Annie May Update

This page is to keep friends and family updated on the progress of Annie May.

Will this work or am I wasting my time?

After wasting an hour last night updating and then having what I’d written disappear twice I’m hoping I’ll have more success today!

We had a good time yesterday watching the Olympic flame come through Penrith. Annie had got herself nicely excited running around the garden in the afternoon with her Olympic flame that she made at hospital last week. The real flame was a bit less exciting when it flashed by but the build up and atmosphere in town was fun.

Mam came with me and Annie to Newcastle today. Just a check-up with nothing more traumatic than a finger prick to check blood counts. As she had a blood and platelet transfusion last week both those counts were good but her results showed that she is neutropenic and more susceptible to viruses etc. Dr Skinner has phoned tonight to say that he has had some test results through to confirm that Annie has a protein which reacts against the oral chemo that we were giving her at home which has been causing her blood counts to go haywire and resulted in these frequent transfusions.  Now that he knows that this is the underlying cause of this problem he can work around it. We have had to discontinue this particular form of chemo more often than we have been able to give it with the problems that it has caused.

Annie has been tired and a bit prone to tantrums this week (I know the feeling). Some good weather has meant that we’ve been able to get out a bit. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon with Rob up at Ullswater on Monday. We took the Steamer from Pooley to Howtown and enjoyed picnic, paddling and throwing pebbles in the lake. Nice to have some time away from home doing nothing in particular. Good for all of us.


Olympic Extravaganza






Annie had her final dose of this session of steroids this morning. Thank goodness! She has been getting through packet upon packet of Quavers from breakfast til bedtime. They have been leaving her hungry as they are far from filling and then she’s just craved more.

It feels quite likely that transfusions are on the cards for Thursday as her energy levels have really dipped compared to how she was a couple of weeks ago.

We had hoped to start back Tuesday afternoons at Morland nursery this week but there has been a sickness bug going round and a few local children have had chicken pox so we’ll give it a miss til there’s less chance of her catching something.

I have been for massage and some acupuncture on my back/neck at Brougham Hall this afternoon to try to sort out aches that have been caused by both tension and the amount of lifting and carrying that I’m having to do because of the impact of treatment on Annie’s mobility and also she’s just generally been feeling like she needs to be cuddled and carried. The massage has left me feeling a bit like I’ve been beaten up but seems to have helped.

There was a really loud noise about an hour ago. It sounded like the house was falling down!! Mick, our neighbour felt the ground shake. Rob suspects earthquake!? It all happens in Newby!!


Finally caught up.

Annie is now up-to-date with her treatment. She had a lumbar puncture and intravenous dose of vincristine (chemo) yesterday. This lumbar puncture has left a nasty bruise on her back that actually looks like a puncture. The only other one that has been anything like that was her first ever one and she had awful back pain after that. Subsequent ones have been relatively mark free with no pain afterwards. Thankfully there haven’t been any back pains but she has been upset with aching legs and feet as a side effect of the vincristine. She’s back on steroids for five days to counteract nasty side effects of chemo.

Up until now she’s had a really good week or more and we’ve been so happy that she’s been back to being our Annie. She enjoyed the Jubilee so much and has caught up with a lot of her cousins. Annie’s cough and runny nose have cleared up completely and hopefully she’ll stay bug-free for a good while now and we can have a bit of a breather for a few weeks.

Annie and I have just been up to feed the ducks at Newby and she was excited that five little ducklings came up for some bread too. We noticed a baby alpaca (strangely in a flourescent orange jacket) at the alpaca farm just out of Newby as we drove by last night so will have to go and check that out soon. A few quiet days now will be nice to recover from a hectic past week.


Jubilee Sports at Orton

Annie with cousin Lucy

Annie and Aunty Anna

Joe and Charlie catching eggs (or not?)

Me in a panic about catching an egg! It broke in Karon’s hands when I threw it back! (Sorry Karon). The person behind clearly has zero confidence in my catching skills!


Losing the tug-o-war was not an option! Some people may have taken it a little too seriously! Enthusiastic support from a familiar looking spectator in middle pic!

Team are Rob’s sister Lisa, her husband Ian, Mike Parsley, Rob and Anna’s husband Jim.