Saturday, 12 December 2015

Back in the Saddle

I know, I have been a terrible blogger. I've not blogged in around five months, and I didn't even finish telling you about my sailing adventure with The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust over the summer. But I'm back now, to give a quick update on how I am health wise, about my college life, and life in general.

If you follow me on my Facebook and Twitter pages, then you'll know the fantastic news that I received in late October. After flying to Bristol for my yearly MRI scan of my brain, I met with my wonderful oncologist the next day, who told me that my tumour is stable. Honestly, when I first received the news I was a bit worried. I was thinking about how my tumour had shrunk by 2mm, then 1mm, and now it is stable which means it's neither shrunk nor grown. I was worried because I was thinking what if it doesn't shrink anymore, or what if it begins to grow, as the radiotherapy I had for six weeks over 2013/2014 has done everything that it can do. After having time to think, I feel much more confident as I'm looking on the positive side, than when I first received my results.

My health in general has been much better in comparison to how I was this time last year. Like I always say, I need to plan my days and weeks, and balance my college life with my social life. If I don't, then it's a downward spiral. Action Cancer has been extremely kind to me. I began having acupuncture with the charity around this time last year. They have allowed me to continue receiving the alternative treatment with them, as I find it really helps me to manage my chronic fatigue. Thank you to another wonderful charity for their great support.

I thoroughly enjoy college. I love everything about it from the course, to seeing my friends. I'm doing a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business, which is equivalent to three and a half A-Levels. The work isn't easy, but because it's all coursework and not exams which involves using your memory, my wee brain is able to manage brilliantly (GO BRAIN!). I'm into my second and final year of the course. My overall result for my first year was Distinction* Distinction* (D*D*). I have applied to and hope to go to University next year to do one of the following, Business Management, Business Studies, Marketing, Human Resource Management, or Human Resource Management and Marketing. I want to stay in Northern Ireland, but move out of my family home. Due to my health, it means I know if I'm having a bad period I can always go home and rest up well, but still have the independence of living away at the same time.

I have reached another big milestone in my life, as many other people have too. I passed my driving test last Saturday with one out of a total of fifteen minors! This was another big achievement in my life, after having to wait a year before I could receive my provisional license as I had radiotherapy, while hoping at the same time that I would be allowed to drive, I am now officially on the roads.

I am one of eleven Young Ambassadors for The Brain Tumour Charity. Sadly one of our fellow Young Ambassador and friend, passed away last week from her brain tumour. She fought her hardest, with strength and courage. I only got to meet her once at our first Young Ambassador meet up, but she will be remembered for being kind, funny, and inspiring to all. I have lost two other friends who both passed away from cancer this year. I met Ellie and Jessica at CLIC Sargent's Home from Home in Bristol while I received radiotherapy. We were staying there at the same time, and due to our circumstances I grew close to both of them. Ellie's family and mine even shared Christmas together at the Home from Home.

Over this Christmas period I will be thinking of families and friends who have lost their loved ones.

Danielle X