Back to the Land of the Living…
Finally I’m back!
I’ve had quite a break from writing and I really do think I deserve to update you all and get back to it!
So in the past few weeks it’s been rather eventful…
But I’ll start with the good news!
I’ve got a university place!
As of the 22nd of September I’ll be a student of University of South Wales doing a Foundation Science Year….which means I don’t have to go back to school (yay)
I loved my comprehensive (so you know) but I am so glad that I have new opportunities now and that I can do something alternative to A Levels. I really hadn’t imagined being able to do the whole university thing this year, with it being so close from transplant and me not having my levels so the unconditional offer feels slightly dreamlike! It’s going to mean that this year hasn’t held me back or restricted my options, I’ll be able to travel seeing friends while living at home and attempt to learn to drive (I am the most uncoordinated person ever…)
So yeah, I’m going to uni!
As for me, for the first time in quite a while I really feel like myself. My journey over the last 6 months most certainly hasn’t been as hard as it could have been, but that doesn’t mean that it has been easy by any means. Considering the time I’ve spent as an inpatient I can most definitely say it’s been tedious, and each hour in hospital (especially the isolated ones) have been felt!
I’ve just been trying to get back to normality, going out with friends, and am happy to be less restricted on what foods I can eat. I had my year 13 Leavers Ball at Cardiff Museum, which after much stressing over whether I would be able to go was a great evening. Funnily enough I was practically the last to leave! It was a slightly surreal leap back into something fab for the night, especially having been in isolation for the best part of four weeks, and great to be able to tell all the doctors and nurses I had made it!
The reason for my silence has been my being bit ill recently, and spending the majority of the last 6 weeks in hospital, between mysterious temperatures, the CMV virus and GvHD.
For those less familiar with the joys of life post-transplant, GvHD (for short) is one the most common post-transplant complications. In grafting to become your cells, the donor cells ‘attack’ your body’s remaining cells to dominate. They can also flare up and ‘attack’ other bits of you, generally skin, liver or gut cells. In my case, I got a spot of GvHD in my stomach and gut, resulting in rather a lot of sickness, some pain and a lot of waiting around and whining on my part. Oh and I also got to experience some fabulous camera and endoscopy work, which is on every teenager to-do list. Not. This cancer lark really is incredibly glamorous. Honestly, if you know any aspiring medics, half hour with me and they would know if it was the right path for them. I swear I have medical investigation history of an entire GP surgery over 60! (Plus extra)
Getting a ‘smidge’ of GvHD is a kind of good thing though. Obviously we don’t want to make me ill, but getting it shows that the grafting donor cells are fighting ‘foreign’ cells, which means they would fight off any rouge cancer cells. So I cant really complain, plus I think I’m pretty fixed up now, and am as above, feeling much better. Steroids do wonders for the appetite, I’ve quite scared myself with eating this week. There could quite possibly be a national cocktail sausage shortage after the amount I’ve eaten!
You need to be ready for some exciting news and new blogs coming soon!
In this blog I want to ‘shout out’ to two people, one I know very well, and one I know almost nothing at all about.
First of all, the stranger. Thank you for being so very kind. Between widely spaced hospital appointments this week, me and mum decided to treat ourselves to lunch at TGI Fridays. Not being entirely normal we order several starters and sides instead of meals, and I can surely say, there was TONS (I’m allowed, I’m on steroids). Due to the old compromised immune system, and the rest of the restaurant being fairly busy we had asked to be sat away from other people, and were near the bar. After chatting to my mum for a few minutes, a kind (and we think, restaurant regular) upon hearing we’d spent the rest of the day at the hospital, offered to pay for our meal for us! It was such a heart-warming surprise, we really have no idea who this man was, he just said that in illness being treated at Velindre, his mother had been shown great kindness and that he wanted to pay it forward. Whoever you are, thank you.
The other person is someone I’ve gotten to know so very well over the past few months, my lovely friend Elenid. I met her on her very first day in hospital, and seen her through all her treatment…where yesterday she was told she’s in complete remission!!!!! This is the BEST news anyone like us can hear!!! She is so so so so deserving of it, she is so awesome, and I hope your remission party tonight is full of piñatas and prosecco!
Hope this is an ok little update,
Emily x (new uni student!)
From the ball!