Since my treatment finished back in July 2017 – I thought my health and life would start to resume a boring normal and my blog would slowly filter down to page 5000 on Google! Unfortunately it hasn't been all roses and rainbows and I've not gone longer than a 2 month break from the hospital – I've even added a new one to the list! Change of scenery an all that! Don't worry my Lymphoma is stable (we think) more on that in the next blog. However, my liver is not! I'd been having high liver levels for a while, so to establish the cause - they needed to carry out a liver biopsy. I've had my fair share of surgeries; I've had my hip bone drilled into without pain-killers, a biopsy taken from the tumour in my neck and also from the tumour in my back - so you'd have thought my body would have built up a pretty sturdy pain barrier - but this liver biopsy was excruciating. It never gets any easier being on an operating table surrounded by a team of surgeons and nurses, having your body cut into. My anxiety levels were through the roof! The procedure involved a small incision into my upper right side with a small needle then inserted to cut off some of my liver - all while awake! As with every other procedure I've had - I am never given enough pain relief and this surgery wasn't an exception.
Once enough of the liver tissue was collected, I was bandaged up and sent to a ward. For the next 6 hours I had to lie still and on my back to prevent any internal bleeding. A difficult task for someone as fidgety as me! As soon as the risk of internal bleeding had passed and I was allowed to leave, my body decided to play havoc and I could barely move. Every inhale of breath, cough, slight movement caused excruciating pain - all caused by the liver pain and irritation of the muscles around it! For the next few days I was on bed rest and dosed to my eyeballs with pain relief. All in all an experience, I never want to have again. 5 surgeries in 3 years isis plenty enough for one person! After a few weeks of testing and re-testing, they found that I have a super rare liver virus. Not only am I one of the youngest patients with follicular lymphoma but I also have a rare Hepatitis E infection! I like to be special me!
Consultants have no clue how or where I developed this infection but it's causing a fair bit of damage to my liver and my body can't seem to get rid. Because of the complexities of my health issues - my liver and I are now under the care of the hepatologists at Kings College London (I am still keeping my Lymphoma consultant because he is the greatest and I adore him). My treatment plan for the virus is 4 tablets a day, for potentially over a year. The tablets help to keep my liver levels down and to reduce the viral infection. It's not affecting my quality of life – I can manage the pain and chowing down on medication has become my new normal.
Other than lymphoma and liver – life is good! Really good!
Francesca and I are forever travelling and adventuring. Since I met F, I'd been saying that seeing the Aurora Borealis had been something that I'd always dreamed about seeing. So this year to celebrate my 30th birthday in true Francesca fashion – I was whisked away for mega celebrations to Iceland! The first night was a night that will stay with me forever. We were lucky enough to watch the Aurora Borealis and I say lucky because I mean lucky. The northern lights hadn't been seen for a week and our tour guide wasn't very optimistic that they'd show that night. But boy oh boy did they make an appearance, they bought a party the the sky. That night the sky danced for us– it turned pink and then blue, green, Another moment that reminded my how bloody fantastic life is and how lucky I am. Do not take any of it for granted.
The next morning on our Icelandic adventure we watched the sun rise from the Blue Lagoon we toured the Golden Circle – seeing steaming geysers, incredible waterfalls and snowmobiled across glacier to find and explore an ice cave. If the trip wasn't incredible enough - on our final day we adventure to the Diamond Beach. This place was mind blowing. Icebergs scattered along a beach of black sand!! The landscape was just phenomenal.
If I needed anymore reminding on how lucky I am or need any positivity to keep fighting, the trip provided bundles of it. It made me feel alive! So much love to Francesca for always being my bundle of good feels and for always adventuring with me!