About this blog

This blog documents the story of our family after our daughter Yasmin was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was two years old, just six weeks after our son Isaac was born. Now, four, Yasmin finished all her treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in October 2014 and she had her port out - marking the end of her treatment in February this year. The first post can be found here or you can read how my husband Andrew and I felt when we got the diagnosis and when Yasmin started the most intense phase of treatment. The main purpose of the blog is to raise awareness of childhood leukaemia and its impact on families and to raise money for the different charities that have supported us during the most difficult of times. We have helped to raise £33,000 for charity so far, including £30,000 for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital where Yasmin is undergoing treatment and £2000 for Haven House hospice. This year Andrew and I will hike Ben Nevis for Children with Cancer. Anyone wishing to donate can do so at our fundraising page here. You can get more information on Facebook or you can follow me on Twitter here. The blog and our fundraising efforts regularly feature in national newspapers and magazines while the BBC has covered our fundraising here and ITV here.

Language Settings

HERE ARE OUR LANGUAGE SETTINGS (more Japanese to follow): EN |  JA

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Isaac in our snowy garden
The world has turned white. Schools are shut. Children, wild with excitement, sledge down the slopes in Epping Forest. Everyone is out making snowmen, enjoying the white powder.
I imagine the life we should be living. Yasmin, two and a half, cheeks flushed from fresh air and happiness steps carefully through the snow in her Wellington boots before minutes later screeching with joy as her sled picks up speed. Isaac, snug in his snow suit, chuckles to see his sister playing, and he tries to wiggle from my arms, desperate to follow.
But that life halted last summer. Instead, in our alternate universe - full of syringes, needles, drips, kind nurses and the smell of disinfectant - we are unaffected by the passing seasons.
Our daughter, drained from the latest infusion of bright orange chemo, does not have the strength to lift up from the sofa. Her stick legs are wasting away again from the inactivity and the previous week's sickness which stopped her eating for five days.
Her face has thinned, accentuating her blue eyes which appear almost black. Her nose, more prominent against her gaunt cheeks, reminds me somehow of a little mouse. I call her 'my little mouse' as I carry her around the house. I can feel her bones sharp as she presses against my body, holding on tight with the little energy she has. She clings to me all day and calls out whenever she wakes in the night, which can be every hour.
Her face resembles a skull with its bare forehead and hollowed eyes: it is as though chemotherapy must take her to the brink of death in order to restore life.


  1. Incredible writing Karen, it really pulls at the heartstrings....

  2. I agree. I hope Yas regains strength soon.

  3. Yasmin's strength and spirit will see her through.
    Mum x

  4. That stuff that looks like IrnBru would be Doxorubicin. It does hammer them a bit (possible side effects are red wee, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss) but is about the worst Yasmin is likely to see. From memory (and our blog), Delayed Intensification was only 6 weeks (Week 24-Week 29). It's a tough 6 weeks, but you'll be surprised at how quick you get through it. You may also be in for a few transfusions of platelets and blood, but again this is normal and expected.

    Just looked at our Week 29. Andrew had platelets of 35, neutrophils of 0, and was white as a sheet.

  5. Hi, Yes Doxorubicin has been the worst one yet. Yasmin's intensification has been delayed twice so it taking a bit longer - we've had three week's of delays so far. Scheduled in for next Friday so hopefully that will go ahead!

  6. Oh my, this is beautiful and so true that life just goes on around us in a bizarrely normal way. Thank-you for sharing.

    1. Thank you! And it was by your comment and post that I realised we have been nominated in the Swan awards so thanks again!

  7. I have spent a lot of time in hospital with my youngest son, and I know the feeling of staring out the window watching life carry on imagining family life amongst everyone else. I found this post beautiful, full of love and very powerful. It absolutely deserves its place as a finalist in the SWAN blog post awards. I thought you would want to know that the winners will be announced on 13th April at 2pm as part of our Undiagnosed Children's Awareness Day. Keep an eye on the SWAN UK blog or twitter where I will announce using @SWAN_UK and @RenataBplus3 ... GOOD LUCK!

    1. Many thanks Renata. We look forward to hearing the results.