Em’s Story

As many of you may know our founder Emily sadly passed away after celebrating a year cancer free – after beating it twice.

Emily inspired and touched many lives and while Remission Possible will carry on her legacy of inspiring, campaigning and educating this section of the site will tell her story in her words.

“I don’t want you leaving this saying how  inspirational I am unless you are inspired and motivated to do something”.  Emily Remission Possible.


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Hi guys! I’m Emily, and this website and this project was a brain child of mine sometime in early 2014

Now why, was I thinking about setting up websites, and project names when quite frankly as a 16year old girl I should have had better things to do? After all, usually I am busy enough, what with A levels, musical instruments, several siblings and volunteering.

Well, to put  it frankly  I had cancer. Yeah that sucks.

Sometime in November 2013, I noticed my stomach swelling up, as if bloated. At first I thought I was actually bloated or had put on some weight (even though I wasn’t eating enough to out on weight) Over the next coming weeks my stomach no longer just felt bloated, there were two hard lumpy areas in them. Aside from the occasional cramping, this was my only symptom.

So being the sensible little thing I am I took myself along to my local GP surgery, (early December) where to err on the side of caution they gave me a box of Movicol- hoping a hefty does of laxative would do the trick and my tumours  were actually  load of poo! Unfortunately not. What with the waiting lists for NHS ultrasound scans being pretty crazy long, my lovely mum look me for a private scan which pretty much set the ball rolling.

From there I spent two weeks in and out the delightful Royal Gwent Hospital with scans etc, until on the 20th December 2013 the amazing Dr Claire Rowntree told me I had Non Hodgkin (Burkitts) Lymphoma.

PhotoGrid_1396035604591An from there on I had treatment for nearly the next four months, which included a chest drain on Christmas day, four courses of chemotherapy, eight does of monoclonal antibody therapy (ooooo), nine lumbar punctures, a feeding tube and a whole load of side effects. I stayed in hospital for a large proportion of my treatment, around 10 out of the past 15 weeks, and trust me staying ANYWHERE apart from you’re own home for that long will drive you nuts!

I was discharged from hospital after my last chemo on the 30th march, rested then had my PET scan on the 16th April, with me finding out I was in remission and OFFICIALLY CANCER FREE on the 17th April 2014

In the 6 months that followed that, I went back to school, continued with my studies and have been blogging up a storm here at RemissionPossible.

Unfortunately that isn’t the full story so far. I wish I could say that I in school struggling away at A Levels, but I can’t. I was told I had relapsed in the 13th November 2014, a year ago now.

Since then I’ve had more chemotherapy and found out on New Year’s Eve 2014 that I had beaten cancer again!

This wasn’t the end of my treatment though. To try and ensure we kept the cancer away, I had a bone marrow transplant frm an anonymous (awesome) Spanish donor on the 28th January 2015. In the process of finding a match, we estimate we signed up more than 5,000 people to the stem cell register!

So how am I now?

Well I continue to be cancer free, and am trying to regain my life. The road form transplant has been harder, physically and emotionally than I ever imagined it could be.  I’ve had issues that have meant I’ve spent the majority of the time since my transplant as an inpatient and in isolation, and am currently dealing with a bout of GvHD that has made all of my hair fall out again. I spend all of my time on a cancer ward, bald, yet don’t have cancer. Strange. new

I am getting on with things though and am in university studying a foundation degree 🙂

I am constantly looking for new projects, people to talk to (or at) and just ‘stuff’ to get involved in.

Together we will #makeRemissionPossible

 

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  1. Bless Emily go kick it’s butt, good look with the bmt my 9yr old boy is in remission from tcell nhl diag nov 13 love from us all in Manchester xxx

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  2. Hi Emily, my six year old son also has Burkitt’s; he was diagnosed in July and reached remission at the end of October unfortunately he relapsed 10 days later, he received his transplant on the 16th so is +7 days now and has surprised the doctors at how well he is. Keep up the good work and keep your chin up. BEST OF LUCK for next week. Best Wishes Nick & Joe

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  3. Hi Em,
    It’s Lizzy – we haven’t met but you’ve read my blog and we have spoken briefly on Facebook. I’m the girl who also knows Cath Woolridge! I think I will need some good blog tips off you at some point as you may have realised I have not posted yet this year!!
    Thank you for being an inspiration to me. I have struggled lately with life in general (stress-related) and accepting myself for who I am but reading your story reminds me of the life I have and it’s what I make of it.
    I am so happy for you being remission. You are in my thoughts and prayers on the new few weeks.
    Lots of love,
    Lizzy xx

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  4. Im the same age as you Emily and I have so much respect for you, stay strong, you will get through again, promise! you are an inspiration and I wish you the best!xxxx

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  5. Hi Emily,
    You’re story means so much to our family. We empathise with everything you’re going through. Our son Adam, now 16 was diagnosed with Burkitts on New Year’s Eve 2013 following an operation for a suspected appendicitis. He too had several rounds of chemo ( yeucch to mucositis) and was declared in remission in April. Then in July it had returned and he has had further treatment includin a donor stem cell transplant that took place on November 13th. He is now post transplant slowly recovering. His story and yours seem to parallel each other. We don’t yet know of the outcomes but he is looking better every day. Stay positive I’m sure a donor will be found, Adam’s was a 26 year old woman from the USA.
    We all wish you the very best your blog is inspirational to us all

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    • Wow that is very encouraging!! I’ve never personally met anyone with Burkitts, so hearing he is recovering really helps
      -Emily x

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      • hi again Emily,
        When I’m not looking after Adam I teach in a secondary girls school in Livepool (Hollly Lodge) in the new year I intend to run an assembly with year 11 and the sixth form to encourage them all to sign on The Anthony Nolan register, with your permission I will use your story with them as well as Adams,

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  7. Hi Emily – it’s Sara from the Lymphoma Association – we met at the Beacons of Hope. Lots of positive thoughts to you and your family and friends! Sxxx

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  8. Hi Emily, I have been talking with your auntie Hilary (she has been doing my hair since I was your age -and that was a while ago.) I work at the Statistics office in Newport and run a “market” every month which generates some money for charity. Would you mind if I nominated you and your cause. I have sent you a friend request on facebook.
    take care
    Linda Webber

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  9. elin and jemeima

    Hi Emily….. we met on Saturday nights at the Stand up to Cancer walk (Elin and Jemeima – the little girl with a bear like hat). I enjoyed the company of your mother for most of the walk and was so wonderfully impressed by your story. What a lovely lady your mother is too. I wish you and your family the very best of health, joy and life. xxxxx

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  10. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Em, you didn’t know when I was teaching you 7 Habits but I had NHL for a wee while, too – I was luckier, only needed immunotherapy and it has stayed away. You are an inspiration and I wish you all the best for the future.

    Mr Muggins.

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  11. Hi Emily,
    What a positive and wise young lady you are! I am so happy to hear that you are in remission!
    I have no doubt that you will achieve everything you set out to do, being the determined girl you are!
    All my best wishes for the future,
    Louisa Rich
    (Your first cello teacher!)

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  12. What amazing person you are, well done for fighting it.

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  13. Hello Em you are amazing young lady and I support you and your projects with prayers if you put a reblog button on your website it would be useful regards Linda Penney Narford Norfolk

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  14. Wow Em you have been through the mill, thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure you have given others that are in your predicament the strength and determination to kick cancers arse. My children are 22 and 24, so I can only imagine how your parents must have felt. I have one wish for you, and you must do this!!
    Make a list of everything that you would like to achieve, wether it be something simple or something really adventurous,
    Go have a blast I’ve told my children to work hard, and play hard! You can achieve anything if you want it badly enough x god bless you in whatever that may be x just stay safe and try make the right choices x have the most wonderful life x
    Regards Amanda moore kings lynn Norfolk

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  15. Sharon Eddington

    Em don’t know you but what a wise young lady for your years. So happy for you being in remission. My sister is a lot older than you but is an amazing woman just like you. she has been battling breast cancer for the last 8 years and as a family we are all positive that she will get thru her treatments. It truly amazes me how strong you all are. Thank goodness for having amazing families supporting their loved ones as well as sometimes people forget cancer effects the whole family big cwtches to you and your family. I think my neighbour Sheila Spokes was possibly your teacher a couple of years ago and has told me about you recently. Yipee to remission lovely girl, enjoy life !!!!! xxx

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  16. Hi Em. Not quite sure if you would remember me it’s been a good 12 years I think but it’s Jack Preece, we used to go to primary together 😀 I’ve only just come across this from someone sharing it on facebook from Lliswery I think but it was a total shock to realise this was you. Anyway I just wanted to say all the best with the future and congratulations on beating cancer ❤

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  17. Hiya. I went to school with your dad many many years ago. I have just read your story and i cried, you are an amazing young lady and your parents must be so strong.
    Big hugs to you all

    Nick x

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  18. Emily you are an inspiration to other’s who may be affected by cancer and for those that need the reassurance they can beat it and are not alone in their journey. You are an amazing and brave person. X

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  1. Pingback: Something close to home | rhiannonleahlewis

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