Thursday, 22 May 2014

And that was May ... so now it's eight months on!

Now we have reached June. It feels like quite an achievement to have got this far. We have had a bit of mixed weather this last month, but we have had our first bout of hot weather amongst it too. 

We enjoyed our first barbeque of the year, just like many other families. It has felt especially good to be back outside and enjoying the garden and the longer days and sunshine once more. To be just sitting out in the garden relaxing and enjoying a barbeque with my family has felt marvellous. Since last October it has always been just one step at a time, no thinking too far ahead, just one step forward and seeing where each step leads. I didn't really dare think ahead to summer and enjoying barbeques back in October, so they feel quite special moments that I'm able to enjoy now. I'm always grateful for each day as it comes. 

Better still I am back making myself useful in the garden again. This year I'm making up pots and baskets and doing lightweight jobs. I have to wear gloves and keep my face covered because of the fungal spores in the soil, which can be dangerous for my new lungs. I've also got to wear a sun hat and sun cream as my risk of skin cancer is very high due to the immunosuppressant drugs. 

I'm trying hard to follow the advice I've been given, as I want to give myself the best odds in staying well. It is easy to become relaxed about it now I feel so much better and I don't wish to wrap myself in cotton wool, but when I think back to where I have come from, then I know it is better to be cautious. After being given a new chance, my biggest dread is ending up back in the same place again or even worse, so it is the main priority in my life to keep myself as well as possible. 

My lung function is good still - well better than ever - and I'm working hard on building up my fitness levels and stamina. My SATs are at 99% - better than Rob's! I try to keep myself as active as possible now and find new ways to keep exercising that I enjoy. At the moment several walks around the garden carrying a half filled watering can is proving a good workout on an evening, as is a bit of gardening - all that bending, stretching and squatting! I still like walking though; I still can't really get over the fact I can go for a walk. Rob is starting to complain that I keep making him do lots of walking and I'm walking faster and faster. I'm still using my exercise bike, doing some basic yoga and step aerobics and I think all of this is really helping my new heart and lungs. 

I don't pinch myself every five minutes like I did in those first few months, but I do still pinch myself, maybe every day rather than every minute! I often have moments that feel totally overwhelming, it isn't necessarily when I'm doing something extra special or new; it is more usually when I'm doing something like pushing a shopping trolley around Tescos or stood there wading my way through a big pile of ironing, just something very ordinary or mundane. I think it is because when I was ill, I felt so robbed of being able to do such basic things and had lost so much of my independence. It is just so wonderful to have it back again once more. Being able to go out on my own once more and walk around like a normal person can still feel shocking. It sounds silly to most people I know, because most of us just take being able to walk for granted, I know I used to. 

A day still doesn't go by where I don't think about my donor and their family and what they have had to go through. They have given me so much I don't think I will ever really be able to put it into words. 

They inspire me on to keep making the most of my new life. 

Planting up the summer bedding plants, gloves, scarf, sun hat and all, but hey I'm gardening again! 

Lazy summer barbeques! That's the life! 

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