It’s crazy to think it is Day 248, time is flying by and soon I will be 1! The next few months could be rather challenging as we enter autumn and winter, the season of bugs. I don’t think I’ve ever been so keen for a cold winter and in fact we are due a cold winter after three mild ones, fingers crossed the germs are frozen into submission. I sit on the train, someone two or three seats in front coughs or sneezes, instinctively I consider the merit of moving away from them whilst giving them daggers for daring to sneeze near me! Don’t they know my immune system is only eight months old?

I requested a transfer from Barts to a hospital nearer to my new home in the Cotswolds, it was an odd mixture of emotions leaving Barts. I confess to quietly walking the corridors saying my goodbyes to a place which oddly has a huge chunk of heart but which I’m also pleased to see back of. I had my first appointment in with my new consultant this week and she seems on the ball, as well as very nice. She would like me to see an oral specialist in relation to my GvHD, otherwise she doesn’t plan any changes to my current regime therefore it was very routine along with the waiting times J

Life is beginning to resume a routine after treatment for AML, two transplants and a house move. One of the things which regularly frustrated me over the last eighteen months was that my diet / lifestyle pre AML went out of the window. Previously, I was quite disciplined with my food and exercise, for the last three weeks I have focused on getting back into the habit of creating meals which are fresh, full of colour and nutrition. Also in a moment of madness signed up to run 5km in November, I refer to it as a moment of madness because I have always loathed running. For the briefest of moments I thought it was a good idea to challenge myself?! I been training for a few weeks now, it has been mentally taxing as I spend most the time arguing with myself. ‘I hate running. Why did I decide to do this? How can I get out of it? It’s only 5km you only to run it once. Really, does anyone like running?’ Putting my running mutterings to one side, I feel that I am finally creating a habit which will be a lifestyle before long. Being fit and healthy may not have prevented my developing AML, however I am in no doubt that being strong and ‘well’ was a big factor in my ability to withstand the treatment.

All the changes which have occurred in the last eighteen months, physical and mental have very much altered how I see myself and chipped away at my self-confidence. The reality is that I do not feel comfortable in my own skin as I once did; it’s understandable that to endure all I have in such a short space of time will transform a person. At this present time I don’t feel as if I’ve transformed, rather I’m stuck somewhere between who I was and where I am going to. I suspect the continued GvHD and the menopausal changes are two key players in why I’m feeling so unsure of myself. I’m hoping focusing on my well being via a healthy lifestyle, will help to rebuild my confidence in myself.

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The Macmillan coffee morning I recently organised at work raised a very respectable total of £472.92. Macmillan provided me with a grant of £450, that grant was a lifeline it’s pleasing to know that we raised enough to help someone as they helped me. I have promised myself to repay the £450 before the year draws to a close but giving isn’t all about money. I recently agreed to an interview with Anthony Nolan in the hope of helping others, I won’t be so bold as to say I believe I can inspire people, I would be happy if the interview gives someone courage during a difficult time. You can read the interview / blog using the below link.

http://blog.anthonynolan.org/2016/09/cancer-and-survivorship-rachels-transplant-story/

 

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