In early 2011, Ellie Philpotts was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgkin lymphoma. Here, she’s penned down her thoughts and feelings about being diagnosed when she was 15 years old and how her life differed from that of a regular teenager during that time.
Lukaemia Care contacted me to see i could spare a few hours and photograph a very special lady. So the deed was put in motion and i Spent a lovely sunday afternoon chatting about her cancer, taking photos for the charity and drinking posh coffee! Ellie is now on her way to getting a degree in journalism here in Cardiff and uses her experience as a patient to help and write about the support in place with her unique perspective....... Xpax
Here, she’s penned down her thoughts and feelings about being diagnosed when she was 15 years old and how her life differed from that of a regular teenager during that time.
“Hodgkin lymphoma can easily masquerade as other, less serious illnesses. Its symptoms can be confused with other, more normal teenage issues like mild fatigue. For months I experienced this, as well as swollen glands and weirdly, itchy hands and feet. I put this extra tiredness down to being a typical student, as I was revising for my GCSEs whilst trying to keep up other areas of life like socialising and planning what I wanted to do once I’d finished school. After a while I began to blame my symptoms on a winter virus or cold.
After a while though, my symptoms got worse. I noticed a lump in my neck, I woke up drenched in sweat every morning and I felt breathless – even on the shortest of walks. It was then that I started to think my problems weren’t normal after all – although I never ever thought I had a blood cancer.
After a few repeat visits to my doctors – lymphoma is tricky to diagnose because the symptoms are so vague and it is relatively rare – I was eventually referred to my local hospital. After a couple of days there, I was then transferred to Birmingham Children’s hospital. After a week of scans, I was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgkin lymphoma.
When I was eventually diagnosed, I actually felt relieved. Although finding out that I had a blood cancer was a huge shock, I felt I could then focus on starting to get better. After being diagnosed on the Friday night, I started my chemotherapy the next Monday, so I didn’t have much time to worry about my diagnosis or what was going to happen next. In hindsight, maybe that was a good thing!
Despite having stayed in a teenagers ward at Birmingham, I was actually treated on an outpatient unit with younger children. Here, I received chemo via a Hickman Line, alongside oral chemotherapy drugs and steroids. After receiving my treatment I had another scan that thankfully showed that I was no longer showing signs of active lymphoma so didn’t need radiotherapy. I think I was relatively lucky in terms of treatment but I did have the usual side-effects such as neutropenia, nausea, lowered immunity and hair loss (which were sometimes difficult to cope with especially being a teenager). Hodgkin lymphoma - Ellie's Story“Birmingham Children’s Hospital has an excellent Teenage Cancer Trust centre and staying there made me feel like I wasn’t such an isolated case – being a 15-year-old confronted with cancer. I was lucky as I managed to avoid any infections whilst having chemo, and still went to school when I could. I was in Year 10, so I was determined to not fall behind with my GCSEs and this gave me focus throughout my treatment.
“It goes without saying that cancer has an impact on you emotionally. You’re hurled into unknown territory. You experience feelings of fear and anxiety which are only natural when coping with such a scary diagnosis. Your routine is disrupted; you have to prioritise hospital over school; you feel like you’ve lost control over your future; and your physical appearance changes. I guess your normal teenage life becomes unrecognisable. But it is important to stay as positive as possible and know that support is there for you, if you need it.
“I have been in remission since May 2011 and I appreciate how fortunate I am. In fact, this year marked my official all-clear, no signs of the lymphoma five years after my treatment. But blood cancer is still a big part of my life. It’s opened my eyes to the world around me and motivated me to help others more recently diagnosed. This is why I’m now passionate about promoting lymphoma symptoms to young people, because the quicker teenagers who have lymphoma are diagnosed, the quicker they can be treated and carry on with their normal lives.”
by Dave Packer
Waiting for the rain to stop at a wedding seems like it takes forever sometimes. But always little shots of little people to be had with window light. XDavewaiting for the rain to stop
Using drones at weddings
As a couple eager to get married, you definitely want to have an unforgettable day. In order to enjoy your day, you want to capture the best moments of your wedding in a unique way
Ever since the drone photography trend has hit the market, using an UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) at a wedding location has become a highly successful idea. The photos and videos captured by it are simply fantastic, and the end result is definitely much more satisfactory than taking standard photos from the ground.
Aerial photography and video recording adds a whole new dimension to any wedding. With a quadcopter or UAV, you can take photos from a wide variety of angles, bringing a real element of “Hollywood cinematic” into your wedding. With these beautiful devices, impossible is made possible, and all of your memories come to life.
Drones can offer unique perspectives on the whole area, emphasizing the beauty of the nature and the surrounding panorama around the venue location. These devices are also capable of capturing unique moments. Unlike a ground-based photographer who can only take standard photos, a quadcopter equipped with a high-quality camera offers a whole new way to record your nuptials. This tiny flying device elevates your normal experience, transforming it into an once-in-a-lifetime moment that you will never forget.
Even though using one of these devices involves getting drone insurance and taking into account potential accidents, a professional drone operator with experience can do a marvelous job flying the quadcopter. He makes sure to capture every single beautiful moment while ensuring everyone on the ground is safe.
If you are looking for a professional and experienced operator to use a drone at your wedding. Telling the beautiful story of your amazing wedding day. I have access to a fully CAA licensed, top of the range drone that can take photos and record videos in full HD. Contact me now and I will make sure your wedding memories will be nothing less than exceptional
60th Wedding Anniversary Letter From the Queen. It was my pleasure to be asked to photograph Shirley and Gordon's Diamond Wedding anniversary at the family home in Cardiff, which also included 4 generations of the Clan. History has it that the tradition and culture of sending a congratulatory message to those couples celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary harks back to 1917 during the days of King George V.A. Originally, these messages were sent through via telegram and over the years, the format of the congratulatory missives has evolved to reflect the fast-changing developing fashions and tastes of the modern times. It can also be argued that the changes and reforms in the postal system have also contributed to this.
Nowadays, cards are sent to those couples celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary ( diamond ) and every other thereafter. The messages will most of the time comprise of a card inscribed with a personalised message from the queen herself. The card comes in a special envelope and has a letterhead which is a variation of the original 1917 King George V.A plaque that reads;
"His Majesty the King hopes that the blessings of prosperity and good health may follow you through the remainder of your days" As it is usually the case, only citizens of the current commonwealth realm ( these are countries where the Queen is the sovereign Head of State ) or United Kingdom Overseas Territories qualify to receive these congratulatory messages. In this regard, applications for people residing in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand ought to be sent to the respective Governor-general. The Governor-general as you may well know acts as the Queen's personal representative in these countries and is the one responsible for arranging for these messages to reach the queen. Once you have received your congratulatory letter from the queen, it would be very fitting and customary for the couple to take a full family portrait in celebration of this, and if you happen to be in Cardiff or its environs, then the services of an experienced portrait photographer in Cardiff should come in handy.