Saturday, 29 November 2014


'If you have the Stem Cell Transplant you have a 50% chance of being alive without Leukaemia in 2 years '
To be the 50% that survive 2 years post feels amazing and I am super happy. Although I do have mixed feelings as I feel slightly sad. I feel sad for the 50% who don't survive. I want to ask why me? What did I do different that gave me a chance?  I think these thoughts stem after loosing my friend, Freya who had her SCT a month after me.
It has taken me a while to think about what I wanted to write in this post. I must say I am amazed myself that I am still alive. I always had a fight inside me that I won't let cancer beat me but in the back of my mind I always had a thought that I wouldn't stay so well after transplant. Well I proved that shit wrong! :) I am so overjoyed that I have reached this stage, 2 years post transplant. It is my greatest achievement yet, yes people have degrees, amazing jobs but my achievement is being alive today...crazy for me to say seeing as I am 21 years old! 
I am not going to make this post super long but just want to say how amazing it is to be 
this far post transplant without many problems. Yes I don't always feel like I am 21 years old due to some of the transplant side effects, but really to still be alive and to say I BEAT CANCER is just amazing. 
At my 2 year check up I said to my that's me in remission then ? He answered with a confused look on his face, he replied 'now you have no Leukaemia in your blood so you are clear' I am going to call it remission any way. If my blood tests have no cancer cells then I am not cancer free. I think that because I had a stem cell transplant and had donated cells there is a chance that some of my blood cells are still in my body. I don't know it all confuses me but hey ho I am in REMISSION. He also said that 95% of transplant relapses occur in the first 2 years. Since having my transplant I haven't had any sign of cancer which is amazing!
My consultant meetings are now once every four months which is brilliant. I still have a really high iron count in my blood so am still having regular venesections to lower that. I also found out that I now have a male blood count not a female one. I don't really know what this means but am going to blog about it soon. 
I celebrated my 2 years post by having a meal with all my special family and friends on Thursday, it was so yummy and really lovely to all get together and catch up. My dad done another one of his amazing least he was sober this time and not completely hammered like he was at my 21st! 
I want to thank all my family, friends and everyone who has supported me through my cancer journey! Thanks to you, I am alive today and am finally starting to feel more like my old self. Cancer has not only affected me but everyone around me and everyone has been so amazing! I bloody loves you all!
Also I share my re-birthday with one of my best girls Kathleen! So I am also wishing her a very special Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Find Your Sense Of Tumour

After returning from such an amazing weekend at center parcs with the teenage cancer trust charity for the Find Your Sense Of Tumour conference I just couldn't wait to blog about how interesting and brilliant the weekend was. Where do I start.....
Well before I go on about what I done I will explain a bit about the conference for those who are thinking what the hell... So the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) is a UK charity who support young people with cancer. I wasn't been hugely involved with them during my cancer and treatment and the only reason to this is because I was treated on an adults ward in Derriford and they unfortunately do not have a TCT ward...well this is Plymouth! I was given their website to look at while I was in hospital so knew of the charity and the amazing things they do. Luckily a year after my treatment at one of my CLIC Sargent socials I met Pete and he introduced me to TCT, I was put in touch with Vicky who is a TCT worker in Bristol and since then I have been to events and socials with some of the Bristol patients which has been brilliant. I was then invited to the FYSOT conference in center parcs and unfortunately I wasn't feeling well enough to go last year so this year I thought bugger it and signed up to attend. 

I went to the Center parcs in Nottingham and traveled by train. I met some lovely people on the train who I would be spending the weekend with. One of the main things I love to do now I am post cancer is meet other patients to talk and feel inspired by their stories. After a very long journey we eventually arrived at Center parcs. It is such a beautiful, magical place! It was decorated in a winter wonderland theme which was even better as I love Christmas. For those who are unaware what center parcs is, it is a holiday park in the middle of a huge forest with a lot of log cabins. They have a lot of adventure sports holiday makers can attend but we were there for the conference. We could attend the activities if we wanted to but it was such a busy fun filled weekend we didn't have much time to. The weekend consisted of a huge conference where a lot of cancer patients and TCT workers got together to talk about cancer...everything about cancer. Side effects, Fertility, Relationships, name it, they covered everything.I found listening everyone's different stories so interesting. 
The food was yummy and the discos were a blast. There was a disco with music every evening where we could have a dance and drink of course. I let go on the first night as you do then after that I felt so shattered. The Friday night was a winter wonderland themed disco and I was only told the day before that it was fancy dress so I ran to Tesco (not literally) and picked up some Christmas earring's and a light up badge, I also wore my Christmas jumper...that was the best I could do last minute. If I knew sooner I would of gone all out there as I love fancy dress, who doesn't? 
We also were lucky to have complementary therapies such as a massage, reflexology and acupuncture. I chose to have a back massage and flipping hell it was bloody amazing! I have never had a back massage before and my back felt so much better after. I have always suffered with a bad back even before all the cancer crap and I am definitely going to have one more often. 
I made some great friendships. The girls I stayed with were so lovely, we all connected and bonded and by the end of the weekend it was like we had known each other for years. They live not to far from me to we will definitely be having a reunion sometime soon! I also reunited with friends I had met on previous trips like the Ellen MacArthur Sailing Trip and Malcolm Sargent House
Yes having cancer was absolutely awful and the worst time of my life but now looking back on what I have achieved and experienced since then has been amazing! I would never have had the opportunity to go on these amazing trips and meet so many amazing people. I feel blessed! Thank you so much,  Teenage Cancer Trust and everyone who helped run and organise the Find Your Sense Of Tumour event. I am looking forward to returning next year!
Now, I am going to bombard this post with lots of FYSOT photos:

Monday, 24 November 2014

Never Too Early

I love Christmas so thought I would share this quote with you. It is a month until Christmas eve so it is now time to get the Christmas CD out and play Christmas music. Christmas is my favorite time of year, I love the Christmas festivities and look forward to watching Christmas films and listening to Christmas songs. If I had it my way I would play Christmas songs all year round. I am feeling so festive!

My Month In Photos | October 2014

This is becoming a regular photo post every month of Esme so I thought why not include some play date photos I took in October. I see Esme quite a lot in the week and we have such a strong bond, I am a very proud aunty of the cute, brainbox, little girl she is becoming. Our play dates include going for short walks, visiting friends and family and simply just painting, cooking or playing with toys. She can easily brighten up my date if I am having one of those 'down' days. :) Happy Days
On a rainy day I visited Plymouth Museum with my family and had a great time. We used to go to the museum a lot and thought we would go back and take Esme to occupy her for a few hours. I had a lot of fun you can see ^^^^. Also I find museums so interesting, it was never my strong subject at school but I do enjoy learning about History. Interesting!
Myself and my amazing family and friends completed the stand up to cancer march. Stand up to cancer is a charitable program to raise awareness and money for cancer research UK. The money raised goes straight to traditional research. This year they had a march on cancer event where thousands of people marched in 15 different cities. One of them was Plymouth so without a thought, a huge group of my family and friends decided to go for it. The atmosphere was amazing and although not a huge lot of people participated, it was better than nothing. I am going to raise so much awareness when it comes to Plymouth next year...everyone will be doing it! 
Here are some amazing photos of my lovely family friends Nicola and Georgia's graduation. They now both have a teaching degree.  I am really proud and so happy for them both. :) 

October only means one thing...HALLOWEEN. I love halloween and have done ever since I was little. My mum used to host a party every year for me and my siblings and we would have our friends around and of course go trick or treating. I remember one year when we were really little and you used to have to make your own halloween mum still loves to make hers now. Usually halloween can become boring when you are older but my family and friends still celebrate and throw a huge party. My best chum Kate is amazing at makeup, hence why my gruesome make up looks so bloody good. She uses tissue and liquid latex then a lot of blood and eye shadows, she should do it as a profession shes that brill. My mum (5th photo) made her halloween costume as she does every year and seen this on pinterest...anyone guess what it is?....Operation the game. Haha it was hilarious as she made the body parts so they would come off and  even made a pair of tongs buzz when they picked them up. My nan was there and still enjoys dressing up and having fun, never too old to celebrate halloween. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

This Year's Must-Have Gift

Give Blood

After listening to this advert on the radio it made me think and appreciate everything. This post is to raise awareness the importance of giving blood....I feel like a huge hypercritical person right now as I am currently having venesection's which is when I have a pint of blood taken and thrown away!...I am having these due to the hugely high iron count in my blood which was ridiculously high but luckily it is decreasing after a long year of having them. So I questioned the nurses what they do with the blood they take out and they said they have to discard it due to all the treatment I have received and having a super duper high iron count it cannot be used to donate. 
During my time in hospital, I didn't think about it much but people were saving my life everyday. Yes the doctors and nurses that cared for me but during my hospital stay I must have had around 100 blood and platelet transfusions and didn't think at the time that the blood was donated by a stranger and how important it is to donate blood. Without those amazing people that donated blood, myself and a lot of other people wouldn't be alive today. I am hugely appreciative of all the people that donate blood! 
A unit of blood has a shelf life of 35 days. Hospitals in England and North Wales need around 7,000 units of blood every day to treat patients in urgent need and each unit donated could help save or improve the lives of up to three people. Besides being crucial to care in A&E, blood is used to treat a lot of patients with cancer, blood disorders as well as women needing blood during childbirth. It is so important!!
 I am not able to donate blood now due to my condition but I know a fair few people that do. I am just one of the millions of people who have received at least one blood transfusion. 

It is so important that people continue giving blood..


Monday, 17 November 2014

Learning To Dance In The Rain

This is a quote that inspired me a lot this weekend. I attended a conference with the teenage cancer trust and someone doing a talk mentioned this quote. It has stayed in the back of my mind ever since so I decided to use this as the quote of the week. I later done some research when I got home and seen that it was a quote from a woman called Vivian Greene. I hope this inspires some readers. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Malcolm Sargent House Young Adults Weekend

This month I was really lucky to have the opportunity to stay at the CLIC Sargent charity Malcolm Sargent House in Scotland. This was my third stay at MSH since my diagnosis and it is such a beautiful place. The landscape in Scotland is so breathtaking. I was invited by CLIC Sargent to attend a young adults week (ages 20-24) even though only 3 of us turned up we has such an amazing time. 
I made the stupid mistake of driving up....yes I am crazy! Getting there wasn't too bad at all, it was the driving back that was awful! I felt tired and drained by the end of the week and nearly had a nervous breakdown on the way home but after a 8 hour drive we made it! 
We had a very interesting, chilled out week. I traveled up with my cousin Demi and we met Judith who is another patient. She's lovely. It was nice to be able to share stories and build a new friendship throughout the week. Our week consisted of a plan of activities to do during the week, we had the option to participate if we wanted to. I love that the staff at the house never pressure you to go to day trips, you have your own choice if you want to go. 

Jewelry Making
We attended a jewelry making class which was really fun and interesting. I have never considered making jewelry before as I thought it wouldn't be my thing but surprisingly I really enjoyed it. We learnt how to make a simple set of jewelry, a bracelet, necklace and dangle earrings. I don't wear necklaces often unless they are really dainty or big and chunky. I always wear bracelets and earrings and am always questioning how handmade jewelry is made. Not only did I enjoy learning how to make jewelry but we were told how cheap you can make jewelry for and how to make a profit if I was to sell it. I can't say I am going to open my own shop and start selling jewelry but it is useful to know if I sell jewelry for a stall in the future.
I enjoyed it so much that I decided to buy a jewelry making kit. As we took the class we were offered the jewelry making starter kit at a discounted price so I thought why not! It is always useful to have to make as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. It is a new hobby of mine, I have already made a few bracelets and earrings since being home. I may write a blog post on how to make jewelry so keep a look out.

Now a lot of you will be thinking Ikea? One of the days we were given the opportunity to go to Braehead shopping center. Judith lives in Scotland so she wasn't too bothered about going but she did say that there was an Ikea across the road from the shopping center so myself and Demi decided to shop there for a few hours instead. We were both Ikea virgins and were so excited to go. I have always wanted to go to an Ikea store as the nearest one to home is quite far away. I wanted to buy everything in the store! Everything is such a reasonable price. There are some amazing home decor ideas, I just loved it all! I am just gutted that I don't have my own  house that I can decorate, I am stuck with my box room which is already over decorated. I did pick up a few bits. A drawer separator, which I have always wanted. I also picked up a few candles, anyone who knows me will know that I am obsessed with candles. The ones at Ikea smelt amazing  and were low priced so I picked up quite a few of them. 
After walking around the store for 2 hours, we decided to have some lunch in the Ikea cafe which was also reasonably priced. My auntie recommended the Swedish meatballs to us and they were so yummy. After having some lunch and a coffee, we walked around the store for another hour. After a successful shopping day for us both, we headed back to the house. 

Guy Fawkes Night
We went to watch a firework show in Kilmarnock which was a half hour drive from the house. It was such a freezing cold evening we all couldn't believe it. The fireworks were amazing, it was one of the best fireworks show I have ever seen. It was really busy with a  great atmosphere. I loved listening to the Scottish music playing while the fireworks were exploding, it was a great evening. 
Body Art
On our last evening at the house, we had a lady come to visit us to teach us tips on how to face paint. I am not artistic in the slightest but really enjoyed it. I have always been intrigued how face paint artists create some beautiful designs. We learnt that the trick of creating beautiful body art is by learning brush stroke techniques. We were given the opportunity to try and create some pretty art on some fake skin. The lady then painted our arms and they were beautiful! She is such a talented woman.
I had such a brilliant week at such a beautiful place. We had an amazing time with Judith having late film evenings and drinking hot chocolate. The best thing is being able to meet others and through CLIC Sargent I have managed to do this.

 CLIC Sargent is such an amazing charity and the Malcolm Sargent House is great! The staff are amazing! I bloody love it :) 
I am so grateful to have been able to have the opportunity to stay at MSH and have  a relaxing break. 
If anyone is receiving support from CLIC and want to know more about the house I will put a link below. 
This is a video I made that after me and my family visited Malcolm Sargent House last year.