Hey There!

My name is Cecilia-Joy. I’m 14 years and enjoy my laptop, makeup, bubble baths, Lush (the shop), scented candles, fashion, You Tube, sushi, gossip and One Direction. I am also additcted to Instagram and spend half my life on Tumblr.  

For a while now I have wanted to write a blog, I just haven’t got round to it, but now, armed with a new laptop, and a lot to say with no one to say it to, I am finally doing it! 

In many ways, I am a your normal, average teenager, however, my life has been somewhat different to a supposed ‘normal’ life. 

Born on 11th August 1999, I had a serious heart condition that I had been diagnosed with, weeks before I was ‘popped’ out, healthier than expected. Two operations, one at the age of 6 months and the other at 2, kept me going until the age of 10. My symptoms, by this stage, were worsening and I was struggling to continue with day-to-day life. I was cold almost all of the time, my heart unable to circulate my blood properly, and I could barley walk a few metres without feeling like I had just run a marathon. My family, doctor and I decide it was time for another operation, one that would hopefully improve my quality of life. So, on the 12th April 2010, feeling every emotion possible, I was wheeled down to theatre, hoping to come back changed for the better. Oh, if i’d have known…….

The operation on my heart didn’t work, well, my body couldn’t cope with it anyway so i went into heart failure. I spent 4 months in the Intensive Care Unit of the Evelina London hospital, including my 11th Birthday, and finally, the doctors agreed I would not survive… without a heart transplant. 

Only 2 hospitals in the country are able to perform heart transplant on children, so for me it was a journey to Newcastle by ambulance, on full life-support. The Freeman hospital had agreed to take me in put me on the transplant list. Once we arrived in the land of Geordies, I waited 1 month for my heart, and it finally came on the 13th September 2010. It took me a while to get used to it and I suffered a few Cardiac Arrests, (my heart stopped) but I eventually started to get a lot better at the end of October. But there was one problem, my kidneys had begun to fail too… OK, I lie, there was another problem, I had lost the ability to walk because all of the nerves in my feet had died because I had been so ill and had been lying down for 8 months. 

To avoid making this blog post too long, i’ll skip any detail and tell you that I was on dialysis for 18 months after returning to London, dialysis being a replacement kidney for me, until 27th July, during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, when I underwent a kidney transplant. I didn’t receive just any old kidney though, I was transplanted with a kidney belonging to my most beloved person in the world, my Mum. 

Again, skipping some detail, on 19th March 2013, I underwent surgery on my feet, allowing me to walk again, after a lot, and I mean a lot, of hard work and physical therapy. No one ever got anywhere by sitting on their bum! 

On 2013, it was my family’s priority to get away on a holiday, we all deserved a reward for experiencing such a tough few years. So off we went to the beautiful country that is Turkey, with my best friend and her family. While soaking in the sun and sipping smoothies made from fresh fruit, a couple of days into out holiday, I began waking up feeling groggy and sick with terrible, pounding headaches. After a stay at the hospital, that could have passed for a hotel, it was confirmed I had a brain tumour*. An air ambulance then took us back London and upon arrival at the Evelina London, Children’s Hospital I was teleported into a completely different world. A world of CT scans, eye examinations and scary conversations, the kind you don’t want to have. Conversations about how dangerous my tumour was and if it could be removed an how long would it take?

Luckily most of my tumour was removed and isn’t causing me too much trouble anymore. But it’s now apparent there are two tumours*on my back. I have just started Radiotherapy on my back because  the pain was extremely bad. The treatment’s not too bad, although it leaves me feeling a little bit sick and low on energy. Im staying in hospital at the moment, a different one this time. The Royal Marsden has been my home for a while now. I might be allowed home on the weekend, that should be great.

I hope you know me now, and I also hope you know that life can go wrong at any moment so you should live everyday as its your last. Have no regrets and jump at every opportunity, slow down so you don’t miss anything, be grateful for all that you have and always, always have fun!

Bye for now,

Cecilia-Joy xxx

*tumours were non-cancerous …  Thank God!