Friday, 29 November 2013

My 1st Birthday


Before I start this post I just want to wish 2 of my best girlies HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY KATHLEEN AND CHARLOTTE. Char's birthday was yesterday and Kath's is today! 
I can't believe that today is MY 1ST BIRTHDAY, a year ago since I had my Allogeneic stem cell transplant. Well what can I say... I am really over the moon. I couldn't have got this far without the huge support from EVERYONE! Seriously all my family, friends, nurses, neighbours, teachers and friends of friends. I am shocked how many people have supported me since the beginning of this long journey and I am so grateful for it!  It has been a bloody hard journey but I am so happy to be alive today! 
Last night I went for a meal with all my close family & friends to celebrate my 1st birthday. I had a great time and stuffed my face with delicious food! I also had an amazing cake made for me by Funky was delicious. There are so many kind people in this world, yesterday I went to have my nails shellacked by a lady called Michelle Searle, she heard about me by Funky Mammas ( Tracey) and offered a free shallac. Amazing! Also other people have donated some cupcakes and a ferrero roche tree. Amazing support! Thank you so much! 
My amazing cake!

The main reason I am alive today is all down to my superhero brother, Kieran. A truly amazing lad. Yes he's my annoying little 17 year brother but god not many 17 year olds can say they saved their big sisters life can they? I can't thank him enough for what he has done for me and now we have a huge connection as we share the gift of life. His blood cells are keeping me is pretty fascinating! I don't thank him enough for what he has done for me.
Back to the very start..when I was diagnosed we were told my plan of treatment, this was to have chemotherapy and the last resort was a stem cell transplant which I was not expected to have. I was told in August that due to my cancer being a pain in the ass, being an aggressive form and returning that I would need a stem cell transplant. When me and my family were told that there was only a 1 in 4 chance my sibling would be a match we instantly thought there's no chance he will be. He was tested the next week and n the 21st August me and my family were told Kieran was a 10/10 match. We were gob smacked and could not believe it! Having my younger brother as my donor is really amazing and we will always share a special bond.
TODAY I seriously feel better than ever. I have a great family, great friends and great health what more do I need?  
My recovery from the transplant is still ongoing. My consultant said that having a transplant and the preparation for transplant (having chemotherapy & total body radiotherapy) really knocks the life out of you and people recover very differently. I suffer from chronic fatigue and get tired really easily! I also suffer with muscle and joint pain and am told this should ease in the future. I don't beat myself up about this too much. Yes I will be on tablets for the rest of my life and have a lot of hospital check ups but I am enormously grateful to be alive today. 
Over the last year I have done some amazing things and met some amazing people. I have met a lot of young people who are fighting cancer who are an inspiration to me. I don't take life for granted as you never know what is around the corner. 
Future Plans
When I have fully recovered from my transplant I am hoping to return to college to complete an access to nursing course. Before I go back into education, I would love to travel. Next year I am definitely planning on going away on another girls holiday and a family holiday. I also would love to go to New York with mum, when I was in hospital we always said we would but money is the main issue...the flights are super expensive! As much as I want to achieve goals and go to university etc, I now feel that after fighting cancer life is too short and I want to rush and go travelling wherever I want. Don't let anything or anyone stop you doing what you want to do. 
I think about everything differently after having cancer. Yes I live in the fast lane and I think a lot of people live this way as I have spoke to others who agree with me. After being in hospital for 8 months I feel like I missed a year and I want to make up for that. I keep myself busy and want to plan to do things every day, my body on the other hand doesn't feel the same so this results in me pushing myself too much. My family and friends are always telling me to rest and rest but I tend to not listen. Silly I know!  I haven't got 'the all clear' and will feel a lot more 'safe' once I have. I feel like I'm living in limbo but I try not to dwell on this too much. This time next year I shall be saying those words! 'all clear' Yes there are many future complications that can arise and hopefully I will avoid these. 
Some people may question my emotions. I will never forget I had cancer and the journey I was faced with. It will affect me emotionally for the rest of my life but I see it as a positive thing. It has made me a stronger person and I feel different in myself. It has changed me but for the best. I get days where I will sit and think about everything I have been through and compare myself how I felt then to how well I am doing and feel today.  
I really can't believe how time flys by. This year has gone super fast and I think the fact I have kept myself constantly busy has helped me a lot!

Kieran, I can't thank you enough for helping me out when times were tough, 
You stepped in when my neutrophils were zero, Thank you so much for being my hero!
Health Update
I have to have all my 'baby' immunizations in a few weeks to help my new immune system. Which is crazy to think jabs I had 20 years ago are no longer in my blood?
My Iron levels are slowly dropping and should take another 6 months of venesections for my level to be 'normal which is great news. :)
I am taking a pill that helps to control my HRT side effects, so hopefully less hot flushes! Yay
I have my next clinic appointment next year! Sounds crazy to say that but such good news!
 I am looking forward to celebrating many more birthday's in the future. I will celebrate this date every year as it really is a very special day and I am so grateful...all thanks to my brother! 
 I am going to Bristol this afternoon for the weekend with all the girls to celebrate kath and cj's 21st. I will also have a celebratory drink to celebrate my 1st Birthday!
 Celebrations All around, I can't wait!

Always smiling x



  1. Tears in my eyes hun reading this... you are all truly amazing.. xx

  2. Only seen this comment Kip, I can't believe that this was a year ago and my 2 years post is nearly here. :) xx