A year ago today I was ‘released’ from hospital after my final batch of chemotherapy. 50 straight days in Ward J94, I was finally allowed outside to breath fresh air. Well, I say fresh air… as soon as you step outside the hospital doors it’s a smoking area. (YES, cancer patients during treatment still smoke… Unbelievable I know.) I stood outside, out of breath after my short walk from the elevator to the door, and waited for my mum to pull the car around. I sat down in the car and the reality hit, tears started steaming down my face. I couldn’t believe everything my family and I had been through. My treatment had finished and I could finally start living my life again.

I had hoped to be out a week or so before but that was not the case. I could only be discharged when my neutrophils were above 0.5 (basically when the doctor thought I had a strong enough immune system). The week or so before my immune system took a “huge” leap up from 0.07 to 0.3. (In reality it was absolutely nothing. The normal person has a blood count of between 2-8 neutrophils. I was hoping for 0.5.). However my hopes were short lived as they soon plummeted right down to 0.00 once again. Every day after that I was living for the morning, this is when patients find out their blood counts. I could tell when it was bad news as the amazing nurses would either say they haven’t received them yet or they would just say “you don’t want to know”.

On the 24/11/2015, I was woken up by Fiona aka “magical neutrophil nurse” at 5am with my standard morning bloods. After taking my bloods she was positive and said something along the lines of, ‘I better not see you tonight or you will be in trouble’. Then at approximately 10am ‘jolly Holly’ came in with my results and told me to guess what they were. After teasing me (and a few ‘fuck off’s’ later), I had a huge grin on my face. I had reached the magical 0.5. I called home to tell them the amazing news… No answer.

To this day I still think it was pay back for not answering the phone back when I was first ill. I finally got through to them and they rushed to come and pick me up. WHAT A DAY, WHAT A RELIEF, WHAT A JOURNEY.