Living in hospital
I do not remember everything, which I guess I am grateful for but there are parts of my cancer journey that I will never forget such as living in hospital for a very long time and missing at least a year of school but also being surrounded by the most amazing doctors and nurses who looked after me and made me better. I have two rag dolls still to this day who lived in hospital with me and I named them after two nurses at the Royal London Hospital – Becky and Kate.
First of all I had a Hickman line inserted just under my arm which sat in a ‘wiggly bag’ when it was not being used. I was not allowed to get the tubes wet when I had a bath so they would be wrapped in a sandwich bag. I also had to have my dressing for this changed weekly and I would scream the place down because it stung me so much under my arm where the tube was inserted.
I remember they always gave me an anaesthetic which they called ‘magic milk’ through this Hickman line but for some reason it always gave me a stinging feeling in my chest and again I would scream the hospital down so they ended up giving me the gas masks to put me to sleep. This anaesthetic was given to me because I often had to have a lumbar puncture and bone marrow test which I had to be put to sleep for. One of the worst things I actually remember is how sick the anaesthetic made me – I used to be sick for nearly the whole day after.
The funniest part is I would sit on my mums lap and breathe through this mask and although I knew I would eventually fall to sleep, I tried my hardest to stay awake because I never wanted it to happen.