I I am having a Tattoo of Jemma's Beads of courage, to raise fund to put some money back in to the charities that have supported Jemma and her family through this journey, with out them we would have struggled financially and emotionally, Jemma receives a bead each time she has had any treatment, this could be any thing from a needle, blood test, MRI, proton,tests right up to brain surgery, she is a very brave young lady to go through all this and still be smiling, We are so proud of her, and I know all the support we receive to give something back will mean so much to her and us. Thank you in advance
Jemma's Journey , in her own words
Well, the last couple months of my life have been rather hectic and out of the ordinary to say the least.
As some of you may know, on the 28th of October 2016, I had an MRI scan. Later that day I was admitted to Addenbrooke's hospital as, they found a mass in my brain on the MRI scan.
I was on the children's ward C2, which is a children's oncology ward, however when i was admitted we didn't know what the mass was. I stayed on this ward for a total of 4 nights, and on the 1st of November, i was taken in for surgery to remove what we found out was a tumour, and later what we found out was a cancerous tumour. My surgery was performed on the right hand side of my head, above my ear, and it was successful.
They removed the tumour entirely. Immediately after i came out of surgery, i woke up in the recovery room, surrounded by my Mum, Mandy Thorp, my sister, Chelsey Samworth, and my Dad, Scott Thorp. I was able to move my arms and legs immediately after surgery and talk somewhat coherently. And the only instant side effect I had aside from the swelling and bruising, was tiredness.
I spent that night on the High intensity ward recovering, and receiving morphine regularly.
The next day I struggled to eat anything due to the right hand side of my head and jaw being swollen and bruised, and I was transferred to D2, a children's surgical ward. I then spent a total of two more days in hospital before I was released. The day we were released my parents received a call telling us to expect the results of the tumour biopsy in a few weeks time.
On Thursday the 10th of November, we were asked to come into Addenbrooke's. It was then when we got the biopsy results. I was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma, which is a cancerous type of brain tumour usually found in paediatric patients between 4-6 years old. This was a hard day for everyone, many tears shed and hugs shared.
We were given our treatment options, and we were told about proton therapy. Proton therapy is a type of radiotherapy that uses protons as opposed to x-rays to treat the affected area. Proton therapy has no exit beam which damages less healthy than standard radiotherapy. However, we do not currently have any proton therapy facility in the UK. So that would mean I would have to travel to America for a minimum of 2 months. I was told that we would need to test my spinal fluid to see if the cancer had spread to my spine, if the results were clear, then I would be able to go to America for my treatment, I had a lumbar puncture on the following Friday and the results were clear. So we began packing, and prepared to leave.
We flew on the 20th of November to Jacksonville, Florida. I had a total of 33 treatments at the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute (UFPTI). The treatment didn't hurt, wasn't loud, and I had no major side affects from the treatment, other than some hair loss, and nausia. Thanks to many charities (links below) and the NHS, I was able to have this treatment, be with my family at christmas,and make some good memories whilst we were all out there.
I could not be more grateful for the amazing treatment i have recieved through out from the proton institute, the NHS, and some amazing friends and family. As of today, I feel like myself, I'm back in school part time, and carrying on with normal life.
Many thanks to all of my amazing friends and family who have supported me and my family through this xxxx
Also, thank you to all of the wonderful charities that have helped us out and continue to do great work for others going through this every single day, these are links to their donation pages, if you are unable to donate at this time could you please raise awareness for these fantastic charities and organisations by sharing this post, thank you xx
BE CHILD CANCER AWARE(beads of courage)- http://www.bechildcanceraware.org/fundraisi…/payroll-giving/
CLIC SARGENT- http://www.clicsargent.org.uk/content/donate
BENS HEROES- http://bensheroestrust.org/donations
THE TOM GRAHAME TRUST - (donation information on the left
side of the page) http://tomgrahame.com/
SUPERSHOES - https://www.supershoes.org.uk/donate/
CANCER RESEARCH UK-http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate
MAKE A WISH- https://www.make-a-wish.org.uk/donate