Going back to Cyprus and what I thought was normality over Christmas time was another journey I went on that was set to test my resolve further.
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis an uncommon chronic liver disease in which the bile ducts inside and outside the liver progressively decrease in size due to inflammation and scarring was something I finally managed to say goodbye to in March 2017 after my transplant. What followed next was a testing time involving infections, leakages from the scars, having 3 litres of fluid drained from my lungs and extra trips back to the hospital for checkups, but I came through it.
Since August 2017 my blood tests showed that I was given a strong healthy liver and I am back to normal, but let me quantify normal. Normal in terms of blood levels as it has often been told to me that everyone’s normal is different.
I had not seen my children for 1 year during the whole transplant experience as we are living in Cyprus and as they are still young, I thought that bringing them over to see me after the transplant when I could literally do nothing and wasn’t 100% was not a good thing to do. However, as the days went on I was getting better and they could see that when we spoke on the phone.
After consulting the hospital about my hernia and pending hernia operation, I had the all clear that I could go back to Cyprus for 1 week at Christmas.
The feeling was very strange. The Island I moved to in 2008 only knew me when I was sick, and I had a lot of apprehension as to how I would feel after 1.5 years being back in the UK and getting myself better.
Leading up to the trip I kept reminding myself how I had overcome so much in the past year and that I would be fine so should relax and enjoy every minute.
Upon arrival at Paphos airport it took my breath away. I was so happy to be back, but wait a minute, it was cold and raining which was not how I had hoped it would be. The weather was not going to stop me from enjoying the time I had missed with my family.
Fast forward to Christmas day in Cyprus and the weather had got better and was around 20 degrees, but I suddenly felt very sick. I was coughing like a dog and had a temperature that was between 38-39 degrees. Come on… I mean I had survived 11 years with PSC, survived a liver transplant and wanted to show off the new me to the whole island. However, it was a week of staying indoors until I came back to the UK.
During my week in Cyprus I had to visit the hospital as the flu really took hold of me and being on immunosuppressant drugs we cannot take anything for granted. A quick check by the triage nurse before registering and paying my 10 Euros got me into A&E at Limassol General hospital. Once again, they really looked after me. I left the hospital with a prescription for antibiotics and a nebulizer and armed with the extra medication I also continued with the paracetamol and honey and lemon.
What an experience… I will now have to wait until I have my hernia operation to finally show myself off as the new me in Cyprus, but still… it was amazing to see the family again after such a long time.
I have a feeling it is going to be a great 2018.
Stay strong, stay positive and thanks for reading.
Peace Love & Light