. Life is odd like that, it hands you something downright awful and all you can do is smile at the good. 

Today I had breakfast with my brother and my friend Toby. This might sound a little odd but my brother is a really cool cat. I have always been friends with him ever since I was little and so now since I am sick he drives me around everywhere. We then went trying to do some christmas shopping!!

I then went to a movie with the lovely Pam (who was my nanny for many years), my mother and my grandmother! It was an interesting movie about this choreographer called Pina and her dance troupe. 

I then went to Pan's house and watched him get dressed up in the beautiful Scots prefect uniform which left me howling on the floor. I suggest if anyone is feeling down they should watch their boyfriend dress up in a kilt. 

I then went to dinner with some good friends which is always a lovely experience. So as you can see life out of hospital is not a bad one. I am seriously and utterly ridiculously happy. 

Life is good. I wish everyone shared this thought.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Norm

My mother constantly tells me I really should update this and I should. Sorry for being rather useless. The thing is when I go to write on my blog I normally have some sort of reason for updating it, something new has happened or something has changed.

At first it was really easy to update this because everything was so new and so different from what I was used to but in some ways living like this - 3 weeks in hospital, the "two weeks out"has become my norm. I say "two weeks out" because every time I have meant to have these two weeks out I have actually ended up going back in for at least one of them.

What was not normal is I got to meet Piri Weepu and Cory Jane (if you don't know who they are, you should) came to visit me!!! :D This was VERY exciting, I wish I had actually been more with it though because I can't actually really remember many of the specifics of what we actually talked about...

I have now finished all of my pre operation chemo!! This is a very YAY! moment because in my treatment I have three steps:

1. Pre op chemo
2. The operation.. DUN DUN DUN
3. Post op chemo

So once I have the surgery its like I am half way there, even if I still have 6-9 months more chemo!!

And Jannie is over from Germany. Jannie is like my surrogate aunt, she is one of mum's best friends and she has sort of been there all my life so it's been amazing spending time with her while she has been here!! She leaves tomorrow which sucks but it's been amazing so I can't really complain.

It's hard for me to lie here and think about what I have been doing because it is so normal now for me. It's kind of amazing what can become normal. I feel normal yet I still can't stand for more than 3 minutes without feeling like I ran a marathon.

Who is normal though??

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Fight

One day this shall all be over but until then... just keep on fighting it.

It's hard. I will never be able to say it isn't. This week is testament to that. It was supposed to be my easy week and just no. It was not, at all. I wish I could just fast forward the next year but hey! Life isn't like that.

You get your ups, you get your downs. My life has been pretty easy. I can't believe the things I used to complain about. They seem so silly. So pathetic. Even now there are so many people who have it so much harder than me.

I tried to make a wish today as it was 11:11 on the 11/11/11. I ended up just being thankful for all the things that I have in my life. I can't tell you my wish but it wasn't for me. It never will be.

Don't get me wrong, I wish more than anything that I was a normal teenager, I wish I never had to go through any of this. I wish I didn't grow up so fast. I wish I could have the wild summer that I had planned.

But I still have my family, my friends and I am going to come through this fine. There are those who sit through this but on the side lines like my brother. Who see how much it hurts me and can do nothing but be there, Who would give anything to be in my place but can't.

Then imagine if I didn't make it. I don't even like to think about what it would do to my family. I can only begin to imagine the pain those poor families feel who loose their kids or sisters or parents to it.

So this is my fight. I will fight as hard as i possibly can because I never want to hurt you.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


As I was roaming the internet tonight trying to coax sleep closer. I found this amazing quote, and as most quotes with pretty pictures do, it got me thinking.

I like it. I really do. It's soo simple yet it's just so true, yet it's kinda easy to forget. Everyone is surrounded by soo much crap and sometimes its piled so high its just hard to see over.

I will be the first person to say chemo is crap. I would hate it but that would involve physically having enough strength to hate it, and as I don't have much energy, no chance am I wasting my hate on chemo. But it does suck.

There are so many things that cancer has stolen from me but you know what! Forget it! I am happy. Today I made it out of hospital, I had strawberries my grandma brought down from Hawkes Bay, I brought the new Florence + The Machine CD and I even ate a crunchie! Thats my day today, it may be pretty little things but hey! little is better than nothing. That's how I look at life.

It's how I have to look at life because the thing is, if i counted up the things that I couldn't do because I have cancer I would literally not be able to stop crying.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Yay For Sickness!!

So I am neutropenic. In regular human speak this means I have no immune system and lucky me! I have picked up some sort of a bug, so its hospital time.

Onto more exciting this though, the weekend was amazing!! The girls and boys looked seriously attractive!! :) In the end we had 5 guys and two lovely ladies loping off their locks!!

My baby brother, the skux that he is....

I now have a skin head for a boyfriend. How joyous is that?

 Mr James Kane (sorry about the eyebrow...)
Don't they look pretty???

Thanks to Ben White for these photos. I have stolen them!! They are rather amazing my dear!! 

So after all the hair had departed heads we decided to head on inside for some good old food and everyone ate themselves silly!! So overall I would say that I had an amazing night and I really hope everyone else there did too. 

On saturday I went to my friend Willy's umu which was actually so lovely as I got to have a good catch up with lots of mates who I hadn't talked to in a while and had SUCH YUMMY FOOD. I am going to come out of this like ten tonnes heavier because all I do is eat, sleep and socialize which usually involves food.

Then on Sunday just to continue the trend of eating I went to lunch with one of my best mates Claudia. She is actually one of the most awesome people that you could ever know. It also happened to be her birthday. However my silly bleeding noses put a little damper on the mood. 

At some point in my life I must thank my baby brother. He drives me everywhere and just is a really general cool cat. He brought me chocolate on saturday. He got into some serious good book with that one!!

So I went home, driven by a la brother and tried to relax. Dad came home proud as a peacock because he had won the semi final of his golf tournament and was into the final. I then still wasn't feeling great so I got Dad to get the thermometer and BAM! Temperature. So off to ED he took me.

I had one of the creepiest experiences in the ED waiting room. I have a little card so I get whisked through and don't have to wait in waiting room with millions of sick people but I sat down to fill out a form and as I was writing away along comes the lady in the hat.

The lady in the hat has very bad eye makeup. Panda eyes to rival  even Caitlin's sister. She comes over to me and asks "Have you seen a car?" I am really unsure as to what to say so I just sort of sit there quietly hoping that she will go away. However she continues by saying "I am new to Wellington and I have lost my car, it;s silver" and recites some sort of number plate.

She then states loudly that its HERS. Nobody else's. She then proceeds to try to give me her cell phone number so in case I see it I can text her. I reply that I have cancer so I spend most of my time in hospital so am unlikely to see her car. She then tries to give it to me anyway and says she could visit me. 

Some things are worse than cancer and psychiatric problems are seriously one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Dad came to my rescue and took me away from the waiting room.

I then had to lie in a bed in a room which smelled faintly of pee for many hours. Father was great and stayed for the whole time and kept me company. Unlike mother he can actually sit still and is actually very patient, telling mother not to come was the wisest thing that I ever did. 

So that brings us to now. I am just chilling back in my favorite ward! I have a single room so no bed pooping room mate. I have to get a blood transfusion because my red blood cells are low and antibiotics and a few jabs into my belly but aside from that... not too much.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Nature And Things

Today is the day! Today is the day when my friends, brother and boyfriend decide to loose their luscious locks in support of me and raising money for cancer research. Man! How lucky am I? Like seriously, not only are they doing this we are having friends coming from all over Wellington to support them! I seriously cannot believe how lucky I got with my friends.

The thing is that they are my life now. I have no life really, its rather boring. It's just chemo, sickness then better for small amount of time then it starts all over and I have to do this for eight months. So I live very vicariously through my friends. 

At the moment because of exams there is very little scandal but soon it shall be SUMMER! not that it looks like it outside... oh well! Weather is just another thing we cannot plan.

Most people spend their whole lives making plans (I am a very good example of one!) but what happens when these plans don't work? 

I really like biology (nerd right!) and in nature when the environment of organism change it will either adapt or die out. It's interesting watching my family (yes, this is as creepy as it sounds) change and adapt to living with cancer.

My mother is a marvelous woman but she has never really been the sort of mum that would wait on her children hand and foot. She was always keen for me to try it myself and establish my independence. Yet, I have regressed back to a baby and need so much help all the time. It's not easy on her. 

She is used to constantly doing things and she is very bad at sitting still but she like rest of my family is slowly adapting, slowly getting used to this new life that I have made them have. 

Sometimes nature is cruel.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Fears of Life

I now have a brand new Hickman line. It was bit of a mission as they had to make two cuts to find a vein big enough and the cut where they found the vein is at the base of my neck just above my collarbone, so its a bit harder to hide than the one before but thats ok!

I was more concerned because I was nil by mouth for about 24hours before the surgery! I was sooo hungry!! All I could talk or think and just generally breathe was food! I have since caught up on the food I missed!

I am a bit nervous for tomorrow. I have not really been that nervous for any of the other rounds of chemo but I am for tomorrow. Tomorrow I am going to start the round of chemo which makes me incredibly sick. YAY!!

Hopefully it should be better than last time because they have my nausea medicine under control but it's still scary but lucky me I have pretty pills which will help me. What about everyone else?

What scares me more than the idea of being sick is the idea of being left behind. Nothing scares me more. I know it's crazy but this is my life. Until August next year I can pretty much give you a schedule of my life. It is basically a five week cycle.

I am living the five same weeks over and over and over and over and over again but you're not. My friends are facing other scary huge challenges, like leaving school and deciding what to do! and god forgive if you don't know!

There is so much pressure on people at my age to know what they want to do with the rest of their life! But who really knows at 18! Isn't the idea to change and then change some more? But while they are on this adventure of self discovery I shall be sitting in the same place.

And this is what scares me most. In their new lives how much time will they have for me? Its a selfish thought and its awful that I am not more supportive but hey I am nothing if not honest. That is my biggest fear. and birds! Whoever invented those cretinous creatures...

Monday, 17 October 2011


Hospitals are odd places. They are actually like a world of their own. They seem to function on there own time, they never seem to sleep. There is always something happening. 

Today, is surgery day! I have to get ANOTHER hickman line put in! It all started last Friday...

I think Mum must have been feeling a bit bad for going away (she was leaving me and going to her university reunion for the weekend). I figured this out when she turns up with not only my favorite sushi but one of the rolls that I love from my favorite bakery and a cream donut!! However, I was most impressed and think she should go away more if I get food like that!! 

Anyway she ended up going away and having a marvelous weekend. It was odd though because as I was sitting there (nursing my belly after soo much good food) and i noticed that my shirt on one side was actually rather wet!! So I called in my nurse to have a look. She took one look and promptly informed me that my line was almost out!! 

This is rather odd!! The line was supposed to last me the entire time I was on chemo but go figure! I am an odd case!

So, I managed to get home on Saturday anyway must to my pleasure and I managed to watch the RUGBY!!! OHHHHH YEEEEEAAAAAHHHH!!!!! I really do feel like doing a dance just thinking about the game!!! 

The Welsh should have won!!! That is the only shame! The French were almost beaten by a fourteen man side who far out played them but I guess thats life!

I was supposed to start chemo today but the liver is a little grumpy with me. The liver is effected by methotrexate (one of the types of chemo I get) and it needs to be good for the next type of chemo so the next round has had to be delayed til my liver function comes to play!

This is lame but this is life! 

Monday, 10 October 2011


I am officially an excessive over eater. I need to join over eaters anonymous. I managed to escape this place they call the hospital for all of three days and it was glorious!!

I love being at home, nothing was nicer than sitting outside (yes, it was sunny in Wellington!!) and chatting with friends. I managed to get a little bit of cooped chicken syndrome. I realized I had only been at home or  hospital for a WHOLE WEEK.

I HAD to get out. I was going insane. I was DFHAGFHDGOHAGHUUGFKG!! I am far too social for my own good. I have never spent this much time at home.... ever. I always have enjoyed being out and about and was known for disappearing for entire weekends at a time with my parents relying on intermittent texts for updates on my whereabouts. I really must have worried them!

I do worry my parents still. I think I always shall. There won't be a time ever that I won't. I mean I was a bit of a wild child last year, this year cancer... what next? I really am unsure as to how I am going to top this one. I managed to make my parents live out every parents nightmare!

Oh well! Another week of chemo starting today! This week hopefully I should be ok, just have some amazing chemo brain so beware of my blog. It may become even more riddled with insanity!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

What Happens When I Don't Get My Cheeseburger...

It's good to be feeling better in hospital. The only thing is they need to wake you up all the time to do lots of different checks but hey! This means you get a relatively lucid blog update.

The reason I am sure I am feeling better is right now if I was listing my emotions hungry would be right on top. Lucky I have some chips to satisfy this with.

I also know this because of one of the funniest things to happen in a while actually happened in hospital. I was lying here. In this bed. Which is a single room. JACKPOT!! No roommate to complain of this time!!!

All of a sudden I started to get this real hankering for... a Macca's cheeseburger. So I did the normal thing of texting the boyfriend who was coming in for a visit. He turned up all smiles. With no cheeseburger. I did not find this acceptable.

His excuse was he was on the bus. However, somehow, in my drug haze, I managed to get my jelly in his hair. I found it soo funny, I decided that was exactly where the rest of it. He really is a marvel to put up with me sometimes.

It may seem like such a childish thing to do AND it was but I am child. I am 18. A supposed adult but not really. I still need my mum to shower me on occasion. I need my family around me to feel safe. I am an adult with training wheels.

I am learning and trying to become one but I am not quite there.... yet.

Chemo Makes You Insane

Chemo Brain:

1. I don't know when things happen
1. I don't know what I say
1. I loose track of time
1. I just don't make a hell of a lot of sense most of the time.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Warm and Fuzzies

Hospital is great but feeling much better this time than I did for the last lot. I have managed to hold a conversation with many of the visitors. Which is amazing. This girl, Ashna who goes to my school has written this beautiful song

It actually made me cry it is such a beautiful!!! I adore it soo much. I am such a music geek so this means it is so much beautiful!!! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, there is just nothing else I can say right now!!!

On other news Jossie Wells. Jossie Wells is the number one world free-skier and a genuinely lovely guy!!  When I was down south, I skied with him and when I say skied with him, I stood in awe!! But hey! photographic evidence is needed I think.

Left to Right: Sarah, Jossie, Jess and I!

His email to me was actually amazing because it being winter, he has soo much on his mind. Its insane how many people care and it's so nice because this chemo is not fun.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Plan B

I am almost completely bald. The beautiful short hair cut. gone. The past two days I have had to wear my wig or a hat. They are great for feeling normal but its annoying. I want to take my wig off and for there to be hair there. I want this to have been a dream.

It's not a dream, it's life. My life. Tomorrow, I will be admitted into hospital for three weeks. When thats done I will have two weeks out. One of which I wont feel very well. I have one week every five weeks where I am me. I will only have fourteen days this year left which I will feel good.

That sucks because my poor friends will come and visit me and I will be sooo happy to see them but I will be sick. The thing that is so hard is that I cannot see the end. I am only just beginning but so are we all.

We are setting out into the world to figure out what we want to be and then finding our 'Plan B.' This is my 'Plan B' and it sucks but I need to smile or I will start to cry.

Last year this amazing woman called Mae Chen came to our school and talked about how life is nothing but 'Plan B.' The idea behind her talk was that life never works out how you want it to, it changes in crazy ways and you need to adapt and work with 'Plan B'.

My plan was to go to Otago Uni. I was going to apply to hostels and pray to get into one! I was going to do a Bachelor of Science and major in Phycology and Genetics and minor in Bioethics. This was the plan because the course sounds interesting and I am interested in it. 


Plan B hit me slam in the face. I have cancer. I have to fight it with every fibre in my being. 

I occasionally get angry because this was not something I chose. It was not something I wanted but it's happening and I cannot turn my back on it. I do not want to go into hospital for three weeks but I will. I will get through that and then I am going to reward myself. 

Last night I had lots of friends over to watch the warriors game. We lost but you know what. That did not matter one bit to me because I was surrounded by friends and people I love. They were happy. AND most importantly I got pizza. 

Plan B was not something that I ever chose but I am going to make the best of it because I only have one life and seriously, what is the point in being unhappy? Life comes quickly, it can go even faster, so why waste time being unhappy. 

My life is Plan B. Go figure.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Migraines Are Nasty With A Capital N

Sooo unimpressed with this migrane. It has ruined my weekend plans. I have been up chucking here, there and everywhere. Thank the gods that I have a legit stockpile of anti-nausea's because that means it will not ruin my sunday!

I had a really cool day on Friday though! It was my schools house music!! The Year 13 Dance was especially hilarious!

The video quality is not very good but it does give you a great indication about how awesome the girls in my year are. I actually adore them! The hilarious moments actually never cease!! :)

Even more importantly STIRLING WON!!! (Well first equal but shush!!) WE WON!!! We are the house that is known for loosing everything. I have always kinda loved it because we were always the underdogs and this year we won!! I must say the house leaders put sooo much effort into this day but as always it was amazing!

I cannot mention house music without mentioning the teachers video. The media teacher at my school is amazing. Every year she makes this hilarious staff video where she gets all the teachers dancing. Every year its a little bit different but this year she excelled herself.

I seriously have been so lucky to go to Queen Margaret's. It has been a really amazing place to go to school, I would seriously recommend it as a school because I have just enjoyed my time soo much there!

I know I talk about school a lot but hey! What can you expect? I am a teenager. School = Life!

Tomorrow I am going to be better. No choice. This migrane is going to be gone.

BAM and the migrane is gone... I hope. 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

My Friends Are So Legit

My friends. Wow. Oh Wow.

They are actually so amazing! I do not understand what I did to deserve these children! My friends Harriet and Kat have decided to go insane and shave their hair to match me. This is a really kind gesture and on top of this they have decided to raise money for the Malaghan Institute of medical research. If you want to donate they have set up online donations.

The reason I bother to mention this is I think cancer research is important because so many people are affected by this but because I cut my hair on Tuesday.

My hair is slowly coming out and I decided it was rather annoying having this long hair so I went and got it cut! It is now short. I will probably add in a photo later in this blog but the thing that is interesting is the way people look at you.

I didn't end up being able to go to the Scots ball which sucked. I made my boyfriend a complete loner. Poor child was MC of the ball and had to turn up dateless. How the child puts up with me, I truly have no idea.

So I decided that there was no way I could make my parents buy me this stunning Juliet Hogan dress and not wear it anywhere so I dressed up and hence these photos!!! Then I made Pan dress up in a suit and off we trotted to a restaurant called Ancestral.

It was soooo yummy! The food is actually delicious and I had great company but the thing I noticed were some of the other people in the restaurant looking at us a little oddly, almost questioning why two teenagers were dressed up so nicely and at a restaurant. However, I had a lovely night and it didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

It's interesting though because my new haircut, although for me its very practical, is very unusual for a girl who is interested in guys to have a short hair cut at this age. As my brother says, my hair screams lesbian and I think it's stupid.

People judge so much about a person on their looks. I guess thats why uniform is so good. I wonder if that judgement based on appearance will ever be redundant but I don't think so. People judge so much based on appearance which is odd as this is something we have very little control over.

The way we appear says a lot about us. There is a reason why goths dress in a particular way. Its because we feel we can convey meaning through what we look like but then we get pissed off when people assume inappropriately or incorrectly.

Life is soo odd.

Today I went up to Auckland and met with my surgeon and discussed my operation. I am going to have a bone graph on my knee and the surgeon is going to try and save my knee articular surface. In normal language, its the area where the Femur and Tibia meet.

This is going to be amazing because this means that ideally if this works I will not have to have a knee replacement at a later date!! However it is going to suck. BIG TIME. This is because when then the tumor is taken out, they will have to replace the bone with dead guy bone.

Now dead guy bone is great but it wont attach itself to my bone while I am on chemo. This means that my leg will not be able to have any weight on it for about nine months (if not longer) after surgery. How lame is that?

However, after this I did some great retail therapy and got a lovely maxi dress (to hide this brace I have to wear because apparently my knee is weak and prone to breaking and if it breaks there is high chance they have to amputate, so hello leg brace) and groovy orange belt and this to-die-for bag! Thank you mummy!!

I guess there are some upsides of cancer.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Every Day Is A Gift

The malting is slowly starting. The beginning of the bald phase of my life is just starting.

Its odd, the hair is not falling out in huge chunks, each individual strand is just slowly starting to come loose. I don't even feel it. I thought huge clumps would come out every time I ran my hand through my hair but its not. Its just one or two individual hairs.

I thought I would be so upset about watching my hair go. It sounds stupid but as a eighteen year old girl, my hair is important to me but I am strangely excited. I love my wig. Its actually nicer than my actual hair.

My hair over the years has been soooo abused by me. In the past three years it has been blonde to chocolate brown and back again. I have bleached, stripped, colored my hair about once every two months and consequently destroyed my mums wallet and my hair.

Thinking about it though, hair is such a pain. You have to wash it, brush it, maintain it. It takes soooo much effort and I am so lazy. The idea of just whipping on a wig and going out is actually rather appealing. I hope my head is not deformed or something. That could be awkward.

Now onto more important things. THAT TRY LAST NIGHT. So unimpressed with the French. If you didn't watch it (you should have) the ref was talking to the All Blacks and then the French decide to start playing and score a try.... and the ref gave it to them! Lucky the French are useless and lost anyway but soooo not cool.

I was talking to my mate who was watching it with me and he was right, it may have been a "legal" try but it wasn't very ethical. The French showed bad sportsmanship with that one. They were loosing and could have lost graciously but that was a bit of a low blow. It may have been legal but it left a bad feeling in the stomach.

Its interesting when something like this happens though because it puts things into perspective. The stupid girly fights = pointless. That perfect dress = mightly important still / not really but hey its pretty!!

The things that are important truly are the people and doing what you love. Enjoying life. Not putting it on hold. Not doing physics at uni because it will give a good job rather doing archeology which you love. It just makes your choices simpler. It emphasizes live now because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

It also emphasizes not to dwell on what could of been, enjoy what is. Last night I could have had a fat cry about how unfair it was that I wasn't able to go to the Wellington Coll ball which I had been looking forward to for months but I had a lovely night eating fried rice and watching the rugby with a great mate.

Enjoy life, you never know what will happen.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Hobbits

 I am purely blown away! I don't know what to think except I am sooo lucky!! Is this not one of the most beautiful quilts you have ever seen???

I was actually almost in tears when the girls presented it to me!! Every girl in my year has created an amazing patch which have been sewn together. It sounds weird but this was soo perfect. 

We are all going to go out next year to the real world and many of my closest friends are going to the opposite side of the world in their amazing adventures but I am going to be here and that sucks.

I was meant to be going to going out with them. I was meant to be but I am not and thats hard. This was almost perfect though because now I have some of each of them to be with me even when they can't physically be there. I know that they are with me forever on this and the other journeys on my life. Sorry about the cheese but its true. I love you guys sooooooooo much!! I may have needed to grab a few tissues writing this but ahhhhh sooo amazing!! So much love. I am so lucky to be a Hobbit.

It was soo nice seeing everyone too even though I was really weak and couldn't stand up for very long, I managed to sit out on the lawn in one of the chairs. It made me sooo happy to be around everyone!

One thing that surprised me was people who were unsure on the topic of whether to visit or not. COME VISIT ME!!!!!!!! :) Seriously, anyone, anytime. Flick me a text or my parents and come! Your company is loved and adored. You don't have to stay for long or you can stay as long as you want! If I am too sick I will just say!

And bringing stuff! Do not feel you need to bring stuff! Just bring you, if you really want to bring something home baking is always a hit. My mother as much as i love her is no baker. but in all seriousness just bring yourself.

I hope that clears up the debate whether to come or not in your mind! :) and took your mind off my mushiness about how amazing the hobbits are!! 

The Question Of The Turd

Well... That sucked.

Walking the dog is sometimes not as pleasant as it sounds. It has been a rough week. It was strange though because when I first went into hospital I was fine, the chemo started and I was fine but I progressively got sicker and sicker.

I couldn't eat anything and I was having to be administered fluids through my hickman line for three days after my chemo had finished as I have to drink two litres of fluid at least a day, which means I am like a yoyo between bed and the toilet!!!

Those who visited me got very used to the frequent visits to the toilet and I must thank them for that. Visitors, whether they are young or old, close or not are great. I really appreciated everyone who came and saw me. Its a great distraction talking to people or in many cases listening to the conversation that surrounded me.

The other thing that has been awesome has been the amount of letters and cards and Facebook messages and texts of people constantly reminding me that they are there for me. It sounds weird but its easier doing this with people around you and being there for you.

Today, I went and got a wig from this amazing lady who lives in Northland. I went to her house and sat and chose my wig (and did some serious damage in the parental wallet) but what sort of struck me was how lucky I am.

Don't get me wrong I understand I have absolutely terrible luck to be the one person in the entire wellington region statistically to be diagnosed this year but I am lucky in the fact that I have amazing parents and friends and a support system which I would find hard to rival.

My mum has been allowed to take the rest of this year off to look after me. This is sooo fortunate. I am really lucky that we are able to do this. Thank you parents for not flunking out of uni and working hard!!

 This is really good for me because I have been relegated to a complete baby status this past week. In hospital I even had to have my mum help me have a shower. I was completely useless. I could not text, go on Facebook, read, even watch tv. I was a complete invalid.

I am really happy to be home and feeling better finally. I had to have a complete change of anti nausea drug regime from the first one I was on and it is now about a week since chemotherapy finished but I am feeling much better.

So now the question of the turd, I have gotten to the stage where I have to wonder whether I am actually still nauseous because of the chemo or nauseous because of the continuos drugs. Ten pills a day does not keep the doctor away.... unfortunately.

So the plan is to slowly ween myself off my drug habit. Today has now changed. You may observe this has now been written over two days so please excuse the disjointedness of some of it. New chains of thought and rah! Feeling nauseous is a good time to stop writing becasue the product is usually greatly sub par or as my kind boyfriend likes to say "its just obvious you are on something."

I am going into school for morning tea, to celebrate the valiant and determined swoting of my lovely hobbits for mocks this past week (and according to what we tell our parents months before that too...) I am really quite excited to see all of them.

My year group is actually tiny (less than 65 girls!!) and we all share this amazing common room called Hobby (the coolest common room ever as it is actually a house!!) and we all pretty much live here. It means that everyone knows everyone and everything about everyone which is occasionally a pain but in the long run these girls have been my classmates for 7 years now and I am sooo lucky to have them!!

They are all completely insane in their own glorious way and I HAVEN'T SEEN THEM ALL IN OVER A WEEK. and life feels odd because they are my constant stable, so as you can see from my massive rant. I am very excited to be going to see the girls today even if I will have to just lie on the couch and be smothered/smothering others with hugs.

On this note, I must get ready! What used to take me five minutes now takes me about an hour!!! Definitely back to baby status.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Day 2
Feeling: Pretty Average
Wish: To have a new roommate (she wet the bed last night and pees in a bed pan, need I say more)
I have now received nearly all of the chemo and they are just keeping me in under observation. Hearing the possible side effects is not an experience I recommend for anybody. I like ignorance I think.

The way my body is feeling is odd. I don't feel sick exactly. I have waves of nausea come and go. They are not very nice, its usually when I am standing up and moving around. I don't feel like eating much at all. I am lucky I am able to receive anti-nausea medicine and lots of it!!

I have a weird tingly sensation in my toes and fingers, which i have been told is a common side effect. Its like a non painful pins and needles. Its strange as I can't really describe it. I am tired all the time but that was expected.

I had mates over yesterday after school and as my roommate kindly left a present in her bed, we went to this amazing canteen room which was sooo good. We played rounds of video games! It was actually so grand because I managed to forget that I was in hospital! It was such a fun afternoon. People coming to visit actually make this sooo much more bearable.

My mother, of course! She must be a subject at some point even though I can imagine her *gosh* sigh already. Yesterday when we were getting told the side effects. She decided she obviously couldn't take me being the patient anymore and leaned back so fast and quick she banged her head against the wall! She is the biggest clutz out!

But I do love her, she has been great. She has been so strong and I really admire her for it. This is one of those situations you never want to be in. Your child has cancer. This must be a fear that crosses all new and old parents minds. I am so sorry that you have had to go through this but I love your strength.

I think I might have to stop now, the room is starting to smell a bit funky again.

If I get that decrepit, please shoot me.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Glory Of Hospitals

Ok. This is nowhere near as frightening as I thought it would be. I feel fine. All I am doing is peeing like there is no tomorrow!!! But then again I have only just started.

The list they read us of the possible sideffects of chemo sounded rather dire though!! Not something I really want to think about.

I felt soo lovely when I walked into the ward and there were some lovely flowers waiting for me from good family friends. Support makes this soooo much easier.

I have been put in a room with some lovely old doddery woman called Dolorous who has promptly excreted into her bed, joyous right!

I do, however, have the lovely pleasure of having visitors and in a place like this, I love visitors. I always have really but here more so as the closest person to my age is worrying more about menopause and less about uni next year.

I wonder if I will feel different later as I have only actually been getting chemo for less than an hour and just bucketloads of fluids before that. Oh well, whatever happens. Onwards march!!!

Blastoff In T, 10... 9... 8.... ......

I feel like a can of worms, the nerves have slowly started setting in all day. I now realize that in less than 12 hours I am going to be starting chemotherapy. This is the beginning, the beginning of my new life. My old life was full of childlike fun, and occasionally some work. Usually not. Today, my new life will begin, it will be full of white sterile floors, tubes and worst of all fear. 

The fear is the thing that nobody wants to face. Up until now I can pretend it's not really happening. I feel fine. This cancer is almost an abstract idea. One that was true but not. But now I have no choice. I have to face the fact it's real and I am about to get really sick.

There is one thing that nobody ever mentions. I may not survive this. There is a 70% chance I will but that still leaves a 30% chance that I won't. I don't want to think about what will happen if I am in that 30% and that is why nobody wants to mention it because nobody knows what they will do. 

Emma is forever saying that "I should stop trying to please people as you can't please everyone" but you know what! For once this may be an actual advantage because I have no intention whatsoever of making people sad. I am going to fight this with everything I have. This is cliched but I really just think it can "eat my shorts!!!" I am going nowhere. 

But this is a massive mountain, tomorrow is going to be the beginning of it. The doctors are going to try to kill me as much as they can without actually killing me... not sure my body is going to be very pleased  with this idea. 

But not just for one month or a couple of weeks, but for over a year I am going to be pushed as far as I can go. I am going to be run over with tractors, lawnmowers, be dragged behind the ferry and thrown from twenty foot buildings in the attempt to make me well. 

Its an odd concept as I don't feel sick, you see me and nothing seems wrong. I have tubes sticking out of me which are a bit sore and my knees not always happy with me. Apart from that I am a fit eighteen year old girl. All my tests say I am in good condition apart from one nasty dog bite.

That dog bite is going to go away. 

I am going to get better because this is my life and I intend to be here for a long time.  

Friday, 9 September 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is To Be Normal

The Hickman Line is a go! It is such a strange thing. I have had two cuts made. One is where the dangly bits come out. The suregon was actually awesome so there is no chance that it's going to be showing at either ball! I will like a look normal 18 year old. I really wish I was normal.... Though this means that I had a room of people looking at me topless for well over an hour...

The other slit is on the right side of my body and its just above the "clavicle." I was actually so impressed, my year 11 PE came in handy today!! I know what a clavicle is!!! I felt pretty smart when I didn't need him to explain what it was.

It's painful but strangely not where the dangly bits hang out but on the other side but its ok if i restrict movement of my upper body, so I was thinking mum and dad, its a bit too hard for me to do chores at the moment...

My family have actually been awesome throughout all of this. My brother is a little miffed still at how he only got one day of glory over the fact he tore his median nerve and tendon in my hand as I got told that it was likely I had cancer the next day... So sorry, better luck next time bro.

My mum was waiting for me after my surgery. Once I had come to back from the general (sort of) they wheeled me to see her, she was sooo happy to see me!! But then they had to start checking the incisions and all of a sudden she feels nauseated. So of course, being my mother she jumps onto my bed and is suddenly the patient. The nurse is fretting over her wanting to take her blood pressure.

That's the thing for me, I have to laugh at all this. I think I have developed a really black sort of humor but this is necessary because otherwise the only other thing I could do is cry because life is so unfair.

As soon as it was announced that the Rugby World Cup was going to be in New Zealand and I realized I was going to be 18, I have dreamed about it! When the tickets came out Dad brought 2 tickets to every game so my brother and I could go to about half each. I am a born and bred kiwi. I love my rugby. After the last rugby world cup I was soo disappointed I could not bring myself to watch another game for months. 

When I was watching the opening ceremony, originally I had planned on watching it with my friends in town. I had surgery today so I just watched it at home with my parents. As the opening ceremony was going on I realized I might not even be lucid enough to watch the final live on tv and I almost cried with the unfairness of it.

The thing you need to know about me is I don't cry. I have only cried twice because of this. Once was to my friend out of share frustration at the fact my parents would not tell me what was going on and the other time was to my dean.

My dean is one of the most amazing woman alive. She is strong and hilariously funny. All girls who have ever been in year 13 at QMC for the past years will understand. This woman is a living legend. She is wise, kind, understanding and listens to your point of view no matter what.

However, on the day I found out I decided to go back to school for the afternoon. As i was walking to Hobby (my common room) and I saw her and all the feelings racing round me resulted in tears leaking from my eyes without my permission. That was two weeks ago.

But I really hate this, I hate the fact I have to be strong. I hate that this is thrust on me. I have the unfairness of it.

So my wish list has now changed... I no longer wish for a perfect life. I wish for a normal one. Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Fruitloop Situation

So tomorrow I am having my hickman line. I have to be at the hospital at 7am, now this is purely ridiculous. What sane teenager is out of bed before 10? Most don't even realize the sun is shinning before midday. I think someone should create a system so the older you are, the earlier your surgery and go backwards from there.

It's weird because I have thinking about what is going to be happen next year. My cancerous status has almost become old news to many. This treatment is going to take well over a year and I wonder those who will be with me at the end of it because a year is a long time. People change and move on. They will begin new lives next year and set off into the world.

I wonder how many will keep in contact. This is a serious issue as I am absolutely useless at texting back, facebooking or emailing back. Any sort of reply may take hours, months, years!! If you are unlucky it might not even happen at all... Now this is not because I don't love you. One of my best mates said to me tonight "I like it when you don't reply, it reinforces the fact that I'm talking to Harriet Rowland ."

But I do appreciate every email, text, call and visit as this is my contact with the human world. As my friends know I am just one fruitloop away from being called insane. My support crowd is what gives me some perspective on the real world... and gossip! :)

But in all seriousness, friends are things that keep you going, the messages remind you that you are not getting left behind. The texts remind you of how loved you are. Facebook reminds you of the power of procrastination. The calls and visits keep you sane.

I do not intend on becoming some odd child whose life is cancer. I intend to be me until the end and I thank my supporting friends and family for not passing me that last fruitloop.

Monday, 5 September 2011

I Wish I Was Pregnant...

When the girls at my school found out something was wrong with me. They were usure as to what it was, many hypothesis as what aliment i suffered from flew around school. However, the most popular train of thought led the majority of girls to think I was probably pregnant. I wish that had been true...

Today has been soul shattering. I spent eight hours trawling around the hospital being prodded, pricked and even probed like some alien experiment. I had my blood taken four times, i became radioactive and got told I have have excellent hearing.

I wonder how these doctors and nurses look at me. Apart from almost fainting when they tried to rob my of my blood and a limp i show no obvious signs of being sick. I have no physical markers showing there is something insanely wrong with my body and I guess thats what is so odd. This was such a little thing. I thought I had tore a tendon. It never crossed my mind that I would have cancer.

Back to my train of thought, what would these doctors think when they see my chart? They must see millions of people going through the hospital everyday. Hospitals are strange things, the give you this false sense that the majority of people face life threatening illnesses.

I wonder if the people who live in the hospital feel like they are one of the privileged who are healthy. This would be an awesome way to view the world. This idea that everyone is facing these illnesses, however false, is often comforting to feel as if you are not alone. On the flip side, sometimes you feel more alone as you are no different to the multitude of people in this hospital.

But I am different. Many people try to be different with their alternative fashion statements or ideas. I am not different by choice, I am different because of this ridiculous thing growing inside of me. I never gave it permission to be there! I am in control of my body. I should decide what goes in and out. I want to believe I am in charge.

I am so unbelievably mad at cancer. I was doing well in school! I was getting above average marks. I had plans to go to Rhythm and Vines over summer and then go to Venture (a 10 day outdoor pursuit sort of camp in Tasmania), I was going to go to Otago next year and now.... my life is fighting this. I had no choice and that is the hardest part.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Dilema

It's a weird idea. I never thought my life would end up being like this but, strangely, in many ways i never could imagine my life after school. School is all i have ever known, it has been my life. Its such a large part of my life. I have been on this earth 18 years. I have attended school for the better two thirds of my life. The first third hardly counts because I was soo small!!! 

I remember last year there was this group on FaceBook that was "If the world ends in 2012, I've wasted my whole life in school... lovely..." At the time I had a chuckle but if my life was to end now I would have spent my entire life in school. I do not think this is fair. 

I have decided to live my life to the fullest (not that I already didn't! Ask anyone who took IB with me in year 12 and they shall tell you so). Things like this open your eyes to how much time you actually have on this earth and you need to appreciate the time you have and live in the present.

My dad would always tell me when I asked questions about what came next, "just live in the moment!" This used to frustrate me because I always wanted to know what I was doing!!! But, as usual, he was right! We should enjoy today and enjoy tomorrow when it comes. 

This is my roundabout way of explaining why I have not blogged for the past couple of days.

My leg is slowly coming right since the biopsy. I hope, by the time Scots ball comes around (in 11 days!!!) I should be back to how I was before the surgery. The balls are my escape. I am not the most girly of girls but I love balls. I love dressing up, whether it is as a cowboy or a pirate or a princess, I simply adore it.  I love the pretense, fantasy and magic around balls. This year I have gone two and I have another two to go. There is only one slight problem....

I am getting a Hickman line inserted on friday. This is for them to insert the chemotherapy through and any other injections, this is because it is important that the drugs go into the vein! When the doctors say they have antidote on hand... you really wonder whether they are just trying to kill you!! However, off topic as normal. The Hickman line. It's a central line that goes through my chest. How are you supposed to look good when you have a piece of plastic sticking out of your chest?!?

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Welcome Home

Home is most certainly where the heart is and my heart is in Wellington. When the plane slowly descended onto this great city of ours, I could not suppress the smile that jumped to my face. This smile only widened as i got off the plane and saw three of my amazing friends awaiting me at the gate. They made me realize how lucky I was in so many ways to have such amazing friends as the stream of them came to see me as I arrived home this afternoon.

Things like this make you realize who your great friends are, and those who are not. Today I heard about a girl who had broken down crying saying "my best friend has cancer." I was slightly bewildered by this as this girl I would consider an acquaintance, i don't think even has my cell phone number is suddenly calling me her "best friend." 

At first I thought this was slightly degrading, however, I had a wee chuckle but as this passed I realized something. This is a big deal for so many people I know. Nearly everyone I know has been effected by cancer, an aunt, an uncle, a family friend has suffered from it. The difference from me though is that I am a mere 18 years old, I am still at school, my life has barely begun. This scares people as it breaks the idea that teenagers are indestructible, we are every bit human as everyone else and this scares us.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Four In A Million

I am one of four people in every million that are diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Whenever the doctors come to see me they bring millions of them! I almost feel like I am some sort of exciting new toy, and i guess when you consider how rare this is, I am the doctors own personal sparkly toy.

Yesterday I had the biopsy, it was rather a strange experience, their was this man across the room waiting in the pre-op bay. He had nasty scabs all up and down his arms and was somebody who you would cross the road to avoid. I was then wheeled into the theatre, being wheeled is a strange feeling in itself. You are being pushed on your back while you are still but the world is moving around you. Its such an odd sensation. The nurse then gave me an injection and told me to breathe in and out of one of those masks and count...1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9....10.........

When i woke up, I was back in my room yet i was so not there! It felt like I was like I was sitting above my bed watching the conversations that surrounded me. I felt like I was becoming old. I could not stay awake, half way through a conversation my head would droop...... and...... and.......

I woke up early in the morning needing to pee, I had three nurses at 1:30 in the morning helping me get to the bathroom as i had to keep my leg straight as it hurt too much to bend. I had to have my nana toilet seat roll me into the bathroom where my nausea successfully made me throw up what little was left of my stomach contents. After more pain relief and anti-nausea, i went back to play with the faires...

I woke up later this morning feeling much better, the drugs had worn off and I was actually able to stomach some breakfast. Lunch was a different matter, it really looked like sick on a plate so father was kind and got me some sushi! :)

I found out my plan for the next two years of my life. I am going to have to get chemotherapy for the next 12 weeks then I shall have the tumor removed and part of my knee will need to be replaced, then I will have chemotherapy for another 6-12months.

I am coming back to Wellington tomorrow, this makes me sooo happy, it's lonely here. The flowers my friend Hannah sent me and the cards from my friends and family make it bearable, when they said I might stay here for the chemo, i almost broke down. I have accepted that I have cancer and that I need to fight it, but the idea of leaving my friends would be almost too hard as they are such a big part of my life and bring me sooo much happiness and always will.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Tomorrow Is When The War Begins

Tomorrow shall be the first day of the rest of my life. I am Harriet Rowland and tomorrow I shall start in my battle. The battle to beat my own personal dog.
Osteosarcoma. This is my mission and considering how many times my phone has gone off. I have a support crew that could fill a stadium.

Today, I went to school. This in itself is strange, not because I am some rebellious child and wag all the time. It is strange simply because its seems so unimportant and insignificant now. The things that really matter to me are my friends and family and spending as much time with them.

Today, I flew to Auckland. My parents and my brother fuss over me. I am in a private room (which I am told is a very good thing!!). However, the curtains are mustard and the toilet has a nana seat over it. Overall, I would give this accommodation a 3/10. It is odd at night though. Its not quiet as there are constant sounds, yet there is this airy quietness the permeates the whole hospital. I feel like I am trapped in an old folks home! The thing about being here (with no wifi!!!) is the isolation. The fact that I mentioned isolation means I have definitely been at school for far too long. I observe this room and the thing that I notice is the bed is alone in the centre of the room and if my life was indeed was like a movie, this shot would be examined as portraying isolation.

Today, I found out I might never ski again. This may not sound like much to some but skiing is one of the most important things to me. Its something I have done with my family for my entire life. Its one thing I am good at. It makes me happy. No. It makes me elated. Nothing beats the rush of that first drop or the wind slapping your face. On a side note, I might also become infertile.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Life Is Most Definitely Like A Roller Coaster

I don't know wether to laugh or cry when I think about the mess I am in. I don't know what is going to happen, whether i will grow old, whether i will graduate high school, university. Life wasn't supposed to be like this. I am seventeen years old, my biggest worry in life should be my parents won't give me enough money for ball dresses or stressing about due dates for homework. I should not be sitting here wondering whether I have cancer or not. I hate that the doctors won't tell me, my dad won't tell me. I want to believe that I am fine, but I have a tumor growing inside me and everyone is tiptoeing around me, smiling that same sad smile. They tell me they love me, but I don't understand what is going on. I want to be strong. I need to be strong. I try to smile and act nonchalant about it. Smile, laugh and act like it doesn't bother me. I can't focus. I just want to understand what is going to happen to me. On Monday, I was a normal teenager. I went to hospital because my knee was sore after skiing. I thought my ligament had torn... how wrong was I! I have a lesion on my left knee. I have since had two x-rays, a blood test (which I found out I hate! I don't think the nurse was impressed when i chucked into the basin sink) I have had a CT and a MRI and bone scan. It's my birthday on Friday, I am going to be 18. This was supposed to be the start of my adult life but I don't want to start it like this. I want to be healthy, not trying to figure out whether I can get into university if I will miss school. I just wish I had never gone to the doctor, I wish I was still ignorant.

I wrote this on Wednesday, a lot has changed since then...

I found out that I do have cancer, I have a tumor growing within the femur in my left knee. In some senses I don't think it really has hit me that I have cancer because I cannot stop laughing but I must admit the situation is hilarious!! I almost feel like my life is like a movie because my life is sooo overly dramatic, none of it feels real! In one week, my brother has cut his media nerve and tendon (the main ones to his left hand) and is now exhibiting THE CLAW! I then got told on Thursday I have cancer, Friday, ironically was Daffodil Day (The Cancer Societies flagship event) and my eighteenth birthday! If only my life had theme music. I wonder if my life is a movie how it ends...

My family likes to call having cancer like having a dog because as long as it stays in its yard its ok, when it starts digging up the bushes in the neighbors... not sooo much! I have started to tell some of my friends. This is easily one of the hardest things I have had to do. How do you say 'I have cancer' in a good or easy way. If anyone has any ideas please tell me as I am shocking at it!!! You watch people try to figure out if you are being serious, when they realize you are, you have to watch their emotions course across their faces. If they start crying, my heart breaks a little, i want to say sorry (and often do) because all I want to do is fix it. 

Tomorrow, I am going to Auckland to see a specialist. To find out more by doing a biopsy. This scares me as I don't know what they will find, or if I will like what they will find.