Losing hair and weight
After 10 days of being extremely ill, I was able to get out of the bed with help. I still felt a bit groggy but able to stand up for a little while.
My hair had started to fall out – after only two lots of chemo. I knew it was going to happen and when I realised, I cried. However, on this day, probably still a little drugged up from the morphine, I stood in my little bathroom and brushed through my hair.
It was falling out in clumps; I brushed until no more would come out. It was weird. I was still barely eating so the doctors decided I needed a feeding tube. I was so unhappy because that morning I had eaten a bowl of cereal.
I pleaded with the doctors not to have it, but they insisted. They said if I continued to feed myself, and be fed at night through this tube, they would think about letting me out for Christmas. It was pure bribery, but it worked. I began getting stronger and getting out of bed more. My muscles were strengthening and I was determined not to be in hospital when I should be opening presents at home.
There was one last thing I had to get through: the infection in my arm was getting worse and needed an operation. This went smoothly but meant I had a huge bandage around my arm. It didn’t matter; all I cared about was being at home.
I got out of hospital at lunchtime on Christmas Eve. My mum took me shopping for clothes; I had lost so much weight that none of mine fitted any more. It was nice to be out and free. It was the best Christmas I have ever had.
I had to go back into hospital on 29 December, which I was dreading. I would spend New Year’s Eve in bed. I was quite down but my parents and friends did whatever they could to try to cheer me up. I was allowed home every other weekend. This continued until May.