Tag Archives: freedom

ALL the way home…

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Just over 2 and a half years since this all started, December 17th 2015 marked the end of my treatment for ALL. Clever pun in the title? Anyone? No? I’ll stop! But I have been waiting two years to use that one.
 In December I had my last ever lumbar puncture (hooray… those of you who have been in this for the long haul will recall my not so brilliant track record with those!) as well as finally saying goodbye to bone marrow procedures for good.
It still hasn’t really sunk in. Being the ‘cancer girl’ is such an intrinsic part of my day to day life that tablets, blood tests and texts from nurses became second nature to me. I liked the security of knowing exactly what my bloods were doing each week, since this is the fastest indication if anything is wrong. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Waking up on December 18th and not having to worry about taking my tablets brought a new freedom that I’ve taken to very well. I’ve lost count of the times that I used to stare angrily at my tablets and think about how much I hated them and wished I didn’t have to take them (which I always would do in the end… the fear of relapse would have me swallowing those darn things faster than you can say chemo).
Although I was originally told that my treatment would end in the summer of 2015, the timing worked out well in that I was all clear of chemo for christmas. It also meant that stress alone rather than the pesky steroids was the reason I stayed awake at night before my mocks! Although I have definitely regained a lot of my ordinary life through the maintenance treatment allowing me to go to college, this final step of finishing treatment has given me another bit of much needed and greatly cherished normalcy.
With university interviews happening sporadically and my A2 exams looming *gulp* life is fairly busy. I’ve struggled a lot to find motivation with studying this year so I’m now working extra hard to ensure I don’t waste my good work from last year.
So this is it. I think I’ll write one last post on the lessons I’ve learned from this whole experience as that seems a good way to round this blog off. I’ve loved every minute of crafting posts, reading comments and most of all having a creative outlet where I’m able to be totally open about my experiences. Thank you for reading and for encouraging and  supporting me over the years. It means more than I can say.

 

Just Married (NOT ME!)

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** WARNING! due to photos and my ability to ramble this is going to be a long, descriptive post!! **

I mentioned we were down in Bath in my last post, but I haven’t written one to talk about the weekend yet. On Saturday morning we woke up early, so we managed to squeeze in the Roman Baths and an open top bus tour before the wedding! I enjoyed seeing the Roman Baths, as a previous Latin student it’s a place I had heard quite a bit about and wanted to visit. The steam coming off of the water was eerie, mum even stuck her hand in to see how warm it was (I then overheard a guide telling another visitor to make sure she washed her hands straight after as the water contains so much bacteria. At that point I was very relieved that I had decided not to put my hand in!)

The architecture of Bath is just beautiful. It is largely filled with Georgian town-houses for any of you who haven’t been, but places such as the Roman Baths and the Abbey with its Gothic look are some of the reasons that Bath is the only city in Britain that has been made a World Heritage Site. The open top bus tour showed us many of the highlights, but simply walking around  the streets of Bath offered us some lovely sights. We happened to be there on the day of a Jane Austen celebration, which we didn’t realise but I had a suspicion that something was happening as there were an abnormal amount of people in period costumes when we went around on the bus. Just as we were rushing back up to the hotel we saw a gathering of people so we stopped to see what was happening. I am not exaggerating when I say that there were HUNDREDS of people dressed in Austen outfits, all in a giant parade down the main street. I’ve never seen anything like it except the parades at Disneyland! There were children, the elderly, men, women and even the ‘militia’ coming down the road. As an avid Jane Austen fan I loved it, and since we didn’t realise just how many people there would be we stayed a little too long watching, which took away from our getting ready for the wedding time!

Trying to make a collage ruined the quality of the photos so if you click on a photo the slideshow should appear, let me know in the comments if it doesn’t work!

Soon enough we were in the taxi heading to Frome for the wedding. The first venue was a lovely converted chapel on top of a small hill in the town, it is now an art gallery but can be hired for weddings. The ceremony was lovely, and I’ll admit I shed a tear at the vows!

After watching the bride and groom, Ed and Emily, sent off in a gorgeous old car we slowly made our way to the reception at Batts Farm. This was a barn with a smaller room leading into a high ceilinged main room where the tables were laid. Both looked absolutely beautiful, the smaller room was filled with fairy lights, bunting and the bar, and the bigger room had the tables in a U shape with mismatched table clothes and colourful wildflowers on the table, as well as bunting hung from the tall wooden beams. Each seat had a piece of slate with our name written on and some seeds to plant as a favour- such delicate and lovely touches! Outside there were hay bales with blankets set in circles for people to sit and chat on, along with even more bunting, this time made by the beautiful bride, Emily!

The rest of the day was filled with photos, excellent food and bouncing on the bouncy castle- props to Emily who managed it very well despite the wedding dress! One of the nurses who no longer works at Southampton had come down for the reception so we got to catch up on everything.  And yes, I did tear up at the speeches, I tried not to let any loose but when people get emotional like that then I am gone too! Mum and I had the loveliest day despite being nervous because we didn’t know many people, which didn’t even matter because everyone we spoke to was kind and welcoming (even if they didn’t know who on earth we were or why we were there- an interesting one to try and explain!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the live band, it was a mix of country and bluesy type music I think so we all had a great laugh twisting, kicking and (attempting) jive like moves! They also had a lovely group of three musicians who were playing as people arrived for the reception, it made a sweet atmosphere whilst we sat in the evening light on the hay talking.

On Sunday it was mums birthday so I took her out for a birthday breakfast at Carluccio’s. We then did some shopping (or in my case, a mammoth amount… they had a Primark… I couldn’t resist!) then we caught the train home for a BBQ dinner with the cousins. I had such a lovely weekend and will definitely be returning to Bath in the future!

My bloods are still fine so far (touchwood) as my Hb was 113, Platelets 116 and Neutrophils 3 this Tuesday. Later in Human Biology we are looking at samples of our own blood that we took on Monday, so I am really interested to see if mine looks any different to the healthy people in my class! The only other news is that I am on a serious health kick after Bath and my steroid hunger, college gym here I come!!! Hope you enjoyed the photos, there are more on my facebook in case you are curious or haven’t already seen them.