Thursday, 18 July 2013


Last week I FINALLY graduated from the University of Leeds. After 5 long years, the day had finally arrived! I was very excited to finally finish my studies and it was a big day for my family. My parents, grandparents, sister and girl friend all schlepped up to Leeds to watch.

I knew it would be a very emotional day, especially for my parents. My mum started crying when we picked up the tickets and apparently bawled the whole way through the ceremony, especially during the whole 5 seconds I was on the stage collecting my certificate. I know my parents thought I would never actually get to this stage and during my treatment and recovery, I was considering not going back, or possibly transferring to a London university as I thought going back to Leeds, after having taken my year abroad and another year off being ill would be weird.

For various resons, transferring to London didn't work out and so, at the time, I begrudgingly went back to Leeds. This however turned out to be the greatest decision I could have made. I knew that I wanted to complete my degree, having already undertaken 3 years, but I was aware that going back would be very difficult, having not had a formal routine for 2 years. No essays, revision etc.

There were a couple of times throughout my illness where I thought I would never actually even get back to university, let alone complete my degree and graduate. Black Friday was a prime example of this, passing out whilst in hospital as part of my transplant, collapsing in a heap on the floor whilst an emergency medical team had to be called out to resusitate me and again when I was rushed into hospital with excruciating headaches and vommiting and being diagnosed with shingles after the doctors having ruled out meningitis, a stroke and brain tumours. These were all extremely scary moments for not only myself, but my family, emphasising the importance and relief graduation meant to us all.

I am due to see my haematologist again early Semptember, so will update again then, if not before!