Monday, 15 February 2016

Please read the rest

If you find yourself here please do read the rest which is here

If you think you might be  relative please email me

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Moose - another of Dani's cats

Moose, sister to Jupiter, she also now lives with us. She moved with us to Ireland on the 1st December 2018.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The last photo of Dani.

December 2010

There may be more taken at Alton Towers with her friends during July 2011

Monday, 4 June 2012

Written in November 2008 by Dani

This was written by Dani for publication.  A small amount was published but not in Dani's words, written in sensationalist language, not really the story she wanted to tell. The words below are Dani's.

Danielle Greetham – D.O.B. 3rd August 1981 – Small Part of My Life.

A brief history – In 1991 at age 10 I had to have a kidney transplant. My mother donated the kidney.

In 1997 by pure chance a tumour was discovered growing around my right ovary.  The 1kg cancerous tumour was removed.  This was followed by 7 months of chemotherapy, which was followed by the removal of my left ovary.

The chemotherapy damaged my transplanted kidney; however it did last until 2004 when I went into End Stage Renal Failure and started Haemodialysis at Addenbrookes Hospital.  Haemodialysis is needed to take over the function of the kidneys and keep my blood clean.  For haemodialysis a central line is put in to my body so that I can be “plugged in” to the dialysis machine, I did not like this but I put up with it as I really had no choice as no line equals no dialysis - equals death.

In January 2007 I started to feel very unwell, neither the doctors nor I could pin point the problem.  I then started to feel dizzy and faint.  One night I passed out in the bedroom, bouncing off the dressing table and broke my left clavicle (collar bone).

By February I was having to use a wheelchair more and more – but no-one could say what the cause was.  I was feeling weaker and weaker, I was fainting a lot, and my breathing was getting more difficult.  I started not to be able to take more then a couple of steps at a time, to get up and down the stairs I was crawling very slowly, and I was getting heart palpitations.  Still without any explanation for my symptoms - I asked for a heart scan,

On the 23rd April 2007 I was taken to hospital for an echocardiogram.  They found a huge mass inside my heart; I was not allowed to leave the department until a cardiologist came down to see me, I was admitted to the hospital from there.  After further tests and another internal heart scan as my conditions was fast worsening I was rushed to Papworth Hospital on the 2nd May for emergency heart surgery.  A large mass 12 cm long was removed from my heart that had grown onto the end of my central line and was blocking my heart.  It just wasn’t pumping enough blood round my body to keep me going, so things we take for granted like memory seemed to shut down. I spent 5 days at Papworth in intensive care, and then went back to Addenbrookes Hospital where I spent a further 6 weeks.  While I was recovering I was told that I had only been given a 30% chance of recovery before the heart operation and if I hadn’t had the surgery I would have died within weeks from septicaemia.

(there was a picture of the mass here I decided to omit it from this blog - do not wish to upset any one. If you want to see ask me and I will send copy of photo)

I was in hospital for 9 weeks altogether.  I was in immense pain as they had sawn through my breast bone to get to my heart and had to rewire it afterwards.  Just breathing was agony.

Luckily I pulled through and my heart is now OK.  I still have to dialyse three times a week and have even learnt how to use the machines, and now setup the machine and connect myself up to it all by myself.  It helps the nurses and I feel safer when I am in control.  I am now hoping and waiting for a donated kidney and new lease of life.

My collar bone has never healed; this is because I have osteoporosis, renal bone disease and osteoarthritis from all the medications I have received over the years.  This means I have real problems with my bones and joints, they hurt and I need a lot of pain medication to function, I cannot walk for more than 5 minutes before I start to struggle.

I do try to stay positive and look to the future, I will never forget my ordeal and how lucky I was to have asked for that scan, and for them to find that infection in time to save my life.

A dialysis session as a self caring patient on the Unit

At the Dialysis Unit – setting out my equipment

My dialysis machine – lots of scary tubes and pumps

Setting up the machine for my session

 Flushing out my line

Dialysis can make you feel very nauseous - injecting anti sickness drug

Adjusting blood pump speed

Then I take my blood pressure

And write up my session notes

And sit back

With just another 3 hours to wait!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Dani's One Eyed Cat - Jupiter

Jupiter - Dani's one eyed cat - lived with us -  he died on 15th September 2016

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Photos of Dani 1992 to 1998

Some of these just show what an amazing smile she had - as I have been sorting through the very many photos, I have found myself giggling as I remember some of the things she used to get up to.

Transplant Games Exeter 1992 Newcastle RVI Childrens Team
Dani is the one lying on the stair rail

1994 - I just love this photo - no idea why she was trying to suppress a giggle

Taken at London Zoo, Regents Park 1997 just before her first chemotherapy session,
we had a lovely day out.

A day out in Oxford, (1997) Dani with Nigel her step-dad, they were very close.
He still travels with a little pottery fox and toy walrus that Dani gave him as good luck tokens!

Dani Playing pool on the Teenager Cancer Ward at the Middlesex Hospital. 1997

Dani having a hug on one of the occasions she was allowed home while on chemo - 1997

Dani cuddling Splinter in our garden, 1997

Dani in good spirits while she and I were on holiday in Portugal April 1998.
What we did not know was that there were floods in the UK,
 our garden and garage  included!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

More of Dani's early poems

Written after we were told the transplant date
however more then 2 months to go. Dani is not yet 10.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Images from Dani's early years

Dani at a few hours old taken 3rd August 1981

Dani about 10 months old

Dani's 2nd Birthday 3rd August 1983

Taken in our back yard in Hartlepool August 1991 shortly before the Renal transplant

Dani receiving her best new transplantee award for the 1992 transplant games
Mr Ross Taylor her transplant surgeon gave it to her at the RVI in Newcastle-upon-Tyne 

Drawing of Danielle made by John Melican my father in-law shortly
after we moved to Bedford in 1993

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Dani's Poetry - 1

 Danielle Margaret Victoria Greetham

3rd August 1981
5th September 2011

I am starting these memorial pages with some of the poetry that Dani wrote - there are lots of them, some neatly written and filed,  others scribbled in a book.  These are from the earlier poems of hers, they include dates of when they were written.  The later darker poems have no dates.

This was written while Dani was 16, still recovering from her cancer.
Coming to terms with her diagnosis of Frasier Syndrome.

Written when she is 14 years old

written when Dani is not 13 years old less then 3 years after her transplant

5 months after she had her last chemo and her 2nd ovary removed

Written after her first year clear from cancer, still learning to live with
Frasier Syndrome and by now many of the people she knew
on the teenage cancer ward have died.