Tag Archives: the fault in our stars

Family Affair


This past weekend saw our annual family get together. A gang from mum’s side of the family all come down to our house for a meal and a catch up. We call it “D’Arcy Day”!

Despite the usual panic over the weather (which began with stressing about rain and then turned into will we be too hot and not have enough shade!) plus a tense few hours of the fridge playing up in every way it possibly could the day went smoothly overall! I don’t know how to describe it, basically we all sit around chatting, drinking and eating in the garden. I put up some old photos for people to have a nose at and organised a photo scavenger hunt for the children to keep them entertained.

I had only seen one of my more distant D’Arcy relatives since my diagnosis so it was great to catch up properly with everyone. I found that it was really lovely being free from my line and any treatment because I felt normal and the whole thing seemed like it was in the past. I don’t know if I am putting it into words well enough, I mean that I didn’t seem ‘ill’ and people weren’t pitying me and going “oh, she’s the one who had cancer”.

Anyway it was a beautiful day and here are a few photos…


I was meant to have a rest day after that as I have a busy three weeks ahead, but in stead I went out to lunch with the Irish ladies (Grandma Olive and Mary, featured with their brothers in the top left photo) and my aunty.

On Tuesday I went to the cinema for the first time in forever after a lovely picnic with my friends so that was really fun! I went to see The Fault in Our Stars which I really liked. I thought that the film stayed really faithful to the book and the parts were perfectly cast. I also thought that they captured the mix of “cancer life is rubbish” and “lets make jokes out of this because we can” well and I really related to some of the poignant moments in the film.



My birthday is 7 days away now which I am excited for, I don’t know what exactly but it sounds like Gracie is planning a nice evening of fun birthday stuff for us tonight so that will be lovely. I am going to be at CYE for the third year running on the actual day, but this year I am helping out rather than going as a camper so my family get to see me in the morning and evening.


This Star Won’t Go Out


Today’s results were
Hb 97
WCC 4.7
Platelets 64
Neut 2.7

So they are too low for chemo. I can’t say I’m sorry as it gives me the chance to go out for a meal with family some time in the week and go to pizza and Made in Chelsea night with the proper old school girls from high school, which I am really looking forward to!
I feel it is boring that I haven’t uploaded a proper photo for a while- I haven’t been taking my camera round as much or using it for stuff at home so tonight you get a photo of me holding the book I am reading, which is handy as it is something I wanted to bring up anyway…
(The book is covering my face because I have no make up on and 24 hours in A&E always makes me cry!)

The book I am reading is called “the life and works of Esther Grace Earl”. She is named after a courageous biblical Queen. Not only do I love that, but also love that the name Esther means “star” and so the book is called “This Star Won’t Go Out”. She also happens to be a HUGE John Green fan (aka Nerdfighter) – she even met him once at a Harry Potter convention. As we all know (unless ‘we’ have been living under rocks for the last year or so, tut tut) John Green wrote a book called The Fault In Our Stars. I love how it all ties in. At age 12 Esther was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. She suffered many complications and gruelling side effects from chemo. I suppose it is morbid curiosity that led me to buying and reading this book, but I am so glad I did.

Firstly, because she has some of the same lightbulb/deep moments and thoughts which I have had (and just average thoughts like “nuh uh don’t you go poking that needle in my arm doctor”). It’s oddly reassuring and at times I feel a weird connection with her and probably other cancer patients, knowing that my experience is normal and others feel the same. Secondly, because she has been through a heck of a lot worse than me. There are many times when I am thankful that I have leukaemia, because there are so many more worse things that I could have. It puts life into perspective and reminds me to think of others before myself. Thirdly, she inspires me to write. As much as I hate to admit it (I thought I was an ok writer but at age 9 this girl’s poems put my 16 year old ramblings to shame!) I could go on.

This Star Won’t Go Out is a non-profit organisation, led by the late Esther’s parents which is helping american families cope financially when struggling with medical bills from a child with cancer. When you think that we get all of our treatment for free in the UK and next to that consider how expensive blood and chemotherapy products are, those families need all the help they can get.

The book is a collaboration of Esther’s journal, her parents blog entries, words from friends and doctors, pictures and art by Esther which is all fascinating. I am really humbled by the book, and if you don’t mind a slightly random childish narrator at points (she was 12/13 at the time!) it is worth a read. If anyone is interested you can buy it from amazon or contact me through the ask me page if you would like to borrow it. I would love to pass it round people and share the light of this girl whose dream was to be an author, and to use her experience to help people. Both of which have now come true, though she cannot be around to see it all unfolding.

I was going to talk about 24 hours in A&E as well but something is telling me to stop here. Tonight I’m praying that Esther’s story will inspire many, and that one day I will be as awesome as her.