I went into hospital for a check-up and they found a lump in my
brain. We went to Frenchay Hospital in an ambulance, with flashing
lights, but no screaming sirens.
Mum says I was in surgery for over six hours, and then moved to
the high dependency ward. It was a nightmare: I was trying to fight
people, who kept grabbing me, although they were trying to
I couldn’t speak. I could hear my voice in my head, but no
sounds came out. I had post-Fosser syndrome, which meant I
couldn’t talk, eat, swallow or even smile.
Meanwhile, the pathologists found that my tumour was cancerous.
I had to have radiotherapy, then chemotherapy, but before I could
be treated I had to have a Hickman line put in – nicknamed Wiggly
and Fred – so you can inject medicine directly into the body, and
it makes it easier to take blood samples.
I had 32 radiotherapy sessions in just over six weeks. I had to
lie completely still for 45 minutes each day, with a hot, tight,
mask clamped to my head while this giant arm moved around me. It
was very frightening. I also had chemotherapy at the same time and
within three days all my hair had gone.
The chemo had horrible effects: my sense of balance went; I
found simple things like walking upstairs a struggle; my eyesight
was strange – words jumbled around the page.
Chemo is like a stack of blocks, building up and up. They
squeeze you down until you feel like a nobody. But that makes it
all the more important to have fun with friends and family and not
to give up. It’s a hard and horrible journey, but I have met
some amazing people who have helped me through.
Katie was supported by Sargent Cancer Care for Children,
whose Little Denim Book, containing the essential information that
children, young people and families might need while being treated
for cancer, is launched this month. See