Dunbars Daring Donor Deed

  I was nervous as soon as I woke up! Why had I ever agreed to do this! Being centre of attention is my worst nightmare, and now I’m about to sit and attempt to play the drums in front of an audience of about 20 people! But I did it! I completed ‘Dunbars Daring Donor Deed’ and like Pinny told me, it wouldn’t of been a challenge if it was easy! And it was far from easy…

  
My mind went blank and I completely forgot everything Tom (my boyfriend who plays the drums in the band dance a la place) had taught me! To me it went and sounded awful, but luckily only Tom knew what it was supposed to sound like and my family and friends reassured me they couldn’t tell ild made all the drumming up, but I’m sure they were just being nice!! 

I felt like I had made such a fool out of myself and I was really worrying but I didn’t have time for that today, back to the fundraising I went! 

  
Aswell as my drumming we were also raising awareness of organ and blood donation and were fundraising for the British liver trust charity, we had a cake sale which my lovely friends and family had kindly baked cakes for, guess the name of the chick and other little games, we raised ยฃ268.56 and another 3 new sign ups to the organ donor register, I was pleased, all my embarrassment and worry had been worth it when I remembered the reason I was doing it. A big thank you to everybody who helped out on the day and came along to support us ๐Ÿ˜Š

  
Here are a few more photos from the day 

  
  
  
A busy but fun and worthwhile day ๐Ÿ˜Š

But it wasn’t over yet, I had arranged for 22 of us to go for a meal to celebrate pinnys livers 1st birthday, so after we had packed everything away and quickly been home to get dressed up, we made our way to Frankie and bennys in Witney. We all had a nice time and a nice meal finished off with some of pinnys birthday cake, thank you again to my cousin Claire for making it for me ๐Ÿ˜Š 

  
After our charity day I received a couple of donations through the letter box, including this one… 

  
So greatful, thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m quite amazed at all the positive responsive Iv had since starting my challenge, many people have said their proud of me for everything Iv achieved and I guess I could even say I’m quite proud of myself!! But I just want to mention how proud I am of my family, lots of people have asked me how I coped, and it’s quite simple, without my family I wouldn’t of. Camping out at the hospital and sticking together through the extremely sad and hard times we experienced kept us all going. We can do anything when we’re all together ๐Ÿ‘ญ๐Ÿ‘ญ

On Monday 29th March, 2 days after ‘Dunbars Daring Donor Deed’ myself and Pinny became radio stars on BBC Radio Oxford ๐Ÿ“ป I wish I had a photo of us speaking into the microphones but unfortunately we didn’t have time for that, we didnt have time for much at all, a quick 2 minute chat with the presenter about the sort of questions she would be asking us and live on air we went! I think we both did pretty well considering how unprepared we were, and this wasn’t because we were late! Just seems to be the way they do it here! It’s embarrassing listening back at our voices and we had a laugh at ourselves like I’m sure many of our family and friends who listened did too!! But I reminded myself again why we were doing it, we were raising awareness and I was really pleased when another 2 people contacted to say they had signed up since listening to our appearance! Takes my total to 50 new organ donors ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Along with the radio we have also appeared in the Oxford Mail, the chipping Norton news and the nhs organ donation Facebook page, and who knows what might be next, maybe we’re become famous, because I’m not ready to stop yet!! I’m already thinking of my next challenge to raise awareness of organ donation, so look out for me on the news!!! 

In the meantime you can keep up to date with what we’re all upto on pinnys blog…

http://www.mylovelyliver.co.uk

Goodbye everybody ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•

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Happy 1st birthday Pinny ๐ŸŽˆ

I seem to be a bit out of practice with this blog writing so I think il start with a welcome back to me ๐Ÿ˜Š have you all missed me!? Iv missed my blogging and now when myself and Pinny go to cafe Nero or Costa Iv had to find myself something else to do while watching her blog, she still doesn’t 100% know what it is Iv been doing although I think she might of guessed. I’m going to reveal it in this blog, but I think il keep her waiting a bit longer! 

So how has everyone been? I have a lot to update you all on, my last blog was in October after I arrived back from my holiday in gran canaria, its quite scary how quick times gone, I didn’t realise it had been so long!! Since then we’ve had Halloween…

  
Think the mask is an improvement actually!! 

We’ve had our charity day in the local co op where Pinny works… 

  
Here we were raising awareness of organ donation and encouraging people to sign up, we held a little tombola and sold wristbands and badges which raised ยฃ129.34 for the British liver trust charity. From doing our stall I realised that quite a lot of people are actually already signed up, or maybe they were just saying they were to get away from us!! But we still got 12 new sign ups, so a worthwhile day ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Pinny then returned to co op to do some work after having nearly a whole year off, how lazy has she been!! But I was so proud, yay well done Pinny ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I wanted to make her a packed lunch and send her off like she was on her first day at school like she would of done for me years ago, but she wouldnt let me! If I remember rightly I did buy her a little cake as a well done! 

We’ve had Christmas…

  
…where we all made sure we looked our best!! 

Pinny got to enjoy a nice glass of wine with her dinner which was her first alcoholic drink in over a year ๐Ÿท 
Although we were having a lovely time we made sure not to forget about pinnys donors, we lit some candles in their memory, I can’t even begin to imagine how unbearable Christmas would of been this year if it wasn’t for the amazing gift Pinny received, I can’t explain how thankful I am and I was thinking of the donors and their family’s all day โค๏ธ
And in 2016 Pinny became the owner of her very own little mini… 

  
Pinny loves her new car and I LOVED watching her behind the wheel when she took me for a little drive. She had her independence back and could take herself off wherever she wanted to go, although it did now mean she had to get up earlier in the mornings to defrost, drive back from Gary’s and find a parking space, welcome back to the real world Pinny!!! I think to Pinny it certainly felt like she was back in the real world when she added another day at co op to her working week, she was doing amazing, especially as one of the doctors at the QE had recently told us only 50% of transplant patients returned to work, woo go Pinny!! 

I feel extremely lucky to have been able to make a lot more happy memories with Pinny this year and it’s not till reading back through myself and pinnys blogs from this time last year that it hits me, and as I read it really scares me, it’s hard to imagine now what life was like before transplant, pinny was dying and I really don’t think I had realised just how poorly she was, I guess I had just got used to watching her suffer day to day and it’s not till I read back through everything we wrote that I realise just how much we went through, it’s strange how it starts to become a distant memory, don’t get me wrong I do still have certain memories that I will NEVER be able to erase from my memory, but I think it does me good to look back at these, it makes me remember never to take the little things for granted, there so precious. 

  
One thing I do miss from back then is our sleepovers, pinnys always busy cooking, cleaning or doing other jobs now with all that new energy she’s got!! In one of pinnys recent blogs she wrote about running out of spoons, it’s well worth a read if you haven’t already seen it… 

The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino

And along with the good days, of course there have been some bad too. That’s life after all, and life can certainly be cruel. We were all very sad to hear the news that pinnys hospital friend Marina who had kept Pinny company and entertained in hospital had become very poorly and sadly passed away. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ When something like this happens all my memories come back and hit me hard, it makes me remember how close we came to loosing Pinny, and I know instead of feeling so sad I should be feeling happy that we were lucky, but I just can’t get myself to shake the sad thoughts away, i know Pinny has been very upset by marina passing away, she doesn’t think it’s fair that she was lucky and got a liver while others die waiting, and I agree, don’t get me wrong I am incredibly greatful that we were one of the lucky families, but why can’t everybody be as lucky ๐Ÿ™ 

There was always one thing that really stood out to me when I thought we had lost Pinny, and that was ‘What did she want me to do with my life?’, it was something I just had to know, and I still feel I need to know now, sounds silly I know, but where did she want me to live, what job did she want me to do, and just generally what should I do with my life. Time to quickly pull myself back together…

Pinnys birthday came next, and what a strange mix of feelings I had about it. It was very nearly a year since we got ‘the call’. But I was determined to block my sadness and worry out for a little longer and make pinnys birthday as special as possible. We were celebrating pinnys birthday the same as we did last year, morning coffee followed by lunch and a decoupage party at the pottery place in Witney, of course that made me think that the next few days that followed would also be the same as last year, no no no I can’t go through that again, I quickly put that to the back of my mind for now while I prepared pinnys birthday morning, I wanted everything to be special this year, so before Pinny arrived home from Gary’s I decorated our front door with some balloons…

  
I then started to prepare her birthday breakfast, she looks happy about it doesn’t she!!! 

  
Here’s a few before and after pictures, a year and 2 liver transplants inbetween!!

   
 Yes, Pinny was still decoupaging the same owl as last year, and she still didn’t finish it!! We then went back for some birthday cake, look at the yummy cake Julie made…

  
I think we all enjoyed spending some happy time together today, I was relieved I wasn’t the only one comparing the days this year to last year, I guess we will always have those memories. We spoke about all the little things that I was surprised I had forgotten, like the first thing Pinny said and the first meal she ate, I never thought I would forget those little things, at the time they were such massive and amazing things to watch you doing. 

Our finial outing for the day was a birthday cocktail in a local pub called bitter and twisted…

  
…hope you’ve had a nice birthday Pinny ๐ŸŽˆ

Friday 19th Feb, the day after pinnys birthday, marinas funeral ๐Ÿ™ myself and Pinny travelled to Birmingham in pinnys new mini, on the way we were speaking about our memories, or should I say I was filling Pinny in on my memories of the previous year while she was still sedated, it was hard for me to talk about and for the first time in months and months I was able to cry and let some emotion out, Pinny could see I was upset and held my hand, It reminded me of holding her hand while she was led in her hospital bed and I didn’t want to let go. 

Friday was a sad day, R.i.p Marina โค๏ธ

Saturday wasn’t much easier, look what day it was… 

  
It was really freaking me out that this time last year I got up and went to work having no idea about anything we were about to go through, I felt very weird, I held back tears on a number of occasions throughout the day, I just didn’t know what to do with myself or how to feel, it felt so wrong to celebrate a year knowing that there are 2 families out there somewhere that were still grieving for their loved ones, I took myself to Julie’s once I had finished work as I knew being home alone wasn’t a good idea. I still couldn’t shake those memories and feelings. It was a Saturday night and I knew I should of been going out and seeing my friends, especially after what the vicar said yesterday, live every day like it’s your last. But instead I ended up spending the night by myself in bed, crying and reading through my old blog posts of this time last year, I’m my own worst enemy and I knew I wasn’t helping myself, but I thought while I was in this mood maybe it was best to have a good old cry and let all my emotions out, who knew crying was so exhausting, I soon fell asleep. 

Time to reveal what Iv been spending my time doing and why pinnys blog viewings have mysteriously been going up!! I have been writing out each of pinnys blog posts into a book for us to keep forever, I was hoping to have it finished by today, the 27th of Feb, pinnys 1st birthday, but I just couldn’t write quick enough, there’s a lot to get through! Hope you like it Pinny. You might be wondering what I mean by pinnys 1st birthday, well today is the year anniversary of pinnys 2nd liver transplant. You might remember me mentioning about a challenge I was doing, here’s the link to jog your memory… 

http://bit.ly/DunbarsDonors

Through my challenge I have inspired 45 people to sign up, which means I will be doing this…

40+ people- Play on Tom’s (from Dance a la Plage) drums in front of an audience.

…and who would of thought learning to play the drums would of been so hard!!! I’m very nervous about playing the drums today, wish me luck everybody! 

I will write a final blog over the next few days to let you know how we got on, I would include it in this blog but Iv just realised how long it already is and I’m sure you must all be falling asleep while reading right now! 

Bye bye for now 

Thank you angel donors and your families, I will be lighting another candle in your memory today ๐Ÿ‘ผ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’•

Goodbye for nowย 

My first week back at work after holiday was a real struggle and I felt pretty down, I had gone from feeling relatively relaxed to anxious and worried! I was worried about poor Pinny and her painful bones. She had been struggling with aching and pain for the past month or so which had gradually been getting worse and worse. She had been to see her GP and he had done a blood test which showed she had low Vitamin D and folate, if she was a normal person the GP would of just prescribed her with some calcium tablets, but of course she’s not normal!! He suggested she contact the doctors in Birmingham for further advice, but as Monday was clinic day and Pinny already had an appointment we decided to wait, I told myself not to worry or think about it too much intill then.

While I was on holiday I had decided I was going to end my blogs at a positive time, I guess I will wait and see what Monday brings… 

Monday… 

Pinnys clinic appointment was with a doctor we had seen previously, we both liked him and we’re glad we would be seeing a doctor we trusted. He’s really nice. I think one of the main reasons I like him is because he seems to understand and be familiar with depression, he spent a good 10 minutes if not more talking about how the transplant procedure is a big thing for both family and patients to go through, maybe he picks up on how mental I am!! I could see that Pinny had tears in her eyes and I was trying to hold mine in too, it always bought back lots of memories coming here! Like always I had convinced myself that we would be getting bad news today so sat in that room I felt terrified, I felt so scared that I found it difficult to speak, it was like I was frozen to the spot, waiting for the worst possible thing to happen. Silly me over reacting like always. The doctor thought pretty much the same as the GP, so he prescribed some more tablets to go with all the others Pinny has to take, she wasn’t too happy about this! We would give it a month to see if things improve and if not look into other causes such as changing her anti rejection tablets, fingers crossed everyone! 

I’m trying to think of pinnys aches and pains as just a little hiccup that will improve with time. I also keep telling myself to remember how lucky we have been, and even though I still have bad days full of worry, things are mostly positive. I have sadly decided to say goodbye for now with this post as my last blog. Blogging has really helped me through the hardest time of my life and I’m really going to miss it, it’s given me something to focus on when I was upset, scared or lonely. Stopping my blogging isnt an easy decision and in no way does it mean I will stop thinking about organ donation and how lucky my family has been, I have just decided I now need to try and enjoy my life the best I can till it’s my turn! I will ALWAYS be greatful and I’m going to do be using any spare time I have to raise awareness of organ donation. I’m doing this through my campaign which you can find here- http://bit.ly/DunbarsDonors 

If anybody has any questions or would like to contact me about anything at all then please feel free to email me on 

x-Robyn-luvs-u-x@hotmail.co.uk

(yes I know embarrassing email!) 

I know I’m really going to miss blogging so you never know, I may be back sooner then you think, in the meantime you can keep up to date with what pinnys up to and her journey back to work via her own blog 

http://www.mylovelyliver.co.uk

Goodbye for now guys ๐Ÿ’•

Monday-a day of travellingย 

Our alarm went off at 6am, time to get up, shower and pack our last few bits before our taxi came to get us at 8am, poor tom didn’t feel very well so he stayed in bed a little longer while I enjoyed my last breakfast outside, I wouldn’t be doing that in the rain once im home! I found it strange how I woke up in one country and would be going to sleep in another! Here I was waiting for the taxi from the hotel… 
  

I had a little cry to myself in the taxi, partly because I didn’t want to go home, but also because I was SO happy and excited to see Pinny! One thing I won’t miss from gran canaria is the smell of sewage we occasionally walk past, ewww ๐Ÿ˜ท and although I was going to miss the nice sunny weather I wasn’t going to miss applying suncream several times a day! 

We spent every last euro we had at the airport on gifts and food for the flight home, I think we did well to get it down to just one cent…

  

We had the same seats on the plane as we’d had on the way, but this time I let tom have the window seat, this meant that not long after we took off I was sat between 2 sleeping boys!! The boy next to me woke up and decided he would eat his packet of crisps that had filled up with air from all the pressure, he did this by popping the bag! The air hostesses all looked round thinking a gun or bomb had gone off, I would of thought the same if I didn’t know, was very loud! We landed to rain โ˜”๏ธ what a lovely welcome home! On the way to holidays I enjoy the airport and find it exciting, on the way back I don’t enjoy it so much, luckily our bags were one of the first to come out so we didn’t have to wait around for ages. Out to the car park to collect toms beloved car… 

  

… Then back home we went! Pinny had sent me photos to proove she had completed her challenges I had left for her while I was away, here was one of them… 

  

… Well done Pinny! I arrived home around 6pm after a long day of travelling! I was so pleased to see both Pinny and Leah ๐Ÿ˜ i had really missed them! I told them all about my holiday and gave them my presents, then I started the horrible job of unpacking! Pinny then joined me in bed and we enjoyed our hot drinks before bed, I had missed our sleepovers! Back to work I go tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜”

last day ๐Ÿ˜”

Poor Tom woke up with a hangover on Sunday, luckily I escaped one! We got up nice and early to get a good spot on the sun loungers to make the most of our very last day, I was sad to be going home, but I really was so excited to see my family and friends, especially Pinny! Our last day included lots of sun/ shade bathing, a swim and mess around in the pool and a mini fashion show, luckily we didn’t have to join in and could just watch the models prancing round the swimming pool! All this while poor pinny was doing my job of the weekly food shop! I was looking forward to arriving home to all my favourite foods, yummy! Thank you Pinny! ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ‡ 

We had our last swim and messed around in the pool dunking each other underwater for the last time before making our way back to our room to do some packing. Going home felt real now and I felt sad. I was in a sad mood which made my mental health go a bit crazy this evening, sorry for the long text you received Pinny! I pulled myself together because was determined not to let my mood ruin the end of our holiday. I had my last shower and got ready for the last time. We decided to go back to a restaurant along amadores beach called ciao ciao which served the best salad Iv ever had, yum yum yum! We also decided to have a walk into Puerto Rico to do a bit of present shopping for our family and friends, I love going round the shops looking at all the souvenirs, we were trying to use up our last few โ‚ฌ, I had a few left on my travel card so after boring tom by taking a very long time in the shop to get to the right amount on my card i then forgot my pin, oh no!! This just made me even more grumpy, stop it Robyn!! We were both hot and bothered from all the walking in the still 30 degree heat so decided to head back via the beach, we felt the sand against our toes for the last time before getting back to our hotel to watch a man singing covers from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s, he was great! We had recently met 2 old ladies that had been coming to this hotel for a long long time, they seemed like such cool grannies to me, they were both dressed up in matching outfits and drank a cup of coffee together before getting up to have a dance together, I could tell they were having the time of there lives and it made me smile. Tom enjoyed a few beers before we headed up to our room for a early night ready for our early start the next morning, I had started to think about work already, nooooo I don’t want our little holiday to be over!! 

Beach dayย 

Saturday was our second from last day and we wanted to make the most of the time we had left, so we decided to have another beach day, here I am having a swim in the sea…
  
We then came back to the pool in time for happy hour as tonight would be our last night drinking ๐Ÿน As it was Saturday there were lots of new arrivals, we spoke to 2 old ladies that have arrived the previous evening and we’re here for 2 weeks, we were very jealous! They had been coming for over 20 years along with a group of at least 30 of them! I was a bit hot and bothered and grumpy, I needed some shade but the stupid umbrellas kept blowing away! The 2 ladies told us a story about a man that ended up with stitches in his eye after an umbrella had hit into him, ouch! In the pool I jumped for a cool off, it was so refreshing! I decided to do a bit of swimming, why had I not been doing this every day!? 

  

Above is me getting ready, I don’t have a dressing table back home so it was quite exciting to sit here and get ready! We had decided to go for a posh meal tonight and went back to the place we had visited on our first night where we enjoyed a drink laying on the fancy sofas! This photo doesn’t show how beautiful the place is, but I don’t think me or Tom will ever forget it.

  
We then went for a ‘romantic’ walk along the beach, the sand was so soft on our toes! 

   
 We found a sun lounger to sit and have a drink on while looking out over the sea, it was beautiful and very relaxing! We had a real good chat, we spoke about a few sad things and I had a little cry, but it was really nice and by the time we decided to walk back to the hotel were both a little drunk, oops! 

Hot hot hot ๐ŸŒž

On Friday morning we met our holiday friends and got on a boat to a little market in mogan, today was the hottest day so far, 31 degrees! We had a little wonder round the stools and then stopped of for a drink in a shaded cafe, it was unbearably hot and this hangover wasn’t making it any easier, although I think we were all struggling in the heat today! 

Mogan was very pretty…

   

Pinny would of liked it there, can just see her having a rumage through all the bits and bobs! Knowing we’ve only got a few more days here is a horrible thought, I really don’t want to leave here, but at least I will get to see Pinny ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Back to the pool again this afternoon which meant tom could carry on working on his tan, his goal is to be very brown by the end of the week and he gets annoyed if he has to spend any time in the shade as this is less tanning time! As for my tan, well I might come home a slightly darker shade of white! 

I jumped straight in the pool to cool down, it was so refreshing so in jumped tom with me! We messed around a bit and both dunked each other under water a few times, it was good fun! 

Once we got all dressed up again we made our way down to the beach to have a meal looking out over the beach, Iv got so used to these views, im really going to miss them. Tom had a fish called seabass that was baked in salt for his dinner tonight, the waiter bought it out to the table and had to smash it to get rid of the salt and then cut all the meat away from the bones to put on a seperate plate with the rest of toms meal, he said it was really nice but I wasn’t brave enough to try any! 

Here’s our kind waiter…

  
I wasn’t feeling too well today, I felt a bit sick, was bloated, and really hot and bothered so when the waiter bought us over a 2 free cocktails I made poor tom drink both, I just couldn’t face any more alcohol today! Back we went for a early night, I felt really boring but I wanted to feel better for our romantic meal tomorrow night!