Monday, 3 February 2014

Teenagers are all Gone!

It is another new month, February now and four months post transplant I reached another milestone this weekend as we celebrated Rose's 20th birthday. It feels a bit strange to think we have no teenagers left now and my girls are now 'grown up'! We went down to Bournemouth to stay with her and celebrate and David also came up from Exeter to join us for the weekend.

We enjoyed a stroll around the quay at Christchurch
Flooded river and February sunshine

Rose was only 16 and in the middle of her GCSEs when I first found out I was ill and had a very poor prognosis. She very calmly managed to finish her exams and carry on, although our family was in complete turmoil. She then went on to sixth form, was head girl in her final year and then went on to University in Bournemouth after her A levels. During all this time, I was deteriorating, but she got through her exams and then her first year at university, which wasn't an easy one for her as she had difficulties with her accommodation. On top of this she had to contend with the uncertainty of my illness and impending transplant. She then had a very rocky start to her second year at university, as no sooner had we taken her back, I got my transplant call and she had to drop everything and rush back home. She had to miss lectures and tutorials, but despite all that was going on, she managed to complete all her assignments and keep up with all her exams. We are so proud of her and what she has managed to achieve during this difficult time for our family.

Outside 'The Captain's Club', where we had dinner. 

Oops! It's a bit flooded everywhere!

For me, it is another great milestone to see Rose reach 20. When Rose was only 16 and I had just found out how seriously ill I was, it was a dreadful time and we had no idea what the future was going to hold for us. It certainly didn't look like I would see her reach 20, as my health rapidly went from bad to worse. Just as Rose turned 17, I was referred to the transplant team, as things were looking quite bleak. By the time she celebrated her 18th, I was on the transplant list and given a prognosis of only two years to live, then while she was nineteen I had my transplant and life changed yet again. 

A peek view of Bournemouth Pier

Just watching the sea life from the pier!

Illness and transplant is a most difficult time for the people who are closest to you: I know that in many ways it has been harder for them to endure than it has been for me. We have always been a close family, but what we have been through has brought us all even closer together. We are now all feeling much more settled and enjoying new things we can do together. All our lives have now been changed for the better thanks to my transplant and I think we all appreciate life and living life more than ever now.

The first crocuses I have spotted this year!

So it is such a wonderful thing to me that I was able to see Rose turn 20 and able to celebrate her birthday with her this year having had my transplant; not just that, but thanks to getting my transplant, actually celebrating feeling much better and fitter than I have in years and feeling much more positive and hopeful. So still getting better by the day, I am full of hope now that I will be able to celebrate many more birthdays to come with her and she with me. It has been special for me to see my family's delight at my recovery so far and to see all of us moving forward now, whatever the future may hold.

I can never thank my donor and their family enough for what they have done for us, especially during those special moments we shared this weekend. 

Special moments!

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