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I shall go to the ball - I think

Friday March 4

Today I was supposed to see the doctor about my leg, but it didn't go as planned. We had booked transport to take us there and we were to be at Guy's hospital for 3pm. It takes two hours to get there from where we live, but we were told to be ready at 11.30am to allow time for bad traffic. By 1pm no one had turned up. Mum phoned the transport office to see if he was still coming. They said he was on his way. At 2.30pm he still wasn't here.

Mum phoned the transport office again and they said he was lost. Mum then phoned the hospital and they said it would be too late by the time we got there so we had to cancel. The next appointment they could give us was July 1. It seems like ages away and I was hoping to have my operation that month. It is probably more likely to be at Christmas now.

Wednesday March 9

I went to get my outfit for the ball. I tried on all the pink things in one shop, but none of them were right. After about an hour and a half of trying on pink things I agreed to try different colours. In the end we settled on green. I got a silk skirt with soft net over it covered in beads and sequins and with a line of pink sequins along the bottom. To match that I got a green shawl that also has sequins on it. Mum went into town this afternoon when I was at school and found shoes. They are covered with pink sequins, like Dorothy's shoes from The Wizard of Oz. So everything matches.

Thursday March 10

Nikki, my carer, came this morning and was doing my nails for tomorrow to match my outfit and I just burst out crying. I have been bottling it up for a while and it just came out. I can't get motivated and I am fed up with being ill. Mum came back from shopping and I bawled my eyes out again. I think it has just hit me what I have gone through these last two years and that this is how I am going to be. I thought I had accepted it, but I hadn't. I haven't seen my friends since my birthday because of the snow and that hasn't helped as I haven't had anyone to talk to.

I was meant to go to school this afternoon but I had a panic attack. I was shaking and couldn't breathe properly. It was just the thought of going out, and so my teacher came here. I think I have got it all out of my system now and I can start afresh.

Friday March 11

I feel rough. It is the ball tonight and at the moment I feel awful. I was sick at 6am and 10am. At the moment it looks as though we aren't going. I am trying to get better, but it is giving me a headache. I feel like a burden and that I keep letting people down. It would just be typical if we have to cancel. I think I am jinxed.

Nicole Dryburgh, 16, attends St Nicholas' special school in Canterbury, Kent, part-time. Five years ago she was diagnosed with cancer. She recovered but then suffered a brain haemorrhage that left her blind and with limited mobility. Contact her at

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