You Can Be An Angel

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Medical Report – Always Bad News?

Received this morning from Becca's Dad, Peter.

"We expect it and we get it. No matter how we prepare ourselves the bloody cancer always finds a way to shock. Becca had an appointment this afternoon (30th October) with her oncologist (What a dreadful word!) and Bet and I waited for the 'phone call with heavy hearts. Becca was expecting to find that the "shadows" on her lung had grown and that would explain her breathlessness of late. The lungs are fine.

Ah the barb? The original tumour (the one removed in August 2005) is growing again. That's it then? The end of the line? Her oncologist thinks so – but then they always have told her that she would die "within months" – so nothing new there! And so Becca and Kev struggle home once more and try to build up their positivity once again.

We are getting quite good at this. On the morning of August 1st we were all gathered around Becca’s cot in A & E at Derriford Hospital. After a weekend where Becca had suffered from dreadful headaches (and a series of delayed and futile visits from local doctors) we had eventually called the emergency services. Becca had now suffered a major seizure and was rushed into hospital.

Within an hour they had scanned her head and discovered major internal bleeding within the brain. We were told that she was in a coma and that she was dying. However she decided not to go with "the death rabbit" (part of her "dream") and within hours she was back with us. Within days she was home and more determined than ever to rid herself of her tumours.

She was initially very weak and her sight had become even more restricted and weird. She was on a high dosage of steroids (much to her chagrin!) and her head continued to feel fragile and liable to "explode". Just to compound her frustration, she came to realise that her "death" was a direct result of the latest bout of stereotactic radiotherapy. Melanoma and radio waves do not mix – a fact recognised way back over twenty years ago.

So that strand of treatment proves useless! There is nothing now that the NHS can offer. Oh the breathlessness? Probably a side-effect of the steroids!

And tonight Becca returns to her programme of natural therapy with a somewhat dented, but still functioning determination. She fights on."

Just to re-iterate, the natural therapy that Bob is taking costs about £3k a month and is not paid for by the NHS. If you can assist with paying for the treatment - no matter how little a month - then please contact me via this blog or via my main blog.

Remember, if you contribute £2 a week/£10 a month, it's nearly costing your bank that much in processing time. Go on, do it! It'll irritate them! And what's more fun than irritating a bank?

Knitting By The Partially Sighted

(Photo shows Becca (right) looking remarkably healthy. Sam however is en route back from a brief ‘holiday’ in St Ives with Katie, Joe and husband Ian)

Becca is now able to claim artistic licence as she creates tea cosies for Sam's children: baby Katie Iris and young man Joe. Stand by for photo of Becca's partner Kev in his Christmas sweater.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Photos, photos, photos

These were taken recently for the "You Can Be An Angel" campaign. The pills in the background represent only a partial amount of what Bob takes every day. She has recently stopped taking the steroids which have given her the look of a concerned hamster and now it just looks like she's had her wisdom teeth all removed at once.

As you can see, she still dresses like a hippy and, I'm pleased to report, she still has her sense of humour. Which is amazing given the amount of pills she has to take, the constant making and drinking of vegetable juice and three coffee enemas a day....

Seriously, if you can contribute in ANY way, please leave a comment with your email address and I'll get back to you. Thanks again.

You Can Be An Angel

The following is from Rebecca/Bob's parents, Bet & Peter:

"In the world of theatre ‘an angel’ is a person who gives financial support ‘to keep the show on the road’. It seems an appropriate term to help Rebecca Kaye in her fight for survival – she will have enthused you in workshops; she will have taught your children in school; she will have entertained you with comedy and song (Small Scale Theatre Co); trained with you in Performing Arts at Middlesex; and acted with you in primary schools in Scarborough – later at Launceston College.

For those of you who have never met Becca – she was born in Yorkshire in 1972 and with her sister Sam led a carefree childhood. Little did we know that a chance bout of sunburn when she was 16 would lead to the problems she now faces. A melanoma (skin blemish) was removed surgically seven years ago and we all hoped that all would be well. However last summer (2005) Becca was diagnosed as having two brain tumours. The largest was skilfully removed by surgery, the second treated with the latest radiotherapy techniques. Even so she was told that she only had months to live. There was no cure. Metastatic melanoma is the most lethal form of cancer. Cancer would continue to spread throughout her body.

Becca did not give in. Together with her tremendously caring and supportive partner Kev, she searched for hope where the NHS could offer none. She went to see a doctor/naturopath in London – Dr Etienne Callebout, who had successfully helped people overcome melanoma. Together they devised an intensive programme of organic diet and natural supplementation. As parents, Bet and I sourced and paid for the supplements – averaging £3,000 for each month. Expensive (although nothing compared to the cost of chemotherapy so widely used by the NHS) but it did provide hope where none existed. It has helped to keep Becca alive – and the NHS Team are always surprised by her ability to spring back – she survives beyond their expectations. Tumours do continue to grow (although very slowly) and the battle is not yet won. Becca wants to fight on! She is more determined than ever.

That is why we need to ask for your help. Our own savings have almost disappeared and the worst scenario any parent could envisage, would be to have to turn off the supply – to stop all hope. We know that many of you are willing to help. Just a small monthly contribution to ‘Becca’s Angels’ would mean that we can continue the programme of support. Hopefully we can enable Becca to reach a stage of remission. At the very least we will keep hope alive."

Please contact me via the comments section if you would like me to send you more information about ways in which you can contribute. Thanks.
eXTReMe Tracker