Last week was quite a big week for me as on Friday (31st March) I had a check-up at Heartlands Hospital. I’ve been in remission for 21 months but to be honest it only feels like 3.. Lately I’ve been having so many random pains, I’ve been so much more tired than usual so I really wasn’t looking forward to going to my check up. Usually I’m okay with going because once my consultant says I’m okay it reassures me but the waiting kills me, it’s the worst.
On the day of my check up my mom & sister came with me which they normally do to most big check up’s or appointments. My appointment was at 9am which I really didn’t mind but I had to be there about half an hour before to have a blood test although when I got to the ward they were running behind so I didn’t go in to have my blood taken until 9ish then there was quite a wait to see my consultant (he talks a lot). We finally went in just before 10.. My blood results all looked perfect and my physical examination was all clear! Although my blood results came back fine I really don’t trust them anymore as when I relapsed my blood results came back normal which I found really strange at the time.
Anyway, I can now say I’ve been in REMISSION for 22 MONTHS. So close to 2 years! EEEKKK. Last time I told my consultant about my ambassador role at Bloodwise so he asked how that was going, he then said they might be starting up a survivorship programme at Heartlands and asked if I could do a speech, I said yes straight away! I’m not the best at public speaking but if sharing my story helps just one person it’s worth it. My next appointment at Heartlands will be in 12 months which is crazy. I have appointments at my local hospital every 6 months just to keep a check on everything which definitely helps my anxiety.
On the way home from the hospital I was absolutely fine but once we got home I burst out in tears. To be honest I’m still not sure why. My mental health has been the worst it’s been for a long while so I think I just broke down. It’s not easy living with anxiety & depression. I haven’t really mentioned my mental health a lot on social media and on my blog but I do want to start as I want to make more people aware how hard it is living life after cancer. It’s not easy. PTSD doesn’t get talked about a lot in cancer survivors and this really needs to change.
On Sunday (2nd April) I celebrated my 2nd Re-Birthday! My immune system turned two years old. Two years post transplant. Two years since I was lying in a hospital bed having my new stem cells pumped back into my body after days of high dose chemotherapy. The moment itself is underwhelming, just like having a blood transfusion but the weeks after were the hardest weeks of my life. But now, two years on it remains one of the most important days of my life. It’s one of the few days associated with cancer that’s actually worth celebrating!
I had decided that I wanted to go to Oxford for the day so that’s what we planned, mostly because I was going to meet Amy. Amy and I were diagnosed around the same time 3 years ago both with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and we first started talking on Instagram as we were both going through the same chemo, having the same side effects and we could just relate to each other, she inspired me to keep fighting when I was feeling so weak. We started talking more and more then we became friends on Facebook. After 6 months we had both finished chemo but still kept in contact, unfortunately as you guys already know I relapsed and had my transplant in 2015 but only a year later in 2016 Amy relapsed and had to go through a stem cell transplant which literally broke my heart but instantly we became closer. Thankfully Amy is now in remission and I’m so lucky I can call her one of my best friends.
I’m SO happy I could finally meet the girl who’s been my rock for 3 years. After meeting Amy.. Me, my sister and mom went to explore Oxford and I didn’t realise how pretty it is and somewhere I’ll definitely be going back too, unfortunately I forgot my camera but I did take a couple of photos with my iPhone before my battery died which you can see below! We had lunch at a lovely pub and did a little shopping but by about 3:30pm I was exhausted so we decided to head home.