Monday, 2 January 2012

What A Year! 2011 and Looking Ahead to 2012...

I am in two minds about this year. The first is so glad it's over, the second is that this year has been quite successful.

My health has changed a lot this year, especially when I compare myself to last year, I could climb the stairs, I didn't have a wheelchair, I had 3 courses of IV's because sheer stubbornness tended to get me through my bugs. Then this year, I started oxygen in January, overnight and when walking then I was told to use it when I was struggling with my breathing, so the usage became more frequent (at home, still not 100% comfortable wearing it in public.) I use my wheelchair a lot, other than small walks. I have had 9 courses of IV's and have spent 20 weeks of the year on the evil IV's, also the more unwell I am, the worse I suffer with the IV side effects. Last year I was advised to consider transplant, now I am actually being assessed and if I am deemed 'well enough' at my assessment in April and everything goes to plan, I will be on the active transplant waiting list.
Over the course of the year I have seen my health deteriorate quite fast and my ever-increasing need for IV's and my inability to do simple tasks, such as washing my hair, getting dressed, climbing the stairs without the help of Josh is a constant reminder of just how bad I have got.

Also this year I experienced my first ever loss, I have lost family, my great Nanny, my second cousin David. But losing my puppy Foxxy was the hardest thing I have ever gone through, I couldn't eat for days because all I wanted to do was cry and grieve. Losing anybody close is difficult but I'd never gone through something that close to home before and it was horrible. I still miss her so much and I would give anything to have her back, but I take comfort in knowing if we did still have Foxxy we wouldn't have been able to give these new little babies a great, loving home, with a Mummy and Daddy that spoil them and treat them like our children not just pets. I know Foxxy is watching over us and she will protect us and the new pups :) xxxxx

This year has also had its good sides. When I decided to make my blog public after 2 years of writing privately, only to those with CF, I never expected it to have generated so much. I thought maybe a handful of people would have read it and maybe I'd get the odd comment but what actually happened was unreal.
Firstly my story was in my local newspaper the Evening Star, I was also on ITV and BBC local news, on Radio Suffolk and I also was in the daily mail after fronting a national organ donation campaign with Live Life Then Give Live. I was invited to attend the Evening Star press ball, where I met some wonderful people and received a number of amazing gifts through sheer generosity. The ball also raised a lot of money for the CF trust and various other local charities. I also won the Stars of Suffolk outstanding bravery award which was a complete shock but an absolute honour, not for one minute did I expect to win so when I actually did, I was very emotional and cried my way onto the stage, lol! I became an ambassador for LLTGL, next year I hope to raise even more awareness about organ donation and hopefully, along with the other amazing people working with LLTGL, we can put an end to the statistic that only 50% of people on the list will get their transplant in time. We also did the abseil for the CF trust where my family and friends raised over £3000. A good friend of mine, Jo, had her birthday party and wanted all of her 'presents' to be donations to CF.

One of the most important things that has happened this year is realising who will be there when things go wrong, who will be by your side when you are too weak to do anything, those who don't just perk up when you are unwell, but the special ones who are there through the good and the bad times.
Firstlt my parents, Jacqui, Gary and my Stepdad Matt, they are absolutely fantastic, I couldn't ask for anything more, they are always there for me no matter what.
Josh is amazing, I don't think I need to explain exactly why because it's very obvious how important he is to me, we have almost been together 3 years and have been engaged for 1 year. He gave up his job as an estate agent this year to become my full time carer, so I was able to move in with him permanently and I am forever thankful that he has done this for me.
My Nanny and Grandad, Margaret and Len - they always take me back and forth to clinic, visit me many times when I am in hospital and are always there to to help when I need it, I always get a text from my Nanny every clinic appointment to say good luck and that they hope it goes well, this sort of thing keeps me going because I know they are thinking of me.
Likewise my Auntie Hayley, I get texts from her too before clinic and her first question is always, how are you feeling at the moment? We also always have giggles at poker :)
My Sister Kim is great too and we have just found out the amazing news she is pregnant so I am going to be an Auntie :) I love my sister to pieces and I am so so happy for her and her fiancé Kieren.
Also Josh's family have been so supportive, some peoples parents may not want their son/daughter to be with someone who has as much baggage as me (lol!) and ultimately an uncertain future, but they have been great and very understanding particularly over the last year when things have got quite difficult for me.
I have also made some great friends this year mainly people with CF, like Kimberley Kneil, she is a lovely, caring person and when we lost Foxxy she sent me a heart shaped pendant with a hologram of me and Fox on it with very kind words in the other side, I thought this was such a wonderful thing and it is my little lucky charm, she is also waiting to be listed for a transplant at Harefield and I have no doubt when we both receive them we will be meeting up plenty of times :D
Also, Alan Crowther, we became very close this year and he has been a great support and a good friend particularly when I was in hospital, we would sit up until silly hours talking on msn, he is going through a difficult time at the moment as he is unable to have a transplant in the UK and is becoming very sick and I am constantly thinking of him and wishing him better.
Another friend is Victoria Glen, she is a lovely girl and whenever I need advice, or just someone to chat to, she is there. She hasn't had the best year but I am positive good things will happen for her this year because she is so lovely she deserves a break :) and when I have had my transplant, I am travelling up to Scotland where we are going to get absolutely drunk together because we are actual alcoholics, hehe!
Finally people like Clare Cruickshank, Kirstie Tancock, Chantelle Hughes, Emily Thackray, Pete Franklin and anyone else I may have missed, I apologise. But it's been a great year for making new friends and if I receive my transplant I have a lot of wonderful people to meet up with :).
Finally, the fantastic people who read my blog, the support I have received has been overwhelming and I thank you all for your kindness :)

So I'm going to end this blog by saying that my new years resolution is to focus on what is important. Staying as well as possible, getting myself on the transplant list, continuing to work hard raising awareness for CF and organ donation and looking out for the people I care about and being eternally grateful to the amazing people who care about me.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a happy, healthy 2012!


Tori said...

I can't wait for the drunken times ahead :) Thank you for the very nice write up!!

I am positive you are going to get on that list and transplanted before you know it.

Love V x

Gemma said...

Fingers crossed by 2013 you will have new lungs and can take those gorgeous pups for reallllly long walks!! xx

Chantelle said...

When (not if) you get your new lungs we can go see V together, ROAD TRIP xx

Anonymous said...

What an uplifting post, thank you for sharing. You are so very lucky to be surrounded by loving, supportive family and friends.
And yes, here's to a happy 2012!

CaramelBunny said...

New lungs & great times ahead - Im coming to Scotland too !! :D :D Much love & hugs xxxxx

Mark W said...

I hope that 2012 is the year you fulfill your dreams and start your new life with new lungs.
Things will get better I am sure:)

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