Annie May Update

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

Here we are…

End of treatment at long last.
Annie’s treatment ended last Thursday. Her bone marrow sample taken that day came back completely clear so all chemotherapy treatment has finished. We will still have to go to Newcastle once a month for the next year for blood test and to see the consultant and after that we will have to go less and less often. The highest risk of relapse is in the next two years so all we can do is hope that this course of treatment has done the trick. Sometimes we wonder how on earth we have got through this and how Annie has been such a strong, brave and incredibly cheerful little girl despite feeling rubbish a lot of the time. We feel very, very proud of her.
The staff and children at Morland school have been a great support throughout treatment for Annie. She had a fantastic end of treatment celebration at school on Friday with Janet Allen face painting all the children in her class as Quirgles. In the afternoon school had a special assembly that Rob and I went along to. Annie was presented with a special award for bravery that we had taken along as well as being given a lovely heart locket from the teachers engraved with ‘Brave Little Lady’. Class 1 had made Annie a special book with lots of drawings of her favourite characters from ‘Frozen’. The school sang ‘Touch the Sky’ from the Disney film ‘Brave’. It’s one of Annie’s favourite songs at the moment so it seemed fitting that I put a few photos from the past 2 years to that music as a way of summing all this up.
Thank you for reading the blog. It has meant a lot that you have been reading and thinking about us.

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No More Steroids!

Final dose of steroids!

Final dose of steroids!

Annie took her final dose of steroids yesterday morning. We have had so many dreadful, tiring, long weeks with Annie struggling on them that we feel absolutely elated that they have now come to an end. A week and a day til the end of all chemo and her final lumbar puncture…

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Easter Holidays

2 weeks, 2 days of treatment left! Final vincristine chemo and last 5 days of steroids on Thursday. Nearly there.

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall

Roman Soldier at Vindolanda

Roman Soldier at Vindolanda

Gruffalo Trail, Whinlatter Forest

Gruffalo Trail, Whinlatter Forest

Puppets at Upfront

Puppets at Upfront

Easter Egg hunt with cousins Beth and oscar

Easter Egg hunt with cousins Beth and oscar

Waiting for school bus in Easter bonnet

Waiting for school bus in Easter bonnet

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Winnie The Witch

Winnie The Witch

World Book Day at last!

Winnie about to fly off to school

Winnie about to fly off to school

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Almost there…

Now that week 100 of treatment has been and gone it feels like we’re free wheeling towards the end of treatment. Just over 2 months to go and we’re all feeling like the end of treatment can’t come soon enough. Annie has had a cold that she can’t seem to fight off since New Year but is not particularly unwell with it.

We had to move out of the house for the best part of 5 weeks at the start of January after we discovered that the waste pipe in the kitchen had been leaking for what must have been quite a while resulting in the whole kitchen being pulled out and Rob doing a major makeover in there to the extent of revealing previously covered up beams and a huge sandstone fireplace. All brilliant but dirty and dusty work which made the house unfit for Annie to be in. We’re now back home and just waiting for plumber and electrician at the end of the week to make our lovely new kitchen usable.

Lambing is in full swing on the farm. Annie is having to keep away from anything to do with it as she could become very poorly if she has contact with sheep.She loves the lambs and will be one busy little girl feeding them pet lambs this time next year! Nanna will certainly be glad of the help. 

Annie is making good progress at school, especially with her reading and can’t get through her school reading books quick enough. It’s world book day on Thursday and Annie is counting down “how many more sleeps ’til book day?” She is dressing up as Winnie The Witch for it and Nan has been busy sewing coloured ribbons on Annie’s witch’s hat for her outfit. She has started to have some singing lessons along with her ballet – her own idea!! She can put on quite a performance for us now! 

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When Annie met Fern

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Annie’s teacher, Mrs Bousfield, told us last week that Annie has inspired her to do The Great North Run later in the year to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. We feel so moved that she has chosen to do it for that charity. I could hardly think about setting off on a jog never mind do the Great North Run! She is going to be setting up a JustGiving page and I’ll put a link on here nearer the time. We’ll certainly be heading over to cheer her on on the day. 

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Christmas 2013 photos

Christmas Eve. Sprinkling magic reindeer food given to Annie by my Nanna's cousin, Mary.

Christmas Eve. Sprinkling magic reindeer food given to Annie by my Nanna’s cousin, Mary.

Christmas Eve. Annie with Mary &  Joseph posada figures just before taking them to the crib at Morland church.

Christmas Eve. Annie with Mary & Joseph posada figures just before taking them to the crib at Morland church.

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Playing with her new train set in her Sleeping Beauty dress on Christmas morning

Playing with her new train set in her Sleeping Beauty dress on Christmas morning

Come on out baby Hardy, I want to play with you!

Come on out baby Hardy, I want to play with you!

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Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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This is Annie’s first ever letter to Santa that she has written herself. We can’t believe how qickly she has come on with her reading and writing since she started Morland Primary School. We feel very proud of her.

This week Annie has been coming home singing ‘Christmas Is Coming, The Goose Is Getting Fat’, ‘ and ‘O Little Town Of Bethlehem’ and is delighted that she will be an angel in her Christmas school play (angel dress, tights and halo ready and waiting in her wardrobe). Life feels very different to this time a year ago

Not sure if this will work but please click on link to see Annie’s message from Santa.
http://www.portablenorthpole.com/watch/gHNMtH7GUuVdXgDaGLrGgHg
She was so delighted to see Santa with his big book about her and even a photo of us all at Disneyland! Best of all, Annie is on the NICE list! Well done Annie.

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Our AMAZING trip to Disneyland, Paris in pictures

Annie's favourites Chip n Dale go by in the parade. (Annie in white T-shirt on Rob's shoulders)

Annie’s favourites Chip n Dale go by in the parade. (Annie in white T-shirt on Rob’s shoulders)

With all the families on the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Disneyland Paris trip.

With all the families on the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Disneyland Paris trip.

All the families. Tony Rizzo in black T-shirt in foreground organises The Alternative Hair Show in London each year to raise money to fund the trip.

All the families. Tony Rizzo in black T-shirt in foreground organises The Alternative Hair Show in London each year to raise money to fund the trip.

disneyland 3

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Magical Disneyland at night

Magical Disneyland at night

Annie with her favourite character

Annie with her favourite character

Scream if you wanna go faster!

Scream if you wanna go faster!

Mum's Disney dream comes true and she gets to ride on the spinning tea cups!

Mum’s Disney dream comes true and she gets to ride on the spinning tea cups!

Meeting Mickey at our hotel

Meeting Mickey at our hotel

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Waiting for the train at Penrith

Waiting for the train at Penrith

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Sunflower Race

winning sunflower2

winning sunflower

Hoping to bring things uo to date by starting with a couple of photos of the winning entry in The Great Sunflower Race 2013. The Evans family from Calthwaite won with their sunflower measuring 292cm. Our own were nowhere near that but they were incredibly beautiful and attracted so many bees into the garden. We sold about 400 packs of seeds. Thank you so much to everyone who took part and helped us raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. We hope that you enjoyed growing your sunflowers as much as we did.

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Our sunflowers

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New beginnings

First Day At School

First Day At School

First day at school

Tired out in the Ellwood house right now. Annie’s monthly dose of steroids has been increased due to her increase in weight and height. Although she is exhausted all the time the steroids are keeping her awake and she has hardly known what to do with herself. Not great when she is recovering from our trip to Disneyland Paris and has started school all in the same week.
Despite tiredness, school is going well and she comes home saying “I had a great time”. Such a relief to hear. I’m sure most parents are the same when their child starts school but I just worry from the moment she goes ’til when she gets back. Friday and Monday especially so as I knew the steroids were making her feel rubbish. Annie’s teacher suggested I should bring her home (gladly, because I was so worried) when I went to give her her medicine yesterday because she just hadn’t been joining in at all. After another bad night lastnight I decided to keep her at home today. Steroids now finished for this month. Back to school tomorrow.
Annie started back at ballet on Saturday and, for the first time ever, danced for the whole lesson without needing a rest.
Swimming lessons without me in the pool with her started tonight. She did so well. Even jumped into a hoop in the pool on her own and then swam under it.
Very, very proud of her.

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