13 December 2001
Brilliant news today! Julia is in remission!
This means the cancer has virtually gone! We're all so happy and thankful
- not bad considering earlier in the year she was given a 10% chance of
survival. Michelle went with Julia to the hospital to take notes of what
the doctor was saying - because Julia can never remember what was said!
Mum and Dad and over the moon at the moment with this good news. Dad even
spent 10 minutes chatting to me on the phone!
12 December 2001
Julia is waiting for the results of her PET scan. This is the highly detailed
test that will let us know what's going on inside her body. It's taken
the doctors well over a week to analyse the results so we're praying for
22 November 2001
Julia had a brain scan today and the doctor said everything is fine. Her
blood count is good too so we're all happy. Julia has been going out every
night with friends and is having a good time. She deserves that and is
certainly making the most of her "good health". Yeah, I had
to put that in quotes to indicate "as healthy as can be under the
19 November 2001
Last week Julia was away in Spain on holiday. One minute she had an urge
to go away and two days later she'd caught a plane with a friend! I received
a text message saying she's having a great time and has been to two stag
parties! As you can tell, Julia is feeling well and we thank God that
she's enjoying life as she always had. Julia's brave face and amazing
spirit is sometimes deceptive - she's not out of the woods yet so please
keep her in your prayers.
20 October 2001
A PET scan has been booked for Julia in December. This is a very detailed
scan that takes up to 2 hours to complete and will give the doctors a
very clear picture on how Julia is doing.
13 October 2001
Julia was released from hospital on Thursday but went back in again on
Friday for a scan which was brought forwards by a week. This scan is to
find out what the cancer is up to and if it's gone down or spread. The
results, Julia was told, would be available next week. The doctor phoned
Julia last night to her surprise and said that he had to tell her the
results before the weekend. There has been a decrease in the amount
of cancer and the treatment she has received is working. They want to
scan her again in 3 months to find out if the treatment will continue
to work - the treatment is still working inside her right now, even though
the transplant and chemo was 8 weeks ago. We're so happy that this is
positive news, but Julia isn't counting her chickens just yet. Please
keep your fingers crossed and pray the effectiveness of the treatment
continues in this direction. Well done Julia, keep fighting it, girl!
9 October 2001
A higher than normal temperature and loss of appetite has brought Julia
back into Hammersmith hospital. She was told to go to A&E yesterday
and was waiting from 3pm to 8pm to be given a bed. After all that waiting
she wasn't given any treatment so she just went to sleep (but had a bad
night). The doctors want to monitor her for the next few days to make
sure that she doesn't have an infection (or that it goes away for good).
Last week Julia had her hickman line taken out so blood samples and treatments
need to be done via needles which Julia hates - as you can imagine. Please
don't buy her any food/sweets until she's got her appetite back which
we hope will be soon.
30 September 2001
Julia has spent the past 4 weeks at home going back to the hospital at
least twice a week for blood transfusions and platelets. On arriving back
from a day out in Brighton to visit our great aunts yesterday, there was
a message on the answerphone from the hospital saying they have found
an infection in Julia's latest blood test and she had to go to A&E
immediately. Julia went there today (and waited hours on a trolley) and
they finally said her hickman line needs to come out because it may be
harbouring the infection. It was late in the afternoon by then so they
decided she should come back tomorrow rather than stay there overnight
(Julia hates staying in hospital!). They haven't given her any antibiotics
yet so we just have to hope that whatever they do for her tomorrow catches
the infection in time before it gets worse.
2 September 2001
It's been touch and go over the past few days because Julia's count has
been going up and down. The good news is that they're letting her out
today! She'll have to watch herself very carefully for the next couple
of weeks. It's up to all of Julia's friends and family to make sure she
doesn't go out of the house, especially to pubs or anywhere there is a
crowd of people as she is many times more susceptible to catching germs
than the average person. Thanks to everyone for their support. Julia will
be scanned in a week or four (?) so we'll keep our fingers crossed for
29 August 2001
Julia has this to say today:
"I got a day release yesterday to go to my Grandma's funeral which
was a nice surprise for people. When everyone left the house to go to
the funeral I raided the fridge and had my first meal in 10 days! Most
of my close friends came to pay their respects which really pleased me
and mum. I was really happy to see my great aunts from Brighton, they're
the coolest! Yeah, older people can be cool too! I want to thank Claire
for switching off the dishwasher during prayers. I'm trying to be really
good now now because I might be able to get out by Monday - these 4 walls
are driving me mad! I don't hate anyone today, I'm actually in quite a
good mood and love people (especially good looking ones) and animals (especially
good looking ones)." Oops, editing error - on purpose of course!
25 August 2001
Julia insisted that I put this message up on her site: "I'm fed up
with people! I'm having a 'I hate people day'!" Sorry everyone, Julia
is annoyed with people who don't read messages on this site and still
phone her up at the hospital. I know you all care, but she says she can
only take a certain amount of "how are you feeling today?" questions
before blowing her lid. Other than that, she's feeling a little better
today. Please don't take any of this personally, she's just very fed up
and frustrated at the moment.
24 August 2001
Dad and I visited Julia today to break the news about Grandma Hannah (see
yesterday's update). She took it worse than we thought so we stayed with
her for a while. Julia's breathing has got slightly better which is the
good news. She's allowed outside of her room now but doesn't have the
strength to wonder far and still has pain. Please continue to send letters
or cards via mum and dad and restrain from phoning her until she's ready
to talk to people again. Thank you everyone for your support.
23 August 2001
I'm very sad to say that our Grandma Hannah (Susan's mum) passed
away at about 9pm. She had a major stroke a week ago and didn't quite
regain consciousness. Julia had this brilliant idea of taking familiar
objects to the hospital to place into Grandma's hand. She responded to
a couple of objects and moved her hand to feel them. She even opened her
eyes for a couple of seconds. We thought she was going to make progress,
but that never happened. She was 87 years old. We all love her so much
and will never forget her, she was the perfect grandmother. It would be
impossible for Julia or I to think of anything we could have changed about
her. Our consoling thought is that she wasn't in pain and at last can
be together again with Grandpa Jack after 11 years apart.
22 August 2001
Unfortunately Julia hasn't improved and is still very uncomfortable and
has breathing difficulties. She's being given blood transfusions and platelets
but as far as I'm aware they haven't treated her for water on the lungs
yet, I'll have to ask what they're doing about this next time I speak
to her. Julia sends a big thank you to Keith and Mary for the pooing
cow, Julia thought it was very funny! She asks all of her friends not
to phone or visit her until she's improved. She's very frustrated and
short tempered so please don't call her. It's also very difficult for
her to answer the phone due to the pain she is suffering in her chest
and upper body. If you wan to let her know you're thinking of her please
send a card to mum & dad who will pass it on. Julia likes cards, especially
funny or rude ones! Thank you for understanding.
20 August 2001
Julia hasn't had a good few days. Last week her shoulder swelled up and
this weekend she's had breathing difficulties. Her eyes are red and swollen
and the doctors think she has water on the lungs and also an infection
on her Hickman line. She's very tired and uncomfortable. They scanned
her today and hope to have some results soon.
16 August 2001
Julia is still in hospital and is doing okay. We expect her to be there
for another 2 weeks. Thanks to everyone who's visited or called her or
bought her a gift. It's best not to buy her chocolate because she can't
eat it at the moment and there are certain rules covering what foods she
can eat, so please check first. Sorry I haven't updated this page for
a week but there wasn't really any news. Julia seems to be coping better
this time around. Oh, her hair started falling out so she took a pair
of clippers to it and she's hairless again. It grew back really nicely
9 August 2001
Nothing special to report today. Julia is doing okay. Dad is making her
Breville toasted sandwiches every day. He's also making them for her visitors
and all of the doctors and nurses! I think he likes his role as chief
toasted sandwich maker!
6 August 2001
Julia had her second stem cell transplant today. It went well so now we
have to wait several weeks to see how Julia does. The next 3 weeks will
be very critical for her as her immune system goes down to zero (literally)
she will be in isolation soon and susceptable to the slightest germs.
We took her out to Pizza Express on Sunday for a pre-transplant lunch.
The doctors said it would be okay providing we took her back in the afternoon.
She was very good - we didn't have to handcuff her!
31 July 2001
Julia went back to Hammersmith Hospital on Monday to begin chemotherapy
in preparation for her second stem cell transplant. Just as her hair is
growing back she will have to see it go again. At least she can enjoy
it for a few more weeks. Julia welcomes your phone calls and text message
at the moment because she's bored. If you have any good videos or can
spare 20 minutes to brighten up her day she'd be pleased to see you, but
you must call and ask if she wants visitors first. Thanks!
28 June 2001
Good news. Julia's doctor has confirmed that the cancer has shrunk to
half the size it was before. Although this hasn't been a cure (as there
is no cure for cancer), it shows that the transplant had a positive effect
so a second transplant should also produce positive results. There may
be lasting side effects of going ahead with a second transplant but Julia
is a brave girl and is willing to go for it.
22 June 2001
Julia had an imporant scan at the hospital on Wednesday. The results will
be available on Monday, but today the doctor called Julia to say that
his initial impression is positive. There appears to be an improvment,
but we won't know by how much until Monday. The doctor will go ahead and
schedule a second stem cell transplant for her within the next 4 weeks.
Well done Julia! So far so good. Perhaps all those vodka jellies helped?
10 June 2001
Julia's School Party was excellent! Everyone dressed up in school uniform
and joined in the the games and ate jelly and ice cream! Thanks to everyone
who came, Julia was thrilled to see you all enjoying yourselves. Expect
some photos to appear here soon.
9 June 2001
It's Julia's 26th birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We went out for lunch
to celebrate and she's having a party tomorrow.
7 June 2001
They let Julia out of hospital today.
6 June 2001
Julia is staying in hospital for another night for observation. Doctors
think she may have got an infection, but they're not sure so they're just
being cautious. Julia feels okay though.
5 June 2001
Sorry there hadn't been an update for a while but Julia had been at home
and keeping well. In recent days she felt very tired and she suspected
she needed another blood transfusion. No one at Hammersmith would help
her when she phoned (the cancer ward said she's nothing to do with them
anymore and haematology told her to go to A&E) but she managed to
persuade them to let her have a blood test. She sat waiting in the hospital
for 5 hours for a simple blood test and was then told that they won't
give her a transfusion. Julia then contacted Northwick Park hospital who
managed to find a bed for her tonight where she is currently receiving
a transfusion. The staff at Northwick Park are fantastic. Apart from that
Julia is very lively and full of smiles and mischief.
Julia made a new friend when she was Hammersmith a couple of weeks ago.
Melissa had Leukaemia and very sadly she passed away the other day. Melissa
had tried 3 transplants but unfortunately they didn't work. Julia had
spent some time with her while in hospital talking on the telephone. Julia
brought some happiness to Melissa in her final weeks and hours with her
humour and smiles. We are all very sorry about what happened to Melissa
and our thoughts are with her family and friends. God bless you, Melissa,
now you are at peace. x x x
30 May 2001
Julia is behaving like she used to - normal in her book, a bit crazy in
everyone else's! ;-) Her scan has been scheduled for late June, so please
keep your fingers crossed for her. I still think it's strange or amazing
how she can be in isolation one day and two days later she's out by herself
shopping! Only Julia I tell you, only Julia! :-)
22 May 2001
Just to prove there are kind-hearted strangers out there in the big bad
world, Julia had a taxi ride today and chatted to the driver about how
she is going to buy some TVs for the other cancer patients in the hospital.
On reaching her destination the driver gave Julia a handful of money to
buy a colour TV for the hospital! Later, Julia visited an electrical store
to buy 2 TVs with built-in VCRs. They said they can order them for next
week. Later they phoned Julia to say they made a mistake and they won't
have any at all, but if she buys 3 TVs they will give her 3 VCRs for free!
So that's what she did! (Please note we're not asking anyone to give money,
this is just a simple story Julia told me which warmed my heart).
20 May 2001
Julia was released from hospital this afternoon
and sent home! Actually she was asked to move back to a shared
room with 3 strangers but she persuaded the doctor to let her go home.
She has made a very quick recovery from the treatment which has totally
surprised the doctors. We don't know what's happened to the cancer until
she gets scanned which is obviously our main concern. The doctor wants
to wait a while until they schedule a scan but from past experience Julia's
cancer is resilient and grows back quickly. It's important to get the
scan done as soon as possible to show if the treatment has been effective
otherwise if we wait several weeks the cancer could grow back and the
doctors would conclude that the treatment had no effect on the cancer.
Julia is not allowed out of the house and is still susceptible to germs
so she won't be clubbing or pubbing just yet!
This is another message from Julia: Hi everyone! I've been kept been very
busy in solidary confinement with some great company from some great friends.
Dad has gone a bit mad and bought more helium balloons, I'm just waiting
for them to start leaking then I'll start to sound like a choir boy. I'm
really missing the outside world. If anyone can smuggle in a bag of fresh
air I'd really appreaciate it. Dad's feeding me well. I'm living off Marks
& Spensor's take-away food. Strangely enough I was assigned a dietition
because they expected me to lose 2 to 3 stone during the experience, but
of course I do things differently. I've gained 3 lbs this week!
I'd like to say hello to Linda & family in Ohiho. Thank you very
much for my card - it's been amusing everybody. I send you a big hug and
my love. Rona, I ope you're still coming over because I really miss you
and I send you and your family a big hug too. Auntie Beyna, thank you
very much for my pressies. They've brightened up my room and made me smile.
Big hugs and love! Begonia, thank you so much for asking after me. I do
miss you and would love to see you again and I send you and your family
all my love and have a wonderful time un Euro Disney.
This is a message to everyone from Julia: Hi guys! Everything is really
cool at Hammersmith. The doctors are pleasantly surprised by my well-being
although they insist I will get an infection while I'm in isolation. I
told them "bugger that!" I don't have time for an infection!
For those of you that haven't seen my room, I've called it "my little
council flat". For those who have seen it you know why I've called
it that! I haven't made any friends from Wormwood Scrubs next door (it's
a prison!) but I'm trying my charms on the workmen below out of my window.
Thank you for all your messages, cars, phone calls, etc, and I look forward
to seeing you all soon. I send everyone an individual big hug. If you
have any messages for me then email them to Gary please.
4 May 2001
I went to see Julia on Thursday night after her transplant and she was
doing really well. The doctors warned her that her appetite would drop
and she'd lose 2-3 stone in weight but she's actually been very hungry
and hasn't lost any weight which is good. The doctors are surprised at
how well she is doing, she really is quite inspirational. It won't be
for another few weeks until we know how effective this proceedure is,
although she's not out of the worst yet as the chemo is still yet to take
effect. (It's taking its time which concerns me as it's not normal to
be so well after such an intensive treatment). With luck and Julia's fighting
spirit she'll see this through.
2 May 2001
Julia is having her transplant on Thursday to put the good cells back
into her body as she has finished the chemo therapy for now. Please can
you refrain from calling her for now as this is a crucial time for Julia
as she doesn't know how she is going to react to the transplant. Julia
says that she wishes with all her heart that she can speak to friends
over the next few days, but she can't guarantee it. She wishes to thank
all her friends and family for their support and enthusiasm and she wants
you to send her some dirty cards! Julia says Hammersmth holds high standards
for extremely fit doctors. Unfortunately they're all married (she's checked!).
A special "hi" and hugs goes out to Rona & family from Julia.
27 Apr 2001
I went to see Julia today and she has her own isolated room at Hammersmith.
It's a bit like a hotel room with TV, video, fridge, and en-suite bathroom.
She's been on intensive chemo for 2 days now and remains chirpy, well,
and very upbeat. Dad was there too and we had a good laugh with Julia
making the most jokes and pulling funny faces as she does! She had the
results of the tests they did last week to find out why she had a seizure.
The MRI scan was negative, the lumber puncture was negative and the X-rays
were negative. Julia said to the doctor "so does that mean the cancer
has cleared up?" Julia's sick sense of humour is a good sign that
she's doing okay, but we get the feeling that some staff take Julia seriously
as a twisted sense of juvenile humour is the last thing you'd expect from
a cancer patient. That's my girl! :-)
23 Apr 2001
Julia saw a lot of her friends at the weekend which made her very happy.
Now she's back at Hammersmith and will be there for the next 4 to 6 weeks.
She's feeling well and is in good spirit. The high dose therapy starts
on Wednesday so please keep your fingers crossed and think good thoughts
20 Apr 2001
Still at Hammersmith, Julia is feeling quite well today. She even got
dressed to come to the restaurant for a proper meal. They're letting her
out on Saturday until Sunday evening when she must return for treatment
to start the following day. She can't be let out for too long otherwise
they'll give her bed away to someone else. If you want to call Julia then
you will have a small window to do so this weekend - if she's not sleeping
- but please keep your call short as she had bad trouble sleeping at the
17 Apr 2001
Sorry for the delay with this update. The problem Julia had last week
was worse than I was told. I'm not sure of the exact details (test results
pending) but Julia had to be resuscitated. The good news is that Julia
recovered and a few days afterwards she was much better. Today she was
walking freely between her hospital bed and the day-room and was fairly
chatty and in good spirits. She says it's strange but she feels much better
now than she did before her close brush last week. The doctors want to
bring her high dose therapy treatment forward to commence on Monday.
11 Apr 2001
Julia had a bad day yesterday when she went into Hammersmith Hospital
as a day patient and ended up as an in-patient. Julia had a blackout and
a small fit so they had to keep her in for tests. They scanned her to
try to find out what the problem is. At the moment she's "comfortable"
but I'll report back as soon as there's any news. Please try not to phone
mum or dad as they are exhausted with all the driving to Hammersmith,
the worrying and keeping a full time job (or 2 in my dad's case!). You
are welcome to call me instead. Thanks.
5 Apr 2001
Yesterday Julia went to interview her new doctor at Hammersmith Hospital.
He's a very nice man and carefully explained everthing so even dad could
understand it. It came down to 3 options for treatment:
1) Do nothing (some patients say they have had enough by this stage)
2) Try more chemo using different drugs
3) High Dose Therapy with stem cell transplant
The doctor said option 3 was the best but it does carry risks, especially
at a point where Julia's immune system hits zero and becomes open to any
infection which could become fatal. He gave Julia a 25% chance of a successful
treatment which is 5% higher than the previous doctor gave. Julia is going
in on Tue/Wed as a day patient to have her cells harvested and frozen.
The high dose chemo will begin a week later.
30 Mar 2001
Hoorah! Julia is at home now, but she hasn't been let off lightly. The
doctors gave her several bags of medicine and syringes which she and a
district nurse must regularly administrate. Julia is seeing her new doctor
at Hammersmith on Wednesday and will probably become an in-patient a week
28 Mar 2001
Julia is currently in Northwick Park Hospital being prepared for a stem
cell transplant next week at Hammersmith. This process involves giving
her more chemo and then removing stem cells through a machine which are
then frozen. She's then given an extremely high dose of chemo which will
destroy virtually all white cells, bone marrow, and hopefully the cancer
cells. At this point she will be highly prone to infection. Her stem cells
will then be returned to her where they should regrow and new white cells
and marrow will be produced.
22 Mar 2001
Julia started having really bad headaches at the weekend and was re-admitted
to hospital on Wednesday. I saw her last night and she wanted me to put
a message on the website saying "The bitch is back in Byrd!".
Byrd being the name of the hospital ward. The latest scan is not good
and shows there is no change in the cancer despite an intensive run of
chemo a couple of weeks ago. The doctors said the only chance is an extreme
dose of chemo but they need to check that her kidneys are up to it first.
More news as I get it...
16 Mar 2001
Julia has made a remarkable recovery. Her stigma appears to have gone
and she's walking without crutches - even though a doctor remarked it
was more like waddling! Her appetite is in full swing, but she's gone
off chocolate because the drugs have left a bitter taste in her mouth.
She has another week at home and then she's back on chemo, but the doctors
hope they can do a small course this time around depending on the scan
she's having next week.
11 Mar 2001
Good news! Julia was let out of hospital on Friday and is now recovering
from the mystery brain disease at home. She needs crutches to help her
move about and gets tired by doing the most simple of tasks. If she's
up to continueing the cancer treatment the doctors will probaly ask her
to come back in next week. Although Julia is at home please don't bombard
her with phone calls. She's not taking any visitors so please don't pop
in on the off chance. Sorry to sound rude, but Julia needs space and peace
in order to recover.
8 Mar 2001
Julia was a little more chatty today and I stayed for about an hour before
she got tired (of me?). They put the Hickman line back in the same place
as the old one which was strange because even the doctors originally said
not to put it back in the same place because of a risk of re-infection.
She's going for physiotherapy every morning to help her walk again and
get her co-ordination back. I told her that having a lack of co-ordination
isn't that bad - after all, I''ve muddled through with my poor sense of
fashion and it's done me no harm! :-)
6 Mar 2001
Julia had a new Hickman line put in today. She's not in any pain as the
anaesthetic seems to be more potent while Julia is weak. Before she was
ill it took an elephant dart to knock her out! Hopefully they'll let her
out at the weekend for a few days.
3 Mar 2001
I bought a hot French bread pizza to the hospital at Julia's request
and before I could get the knife and fork out of the bag she
had grabbed the
pizza and dug in using her fingers! I'm not sure if this is an accurate
way to benchmark her recovery from the mystery virus, but I
thrilled. She says the doctors confirmed it was a brain disease but they
don't know what it was exactly, but they think it's going away
looks like there won't be any long lasting damage. They're going to attach
a new hickman line in a few days. (That's the tube that fits
chest for taking and delivering chemo, blood samples, and other fluids).
2 Mar 2001
I wasn't able to visit Julia tonight but mum and dad told me she was doing
okay. She's still not up to receiving phone calls or visitors so please
hold back on contacting her for a little while longer. If you want to
send flowers then please don't send them to the hospital as Julia is in
the infectious diseases ward which disallows flowers. Sorry, but rules
28 Feb 2001
Things are looking better. Julia ate two small helpings of dad's cheesy
mash potato for dinner and kept it all down! She's even watching TV now
which is another promising sign of improvement. She had another lumber
puncture today - this is when the doctor takes a sample of spinal fluid
- ouch! I asked her if she had a message for your friends reading this
and she says "Merry Christmas! I look forward to going to everyone's
wedding engagement party. No, I'm not disillusional, I'm just getting
back to normal."
27 Feb 2001
As if by magic Julia seemed a lot chirpier today. Okay, she's a thousand
miles away from being her old self but this was a noticable improvement.
She made some jokes and even laughed which was rewarding for mum, dad
and me (Gary) to see. At least she's going in the right direction now.
I just hope it's a perminant improvement. The doctors still don't know
what kind of infection she has - 3 weeks after she reported it. Julia
sends her love to everyone who reads this on the Internet.
Symptoms: Sore eyes, poor co-ordination, sweating, poor appetite, sore
legs. This is not related to the cancer, but to a mystery virus which
the doctors were unable to identify. The sore legs are from being stuck
in bed for over 2 weeks now.
24 Feb 2001
A couple of weeks ago Julia started getting really bad headaches and
she's been in hospital since then. The doctor's have no idea
what this mystery
illness can be. They've tried all kinds of tests (lumber puncture for
one) and sent slides and samples away to other doctors and labs
the country, but so far no one knows what this virus is. It has nothing
to do with the cancer but at the moment it's really taking it's
poor Julia. She's crying and her spark has gone out. We've never felt
this low. She's very sensitive to light so the curtains are always
drawn and the lights never go on. She has double vision and can't
stand noise either. We have to whisper or not talk at all.
|Summer 2000 - This is the start of Julia's story
Please read this first and then continue the story from the diary entry just
above this one. The events written in this entry summarise what happened before
this website was created and before she was diagnosed. The finer details have
been omitted as it would take too long to read!
Julia had always had good health. She was very active and loved singing, dancing,
and occassionally appeared in theatre productions. Julia was working for a PR
company in London. It was very stressful for various reasons and Julia had never
experienced this level of pressure or unhappiness in her life before. Several
months into the job she started coughing a lot. It soon become a nasty hacking
that didn't want to go away, it just got worse. She didn't want to go to the
doctor because, well, she's a bit of a battle-axe in character and would rather
ignore things like coughs and colds and just get on with things. It wasn't until
she noticed a lump in her neck that she realised it may be a little more than
just an ordinary cough.
Thankfully she went to the doctor's who referred her to our local hostpital for
some tests. She had a biopsy to remove the lump and it was soon confirmed that
she had cancer - Hodgkin's Disease - at it was at the rather late stage of 3b.
The news was a major shock for everyone. Julia has always been an unstoppable
character and it seemed nothing could ever stand in her way. Suddenly it was
like a solid steel door had slammed closed and the room was plunged into darkness.
We couldn't see further than what we had just been told and we couldn't help
think the worse. My dad never cries and it was a sign of our pain, disbelief,
and uncertainty when we saw him shed a tear.
Julia started chemotherapy treatments at Northwick Park hostpital. There's a
85% chance that this would be successful. She was told that she may lose some
hair but that didn't happen at any point during the course of the treatment.
A scan at the end showed that unfortunately there had been no improvement so
it was decided to give her a different chemo treatment and increase the dosage.
She had her hair cut short as the doctors said this time she would definately
lose her hair. As the dosage was stronger and she needed to be on various drips
for long periods of time they had to keep her in hospital. Lots of friends visited
her over the next couple of weeks. I don't think there was a moment I was there
when at least one of her friends wasn't! As a side note it's interesting to see
who your real friends are as one of her "best" friends didn't bother
visiting. On the flip side, a few people who Julia didn't see much were suddenly
there for her giving moral support and those important little visits just to
Anyway, after a series of treatments Julia was allowed home. To continue
please travel up the page and read the entry above. This is only the start
of her story!
A Theory on Cancer
After a lot of research on the Internet I developed a theory
as to why Julia, a strong and active girl, would
develop cancer. I think everyone has the potential
to develop cancer and
quite often cancerous
cells appear in the body, but thanks to a functioning
immune system the body quickly rids itself from frequent
manifestations of rogue
cells. When a person is placed under a lot of stress
for a period of time their immune system weakens.
Unhappiness can also weaken the immune system
and it got to a point where the body could no longer
defend itself from new cancerous cells. As they multiplied
so too did the requirements
for the immune system to deal with the advancement
of the cancer.
I also think that the first symptom
- the hacking cough - was brought
about by the immune system not being available
to fight a simple cough because it was too
busy fighting the main battle with the cancerous
cells. My unprofessional advice to anyone
worried about the potential of getting cancer
is to limit the amount of stress in your
life. Also try to enjoy life as much as you
can. Not just because it's so precious and
you're only on Earth for a relatively very short
time, but because simply being happy can benefit
your immune system.