12 Apr 2013

Updates, updates and more updates

Hello strangers! Firstly I am so sorry for my lack of blogging but I have had a very busy couple of weeks! I also apologise for the length of this blog post but I have much to say. As most of you will know I had round five of the toxic nasties just over two weeks ago. Maundy Thursday was spent in the hospital being pumped full of the toxic nasties, having previously spent the day before ruining Madre's Birthday having a Herceptin loading dose. I spent the next 6 days in bed recovering and being very demanding (i'm blaming the steroids). I did get some beautiful flowers on Easter Sunday which made me feel much brighter...
By Tuesday I was starting to feel a bit better.
At 6 am on Wednesday I awoke in agony with a serious case of back pain and a temperature and was taken to hospital in an ambulance. It also just so happened to be my younger sisters 21st birthday. (I'm so sorry if I ruined your day Noo Nai). The second birthday I, sorry I mean Kenneth, ruined in one week.

Neutropenic sepsis.

The two words I had dreaded hearing since beginning chemotherapy back on the 4th of January. When I knew that I needed to have chemo I made a promise to myself that I would do everything I could to avoid spending a night in hospital. You see I spent enough time in hospital last year and I go so often for appointments and things that quite frankly I really like to spend as little time there as possible. If I am honest I truly believed I was invincible and that I wouldn't break this promise. This turned out not to be the case. I am not actually super-woman *dreams shattered.
I also genuinely thought that I wouldn't ever be neutropenic (when you don't have enough white blood cells) because I have a magical injection 24 hrs post chemo which is supposed to raise my blood counts and stop the dreaded neutopenia setting in. After LOTS of blood tests, Xrays and some emergency IV antibiotics I was told by doctors that as well as being neutropenic I also had a suspected kidney infection.

Here I am after being admitted in isolation
I would just like to say that even when i'm mega poorly I still manage a good pout!
My Grandma and Snoop Doggy Rob came to visit me which did help me to feel better. Snoop Doggy Rob also bought me some pretty cool presents...
This is supposed to be a lucky charm. (It also looks weirdly like my sister which made me smile, especially as it was her birthday and so she couldn't be there, she looks ready to fight any naughty infections!)
I didn't know whether to be offended by his choice of book?!?

They eventually let me out on Friday night with some antibiotics and a whole lot of other drugs to take home. I then went straight to Snoop Doggy Rob's house to see him and celebrate (allbeit belatedly) Naomi's birthday! On Saturday night she had a couple of friends over and we had what would have been a lovely birthday meal (complete with an amazing chocolate birthday cake cooked by Jane). I say what would have been, because towards the end of the meal I had a nose bleed and coughed up the world's biggest blood clot. Lovely. I telephoned Brent ward back in Plymouth and asked what to do and they told me to go to A and E. So poor Snoop Doggy Rob had to take me at 11.30 pm. A and E on a Saturday night in Yeovil is not fun. They took some bloods and discovered I had another temperature. Great. Just as Snoop Doggy Rob was about to fall off his little chair because he was so tired the doctor came in. He said my bloods showed that I still had an infection (now I had too many white cells) and so he changed my antibiotics and I got to go home.

Sunday afternoon and my temperature spiked at 38.5 again and so by 6pm I was back in Plymouth hospital. They kept me in for 2 more nights (3 days) whilst they searched to find where my infection was and put me back on IV antibiotics, fluids etc. They told me I had contracted a secondary infection and suspected it was a lower respiratory infection, but couldn't be sure. The infection could also be in my spine.

Whilst I was in hospital my lovely friends Rhiannon and Caitlin came to visit..

They were forced to wear these sexy outfits! But I also want to add that they didn't complain.
I spent some time doing a lot of these..

AND one of my wonderful friends Mummy's (Heidi, who happens to work at the hospital) bought me possibly the best pick me up present ever..

The latest edition of Vogue always makes me happy (as does chocolate).

Photo messages like these also cheered me up...

This is one of my best friends Izzy and her amazing mummy
Some of my favourite carers Lucy and Jane
My friends Alex and Kathy B who sent me this photo all the way from Australia

So after 7 days of visiting the hospital I am pleased to announce that I am now at home still on antibiotics but beginning to feel better. I was looked after by some wonderful nurses and met some lovely other patients. On my last night in hospital I went out with a bang. *warning gore alert I was finally diconnected from my drip (which I named Terrance) and so went for a shower. Whilst in the shower I got a pretty nasty nosebleed and had to call for help. In desperation I grabbed the nearest thing to me to try and stop the flow. I stupidly grabbed my towel. Not my hand towel, my actual bath towel. This left me with just my tiny hand towel to try and cover my modesty. When a male nurse answered my buzzer I nearly died. He opened the door to find a semi naked Laura with blood all over her face, hands and chest, covered only at the front with a hand towel held up with a forearm, holding a blood soaked towel to her face. Credit where credit is due he didn't even flinch! When I eventually got back to my bed, the other patients in my bay must of been petrified of me (the weird blood covered girl who came back from her shower more dirty than ever). I scared them even more when I had to have my cannula replaced and that bled everywhere too. Yuck! Anyway I am out now and I arrived home to more lovely presents.

I have worn my onesie (present from Alex) and pyjamas a lot of the time over the last 2 weeks.

But when I did finally get dressed, this is what I wore...

Since being out of hospital I can't say I have been up to my usual tricks. I have still been pretty tired (I now know the real meaning of fatigue). Visiting my lovely friends the Palmers whilst they are in Salcombe on holiday has possibly been the highlight of my week so far. Their little girl Daisy suffers from CIPs and at just nine years old, is one of the bravest people I know. To find out more please click here.
This is Bella and Daisy doing some colouring
My attempt
I will end this post with some GREAT news. After seeing my oncologist yesterday (who made me realise how much I prefer him to the other doctors that have been covering him whilst he has been off sick) I can report that Kenneth is shrinking so much he could barely find him. WOOOHOOO! Please feel free to do one of the following
  • a happy dance
  • a very loud woop woop
  • a fist pump
  • smile
Love you long time. X


  1. Anonymous12.4.13

    First time I have seen your blog and must say you are one remarkable woman !
    Your posts are brilliant and so happy to hear that Kenneth is shrinking away out of your life !!
    You are a real fighter !
    Keep strong and fight on !!

  2. Congratulations on Kenneth's shrinkage. And I hope you don't think it wrong of me to have laughed at your bloody shower incident - I hope lots of people are reading your blog and taking inspiration from the way you're dealing with things!

  3. Hi Laura, although I don't know you, I have the biggest smile on my face at your good news about Kenneth. Fantastic news!

  4. I am so sorry you have been through a rough time recently but so PLEASED that Kenneth is in retreat - that has to make all the drugs and their side effects worth while :-)

    You are amazing to have found the time and energy to bake your Madre a birthday cake. She must be overwhelmed to have such a thoughtful daughter.

    I feel like I know you (even though I don't) so please don't mind if I give you a great big HUG.

    PS My teenaged daughter calls me Madre too (and it's what my granny called her mother) so it seems like a great name to me. She does not however call her father Snoop Doggy Rob. I expect partly as he is not called Rob....

    Take care of yourself, Sweetheart x