Times to smile

I just wanted to post a very quick update to let you have a look at what I’ve been up to over the past couple of weeks rather than write about it.

Two attempts at inserting a PICC line failed; my veins are too small, but I still managed to start Gem/Carbo chemo on Tuesday.  The nurse found a vein at the second attempt so not bad at all. I’m mostly feeling tired so if it continues like this I can’t complain – it’s the nausea I hate, but so far the drugs have kept that in check.

I’ve posted a link so you can see all the pictures of the charity head shave and a link to a video that Miffy’s boyfriend put together for us.

There are also a couple of pictures of Tom and I in Spain. We had a fantastic time, and I hope all of these links and photos go some way to explaining why I won’t be giving up easily in the fight for my life. They are a reminder to me that although there have been some very dark times of late, light can still shine through. It is possible to recover from the blows, to get out of that hospital bed, to gain strength and to laugh again.  That’s what I’ll be trying to remember if the effects of the chemo take a turn for the worst. Enjoy….




Tom and I enjoying breakfast

Sampling an orange freshly picked from a tree at the villa











Tom sneaking a pic while I was reading on the terrace



67 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elizabeth
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:20:41

    Amazing! Great photos of you in Spain, you look absolutely beautiful. Miffy is such a fab friend and looks gorgeous with no hair too. Good luck for this next stage Ellie. Lots of love. xx


  2. Pat Sweeney
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:25:21

    What beautiful pics. Sending you love and best wishes as always xx and a hug


  3. Rae
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:31:29

    Beautiful pictures! Hope you get another vacation like it soon!


  4. Fiona M
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:41:38

    Was thinking about you only this evening and wondering how things were. (Yes, I was thinking about someone I don’t even know!!) Great vid!


  5. marie hitchman
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:51:16

    Thank you such lovely pictures & lovely wordsxx best wishes love Mariexx


  6. Mojo
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:55:29

    Happy holiday photos 🙂 and for me, looking at the ones of you and the fabulous Miffy- Pictures 19 & 23 say it all- so much love in one look x

    So glad your feeling ok and that this stint hasnt knocked your socks off, this may sound a little weird but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I feel like you are a friend who I’ve grown to know, love and care about very much.
    I’ve signed up to run the good old ‘race for life’ which i do for my wonderful dad who fought the good fight and with your permission I’d like to run for you too x

    Take care wonderful Ellie x


  7. Ann
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 23:06:42


    Those are fantastic pictures. You’re such a pretty girl. And what a beautiful place you stayed at. I pray so hard for you all the time here in Chicago. You have no idea! I’m so glad you and Tom enjoyed a sunny vacation. Ann


  8. Rachaelg
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 23:17:24

    Great to hear you are in good spirits again, your holiday pics are lovely and you look in very good health. You have some truly wonderful friends, Miffy is a very kind friend to donate her hair for your wedding day as she looks as beautiful after as she did before she shaved her head. Have you set a date yet for your big day It’s so great to hear you are fitting fit again and keeping positive. Keep on smiling Ellie you are a beautiful person inside and out keep on keeping the fate miracles do happen and I pray you will get yours xxx


  9. Dave Hollingdale
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 23:29:27

    Ellie you look Stunning my young friend that Tom is one lucky guy.
    Take care young un Dave


  10. Elisa
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 23:43:34

    Oh Ellie you are something…you are amazing.

    watching you two girls in the video made me remember the true meaning of friendship and love.

    (now I need to wash my face ’cause I’m not wearing waterproof make-up)



  11. Debbie davies
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 23:45:22

    There is a deep deep happiness within you and you know in your heart there is always light. You have beautiful people around you and every time I read your blog I get strength from you even though its me wanting to send you positivity! I feel humbled to even be able to follow your journey and 3 years after my BC I hold you as a beacon of courage.You Go Girl!!! Massive ginormous hugs from Liverpool xxxx


  12. Mirjam
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 23:54:16

    wow Ellie, you and Mitzi look FAB-U-LOUS with short hair and may I say you’re darn sexy with the style you have now! I am a wedding planner and want you to know not to worry whether you have longer hair or not on your wedding day as I think you suit both! You are both beautiful in and outside…. Love the pictures in Spain, and it’s great to see you in great spirits again.
    Lots and lots of hugs and kisses,


  13. barbara
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 00:32:44

    Sending lots of love and good wishes, as ever, an inspiration xxxx


  14. Alex
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 00:33:52

    I can’t believe Dr Hope, isn’t really called Doctor Hope????
    Also, I am very jealous of both your and Miffy’s lovely faces and perfectly shaped heads! xx


  15. Sharon
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 01:17:38

    Lovely to see your smiling face Ellie. Keep focused on those positives (especially the one called Tom. He’s definitely a keeper!) and you will be posting the wedding photos for us before you know it.

    As for Miffy – well wow, what a wonderful friend.


  16. Rachel u
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 01:34:44

    Oh god love it you look so healthy you will be fine- good luck for the chemo and be strong-you will soooooo be okay due to your attitude x r


  17. susie kroon
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 07:39:09

    Hi! Ellie, You look really lovely in the pictures. Thanks for sharing. I pray everyday, for a miracle of healing for you. Take care and God Bless!


  18. Lucy
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 08:10:28

    You have amazing friends Ellie. Here’s to positivity, happy thoughts and beautiful moments in life. Stay strong.x


  19. Paula M
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 08:59:02

    Fab pictures, you look happy and well – long may it continue, good luck with the gemcarb. You and Miffy both look so beautiful with and without hair; girlfriends are just wonderful eh?!!!! X


  20. Steve Swain
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 09:11:13

    You both look so happy. Long may it continue and your miracle actually happens.


  21. Hellevi Nõmmik
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 09:41:05

    Hi Ellie! 🙂 Thank you for being so open and honest about your life with us! I really enjoy reading your posts and I’m truly inspired. You’re such a beautiful woman inside out and so is Miffy. These photos are lovely. I’m very much looking forward to seeing your wedding photos!! 🙂
    Thinking of you and sending you lots of love, Hellevi xxxx


  22. Gemma Ryan
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 10:08:18

    Ellie your post this morning made me smile so much, I am so so pleased you are doing so well. Your hols looked wonderful and You and Tom look so happy.
    Miffy is just the best lady ver isn’t she?!
    Gem x


  23. Mrs Richards
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 11:12:30

    I noticed on the donate page that your hairdresser might need slightly more hair for the wig, and saw this story


    Just a thought but maybe you or your hairdresser could get in touch with paper and the family and see if they will donate, it looks like there is quite a lot of it to go around 🙂

    In the meantime glad to see you looking fab and well done to Miffy, that’s what true friends are made of. xx


  24. Jo, North Yorks
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 11:55:35

    Hi Ellie
    You look beautiful on holiday. Thanks for updating us – hope this treatment works – there’s so much hope!
    You are lucky to have a friend like Miffy x


  25. Lisa Smyth
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 11:57:51

    I just want you to know I think you are amazing. I hope the chemo gives you the results you want. Keep up the good fight!


  26. Jan
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 12:19:37

    Hi Ellie,
    My heart soared when I saw you post with such an upbeat heading…and no wonder… loved loved the little video, called my husband to see..his first comment was ‘What beautiful looking girls’..how right he is, and what a wonderful friend you have there. Keep strong , the wedding is getting closer and closer, and I have no doubt you will be one knockout bride…cant wait to see the pics of THAT!! Love and positive vibes by the bucket load
    Jan xxx


  27. Alan Charnock
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 12:31:45

    The photos are beautiful and so are you and they are every reason not to give up on life, Good luck with the Gem/Carbo Chemo and I hope the Veins stop hiding!


  28. Rosie Butler
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 14:20:55

    Dear Ellie

    great stuff … so good to see. Keep going… keep writing your own page in this life

    lots of fairy hugs and wishes

    Rosie Butler


  29. nelly oneill
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 14:22:06

    Just Lovely, Happy Days. You both look great the smiles say it all.
    Good luck with the chemo. we are all still praying it all helps.nelly x


  30. Linda Ann McCrea
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 16:32:21

    Ellie &Tom
    You are both exceedingly beautiful people .So handsome .
    A truly gorgeous bride and groom- to-be!.
    The place you stayed in with the wonderful backdrop scenery must have been so refreshing and lovely .At least you can visualise that adorable place as those chemo medications are flooding your system.I so hope and pray this new regime of Professor Hope is the complete cure and with no trace of cancer left
    anywhere in your beautiful body .
    Wishing both you and your families, God`s Richest Blessings always.
    Love, hugs and prayers. xx
    Linda :Belfast Northern Ireland


  31. Megan Bell Honigman
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 17:19:00

    Ellie – I’ve been following your blog from afar for quite some time but until now have never written to you. I realized today that it seems a shame not to tell you that I think of you often and have been sending many positive thoughts to you from here in the flat lands of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clearly you have an amazing support group of people you know (and many you’ve never met!) and I hope all of that positive energy is helping to keep your spirits high and your defenses strong. Thank you for letting us be a part of this journey with you! Love and strength, Megan


  32. claire leng
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 18:45:12

    Hi Ellie

    So good to see you looking so well and happy, your pal Miffy looks bloody awesome too, good on her, friends like that dont come around often. I know i dont know you personally but i think of you as a friend and im always so pleased to read your posts, as ive said before in a previous comment you have inspired me so much through my cancer journey and i just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart your one in a million!
    Hope all continues to go well with the chemo, sending you lots of love
    Claire xx


  33. Jocelyn
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 23:19:31

    Hi Ellie,

    I do a lot of research on nutrition and disease and there is a wealth of information on low carb diets and cancer on the internet. The idea is that if you eat low carb you keep your insulin levels low – this is important because insulin is a growth factor for cancer. Read the following articles to learn more:



    Hope this helps you in some way.

    ( – :


  34. Rachel
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 23:50:55

    I LOVE the video of miffy’s head shave, what an amazing friend to have but I believe that you are only surrounded by people like Miffy, Matt etc etc because of the amazing person you are. Keep fighting Ellie, enjoy all the smiles and happiness and hugs with Tom. The villa you stayed at in Spain looks amazing and just what you need and deserve. 12 weeks until your wedding and you WILL have the most amazing day surrounded by those that mean the most to you and you’ll become a wife to your fabulous Tom! I will pray for as much health and happiness for you in the lead up to your big day. Keep smiling.xx.ps.You and Miffy are both gorgeous with and without hair.xx


  35. Abby
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 01:11:51

    Hi Ellie, I discovered your blog since an article was published in the Standard about your wonderful friend Milly’s headshave earlier this week.
    I have now read all of your blog! You are an inspirational and very brave lady. I truly admire your strength, your honesty and your overall positivity in the face of a very challenging set of circumstances.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom with the world. FYI I personally find a quote by Winston Churchill quite helpful sometimes whenever I am going through a really bad patch: “If you’re going through hell, keep going”.
    You have a mass of love, goodwill, positive vibes all around and within you and I hope that these sustain and heal you as you move forward on your journey. Best of luck with your next course of chemo c/o the lovely Professor Hope!


  36. Philippa
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 01:13:47

    You look gorgeous and so does Miffie. You both have really nice bone structure that looks great with or without hair. I am sure many others have told you this already. Spain also looks relaxing and beautiful. 🙂 xxx


  37. Jo
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 17:14:52

    Just want to say that you look beautiful x x x x


  38. emmab
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 17:49:40

    Hi Ellie, I always click on the link in trepidation hoping you’re upbeat against all the odds… and you are. you are amazing, an inspiration… have the power to put all the minor life aggro into perspective. And Miffy is a hero… thank god, like you, she’s got the face for bald!
    Keep it up, amid the exhaustion and evil nausea. Thinking of you. x


  39. Clare Coe
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 20:27:40

    Hi Ellie

    It’s good to hear you are in good spirits again – it gives me hope that I will get there again soon.

    The biggest contribution to my negativity at the moment seems to be my Consultant. Not what he’s saying but the way he is saying it and the lack of consistency. I know you changed Oncologist and was wondering whether you had any advice? I know you have so much on your plate but any advice would be good.

    Clare x


    • Ellie Jeffery
      Mar 18, 2012 @ 21:52:16

      Hi Clare,
      I swapped oncologists for a variety of reasons – as you’ll have seen from reading the blog. If you think the problems you have with yours can’t be resolved then take a look around to get a second opinion. I can’t explain the weight that was lifted once I found a doctor I trusted. I asked on the Breast cancer care forum if anyone had any suggestions of good oncologists in the London area – Prof Stebbing was just one of the names that came up. A second opinion is your right. Best of luck x


  40. Maria
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 20:36:17

    You look like the perfect couple. It would be a great idea to start planning for your wedding. Summer is very near and is getting nearer by the day.

    Elli, you have the prefect figure. You could do wedding dress modeling to practice for your wedding. Trying on a different dress each week, we could vote on the best dress.

    You are so talented with words. Keep writing no matter what. With such an experience and deep understanding of your illness, you might want to write for a health magazine. You could reach even more people.

    You are in the best of hands. I pictured professor Hope a sixty something with thick glasses. He must be one of the brightest young scientists in his field.



  41. mimi
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 12:31:33

    You guys look so great together, cutest couple!
    Good luck with everything once more! And what a great gal Miffy is … 🙂
    Sending the best vibes from Down Under,



  42. Maria Paula Meira
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 16:41:06

    Hello Ellie, I saw a news about your story on a website from Brasil! I´m a Brazilian Girl , i´m 24 years and completely healthy, but some times i complain about life for no reason. But you girl is very brave and i´m so admired to see you fighting like this!
    You are a huge example for all of us!
    The news is about your friend giving her hear to you make a wig (source by Mail Online).
    That it is amazing friend!
    Sorry about my english. I don´t now to write very well! 🙂
    Good luck, and i wish for you an amazing weeding !!
    You go girl!
    Maria Paula Meira Campozana


  43. Maria
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 20:44:14

    I think your friend Miffy is amazing. I think those of us, perfect strangers, pulling for you we are here to celebrate you, your femininity, and your courage, and your presence here and now regardless of your occasional bad mood witch is natural. I think to face what you are facing requires superhuman endurance, great stamina and courage. I am happy for you being able to do that. I am here to learn from you.

    I am sure that organizing a wedding is a sound idea. Planning a wedding makes one happy. A true wedding itself is simply a social event to signify that in your case is already there: that is a genuine loving relationship between two people. That is a very precious thing to celebrate. I think you are lucky to have the love of your life with you. You are already a great couple. And what a fantastic thing it is that you actually had found each other in the first place!


  44. Marianna
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 08:51:22

    Ellie you have made us all very happy……thank you for sharing these beautiful photos with us. Much much luck with everything. Lots of love, Marianna xxxxx


  45. ladyleftfieldlover
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:00:58

    Wonderful Spanish photos! Good to hear that you are having treatment again – before you know it, it will be your wedding day. Better get planning, if you’re not already!


  46. Radhika sanghani
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 12:31:00

    Hi Ellie,
    I don’t know if you’ve picked up my last message but I’m a reporter from Islington Now and we would love to speak to you and help promote Action Against Cancer. Do let me know if you or Miffy would like to speak to me.
    Thanks so much,


  47. maria paula meira campozana
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 04:30:51

    Hi Ellie, how are u today?
    I think, can we talk through email?
    Just a silly thought…maybe we can chat about life, and stuff…
    Just like a said, i´m from Brasil, and i think mabe u want talk about anything else but cancer…well is important , but maybe sometimes, travel subject is good!
    I´ll aways to know about england…
    Sorry again for may terrible english!
    Maria Paula Meira


  48. Joanne
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:16:10

    Lovely pics! xxx


  49. Gemma
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:48:37

    Just wanted to wish you all the best with this round of chemo. I haven’t met you before but have been following your blog and find you incredibly inspiring and so wonderfully brave. Miffy is an amazing friend – she’s an inspiration too xxx


  50. Helen Foulds
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 12:15:32

    Good to see you have had some good weeks at last (and about time). Fingers crossed the nausea is kept under control and the drugs keep working their magic. xxx much love to both you and Tom


  51. M
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 17:38:09

    Ellie you look so beautiful in your pictures. I sincerely hope everything works out for you – you really deserve.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers xxx


  52. Helen
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 18:49:55

    Glad you could enjoy your time there!! Thanks for being positive when it’s not easy!


  53. Julie
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 21:59:32

    Hi Ellie

    How lovely to see your radiant smile in your fabulous pictures. You truly are enveloped with much love by Tom, Miffy, your family, friends and, dare I say it, your extended family who read your blog. I hope that the nausea is still absent and that with every second of chemo it’s washing away all the you know what! Take care Ellie.
    With love, positive energy and healing light to you xxx


  54. Dawn
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 23:08:24

    Hi Ellie, I’m sending you all the very best in your on-going journey. Glad you had a lovely holiday and many more to come I hope. I know you are poorly, but you do look truly beautiful, it shines through you in every picture. I hope this horrible cancer will pack it’s bags and leave you and Tom in peace. If anyone can get rid of it, it’s you, Tom and Prof, Hope. Keep going Ellie, you’ve got amazing reasons to beat this, love, Dawn x


  55. Deb
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 02:59:08

    Ellie, I just typed a long note that disappeared. Great pics of you and Tom! When the chemo gets you down, check out this bird cam from Cornell University. We have two red tail hawks with three eggs in their nest! It is kind of fun to watch Mum and Dad taking turns babysitting the eggs and I find it really relaxing to watch. They also have an ongoing chat stream for people who want to comment.
    Lots of love from Deb



  56. Anita
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 18:47:18

    Really wishing you all the best with the next stage of treatment, Ellie. I am having the last Carboplatin chemo of 6 tomorrow and it has been incredibly effective thus far; like you, I had a very visible, bright red mass on my chest which just melted away after 2 sessions and a scan after 3 sessions showed that the tumours in my lymph nodes & bones had also gone. Even though I’m quite depleted, I feel much better after months of intravenous chemo than I did before treatment and I have been able to enjoy several breaks away (in between PICC line flushes – I too suffer from tiny veins!) I am also under Professor Hope.

    I think your blog is amazing and very comforting for a fellow sufferer to read.



    • Ellie Jeffery
      Mar 25, 2012 @ 19:13:21

      Thanks so much Anita – this is just what I needed to read today, I hope you’re allowed a treatment break after this. Best wishes and a bundle of positivity, Ellie x


  57. Sarah L.
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 23:19:33

    Stunning pictures. As ever your blog and your wry determination are an inspiration. I do wish that you weren’t having to endure this, but can’t help but feel encouraged for you by all the things that are good and vital in your life. I hope the treatment is going well and that the Spring is giving you and Tom plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the world and each other.


  58. Louise
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 17:03:03

    Uplifting posts, great pictures and what an amazing friend you have in Miffy. Can I also say that I did actually think the professor’s surname was Hope? Off to hang my head in shame..
    Best wishes,


  59. Karen
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 19:27:39

    I have seen the footage of you and Miffy together. It all made me smile, amazing ladies both of you, and what a very great friend to have, of course one you deserve each others love. I have donated to the cause and really do hope a lot of money is raised for such important research. I too was surprised at how young Prof Hope is – but being a regular reader of your blog, and having just read what Anita had to say I am filled with a little more calmness. I think about you such a lot and really do wish that everything is working well, that ‘signs’ are fading and you are as well and coping. Lots of love Ellie xxx


  60. Laura S
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 09:52:42

    Holidays looks fantastic, hope you had a wonderful time. Praying that the next steps go well and you have more beautiful holidays ahead


  61. Grayc
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 11:57:00

    Hey Ellie,
    Ellie you are a courageous and strong woman,i admire you and thank God for using you to bless and encourage so many of us.We may not have cancer but trust me there are far much worse troubles facing a whole lot of us.When am almost down and out i always look up to you and am left with no option but to keep on going.
    I recently lost my best grandma to throat cancer but moreso its because she was too old to undergo through this long chain of treatment.I know its a harsh path but I will keep you in my prayers Ellie because i believe there is nothing too enormous for God.
    Keep on with the faith Ellie and God bless you.



  62. Maria Jackson
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 19:00:31

    Ellie you and Tom look soo happy on the pics from Spain, you look beautiful , I love and admire your positive outlook, keep strong. My husband Adrian and I follow your blog we both send you and Tom all the postive energry! 🙂 xxxx


  63. parissa khosrowshahi
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 02:21:36

    Wow, how do you do this? Where do you get this incredible spirit, and energy? I have never seen someone showing Cancer the finger so clearly as you do! Absolutely amazing!! As many already mentioned I can’t resist to agree that you look very beautiful with or without hair and what a true and selfless friend you have got who also looks beautiful without hair. I think what you do is very admirable and inspiring for all women!! I do work as a volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better charity which organises free make-up workshops in hospitals for cancer patients, does your hospital offer this service? If not would they be interested to set one up? Is there a project you are currently involved for Action Against Cancer that I can help with? Do you need any help with your bridal make-up? I am so happy my friend mention your story to me- you are the first blog I ever replied to, (and first Twitter I send to a complete stranger!! I just had to!)

    Take care and wishing the best and more!!



  64. kate
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 19:55:28

    your friend is a star! As are you. My mother died nearly 12 years ago, leaving me and my 2 younger brothers behind, one of whom was just 5 at the time. She too had your fighting spirit and I also cut & shaved her beautiful hair off. I know its not a positive story for you but her symptoms didnt show until it was too late but she gave it her all and you are too. Continue to believe as much as you can & have your down days – you need them – its normal to have them! Im wishing you and your hubby to be all the luck in the world and shall keep following your blog. xx
    ps your friend really suits the short hair!! 🙂


  65. Carol Kasamale
    May 24, 2012 @ 17:28:37

    Dear Tom
    My thoughts and Prayers are will you and Ellie’s family. I never Knew her but was inspired with her blog. Carol


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