One year on...

I've been trying for ages to write my "One Year" post. I've known for a while that I've wanted to write one but I've also known how difficult I would find writing it. It feels like I'm trying to write my Donor letter again except this time instead of just one family potentially reading it there will be quite a few people actually reading it. 

I don't know where to start really. This week my time hop has been really weird for me, I'm seeing all these posts and pictures of myself from a year ago and the other day my "I miss Me" post came up, this was the last post I wrote before I got my transplant. When you read that post I think you can tell how down I was, how verging on depressed I was and how much I had just given up on ever getting my transplant. I saw some pictures of me without make-up and it reminded me of my awful horrible skin colour that my IV Epoprostenal gave me and it made me appreciate my skin colour again. My skin was one of the first things I noticed when I woke up, it was rosy but not the horrible fake rosy that the Epo gave me it was a natural glowy rosy that comes from having a perfectly normal working set of heart and lungs. It made me happy to see and made me remember how lucky I am. 

I could just go over what happened when I got my transplant with you again but I imagine that would be quite boring for you all to have to read again so if you do want to remind yourself on my transplant here's the first post I did after my transplant "The next Chapter: Post Transplant..."

So I guess what I'm going to do is reflect on my year as a whole and also get excited about a few things that are coming up as well. Obviously when leaving hospital there was a good few things that I had been dying to do (lol) like getting up my house stairs, taking a bath up to my neck (although I did have to work up to that one because I was so afraid that my chest was just going to open and everything was going to spill out), walking up my street, getting changed and making my bed without having to stop... There were just these little things that everyone takes for granted that I wanted to do. Then there were the bigger things like finishing my degree a slightly bigger one for me and something I had been working towards for 4 years whilst also waiting for my transplant. I very nearly gave up on it several times, when I had to postpone it for a bit when I got septicaemia and then when I simply got to points where I thought "What is the actual point of me doing this when I'm just going to die anyway?" So to actually complete that was simply amazing and I have my graduation ceremony to go to as well this coming September which I'm not actually looking forward to but its all part of the experience hey. 

I would say the past year has really been me trying to find myself and who I am and I still am definitely not there yet but I feel like I'm closer. I've been able to spend precious time with my Niece and Nephews which as much as they can be hard work I wouldn't change them for the world. I got to meet my new nephew which I'm positive wouldn't have happened if my call had not have happened. 

Even though the past few weeks have been a bit difficult for me and my lung function has taken a bit of dive, the past year I have done so much walking and just getting out and about than I ever thought possible and the past few weeks has reminded me how much I do enjoy doing that so I really need to work on trying to get my lung function back up where it was because I can feel the drop and that's quite scary for someone like me because it's a horrible reminder of how easily you could be back where you were and although we all know we'll probably end up being back there some day because chances are transplanted organs don't last forever but I want to delay the inevitable for as long as possible. 

I've got a fair few things coming up as well that I'm so excited about. I have my first ever holiday this Friday, it's just going to be a nice little getaway for several days, it will be the first time I will have been on a plane which is really scary. I say first time but the last time I was on a  plane I was 5 years old and it was this thing the RAF did at the time where they would fly really low over the little village we lived in and they would open the back of the plane for people to look out of over the edge. There was netting but to my 5 year old mind this netting looked ridiculous it was roped and the holes were huge in my mind my 5 year old body would just fall straight through it. So the entire time we were in the air whoever was on that plane that day had to deal with two very distraught 5 year olds (megan and myself) crying their eyes out. So not the best experience to have with planes really but I'm hoping my what I'm going to call my first proper experience with a plane will be much better, there won't be any opening of the back of the plane and everything will be very smooth and hopefully less noisy than a Hercules plane!

In July something I'm slightly nervous about but also very excited about is that I'm taking part in the British Transplant Games. I can hear the laughter at me taking part or doing anything physically demanding but I always said I probably wouldn't do it but I kind of want to just do it even if it's only once, I want to be able to say I took part. I certainly don't ever expect to win any medals or anything but I think it will be fun and a laugh. 

In August my boyfriend and I are planning a Europe trip where we will inter-rail around various different places and I am so excited about it. Hopefully it will mean I finally get to see Auschwitz which I know sounds so depressing and so many people ask me why that's one of the first places on my list to go see but if you know me my favourite history is World War Two and if I had actually been allowed to go to the university that I wanted to go to and got accepted to and do the topics that I wanted to do my dissertation would have been on the genocide of Jews [Fun Fact lol]. Unfortunately it didn't go that way for me and I ended up doing my degree through the Open Uni which I don't regret because if I had gone to my university of choice I probably would have ended up dropping out at some point because of how ill I got. Maybe now I can do some bits and pieces on the history I really wanted to learn :). But yes! It is something I am just so excited for and as long as I stay in good health all that will happening in the not very distant future.    

Now even though I have had my transplant I'm never going to be one of those people that plans years into the future, I'm very happy just living in the here and now and enjoying what is happening at the moment, although that being said I am having to give a bit of leeway to that for three very special people. My sister and two of my best friends are all getting married next year; Gina in July, Bernice in September and Candice in November all of 2017 so as much as I don't want to be planning too far ahead at the moment the furthest I'm planning ahead is the 10th November 2017. I'm so excited that they've all asked me to be a part of their big days I get to be maid of honour for both of my best friends which is not something I had on my bucket list and I think that's because I probably thought no-one would really want me to be but also I never thought I'd get to see it or be here for that type of thing. Candice has obviously gone for the outlandish abroad wedding and we're all jetting off to Orlando next year and if we're all honest as excited as I am for the wedding part I'm just as excited about going to Harry Potter land. That is definitely where you will find me for the entire 10 days we're there :D lol! 

As much as I'm talking about all the things I've done and all the things that I'm looking forward to doing there is one person who I wish could know about them and they just never will. It's the double edged sword when it comes to transplant, some-one has saved your life and that person will never ever know. I'm not religious so therefore I don't believe that people are looking down on us from heaven, I don't believe in an afterlife and that is a reason why I found it so hard pre transplant and certainly something that brings up my anxiety about death. It's hard to accept that this woman who selflessly said yes and saved me, she will never know. I may never know anything about this woman who she was, what she did and yet here I am walking and talking and living my life because I have 3 of her organs living on inside of me. It's a hard thing to process. I've always said I wouldn't be someone that would want to meet up with my donors family, I have a few reservations about that type of thing, but I do wish she could know and even though I've sent my donors family a letter I don't know if they've accepted it but I want them to know that I'm doing well and I'm trying to honour the gift I've been given in the best way that I can.

It's a weird day. It's the day I was given my life back but for this woman and her family she was ripped from them. I don't know the manner in which she died but in most transplant cases it's unexpected and I'm guessing that's the case here too. So for them it'll be a year that they've been without her. She could have been a mum, a sister, an aunty, a wife, I don't know but someone somewhere lost someone they loved a year ago and whilst I'm happy that I've had another year of life and going out and achieving things I've dreamt of for so long there will be a family somewhere mourning their year without the person they love. 

It's certainly a weird day, you want to be happy but then you feel guilty because someone died to allow you to see this day and that's a weird and hard feeling and something I don't think I'll ever be able to get accustomed to.    

As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon


  1. You are such an inspiration Stacey. I hope you enjoy every second of your adventures. You are doing your donor proud and I hope one day her Family get to meet the beautiful girl their loved one saved! Your friends and family must be very proud of you! Have a great holiday, look forward to hearing all about it on your return! xx

  2. Stacie, I have just had your original Swindon Advertiser story pop up onto my FB as I shared the story of your transplant a year ago. As the story popped up I then googled your name and found your blog. You are one inspirational young lady, I have to say. I am sure that the family of your donor is uppermost in your mind, but rest assured they are drawing a lot of comfort knowing that through their loss someone else is now living their life. I hope that one day you do get to meet, but only when the time is ready for you all.


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