onwards & upwards!

Hi everyone,

Okay i'd just like to say that i'm writing this on my new blogger app on my phone. Therefore, if there are any typo's.. i do apologise (uncle neil)
Before i begin, I've had a special request to spread the love to all my lovely blog readers from my best friend in the world.. Miss Chelsey Thackeray! <3

It's been a really tough couple of weeks. Quite possibly some of the worst weeks this year so far. In the space of two weeks, i've lost a very dear friend, heard that an old friend got the life saving transplant she needed badly at just 16 and then devastatingly watched, heard and greived a close friends death.

Andy Ashworth battled his fight with cancer till the very end! He proved them wrong time and time again by bouncing back and fighting tooth & nail.. he managed to renew his wedding vows to his lovely wife lisa, he went to a couple of matches of his favourite football team and he spent as much time as possible with his gorgeous sons, Curtis & Gaz.
He used to say that i was his inspiration! A grown man who battled from his diagnosis to the end of his life.
Funny really because he is a huge impact in me motivated to conforming with treatments, doing physio, working hard and enjoying life!
Your wife and two sons are doing you proud with both there bravery & stregnth. Thank you Andy for everything you did for me & all the little chats and conversations we had.. i hope your getting the well deserved rest up there Mr Ash <3
I was unable to make it to his funeral due to being in hospital but i understand it was an amazing send off for an amazing man! He shall forever be remembered! Sweet dreams Andy Ash <3

I heard soon after that an old friend from the childrens hospital had recieved her double lung transplant. She had it in Great Ormand Street Childrens Hospital. The day before her 16th birthday she had the life saving op! It was successful but she hasn't had it easy. A few complications have set her back abit but things are finally picking up for her and of course she is still smiling & happy. I'm glad she got her call.. she is one of the lucky ones. Shouldn't be a case of luck though i believe.
Anyway, i wish Alethea a very speedy recovery and hope there are no more hiccups along the way. She'll soon be chasing that gorgeous little sister of hers around and that makes me overwhelmingly happy!
She is 16 and will now get her life handed back to her after it cruelly being put on hold.
Good luck Miss Petrides!! You can do this beautiful girl <3

So this leads me to the biggest shock, impact and emotion filled part of the blog.
My friend Laura Varey lost her life last Friday. It was stolen from her.
21 years old and she's just gone.. it's heartbreaking.
Laura was my first friend on the adult CF ward here in wythenshawe. She saw my name on the door, had a nosey in whilst on a walk with physio, then waved and added me on facebook. She helped me settle in on this new ward. Helped me feel less alone as a youngster surrounded by older patients. Was a fellow 'kid' (her words not mine!)
She was 21, so mature; yet so young and fun at heart!
When i was transferred over to the adult centre, my health was deteriorating and fast! They were considering refferal to the transplant team and so i underwent the full transplant MOT! It's filled with every test you could possibly think of!!
I was thrown in at the deep end with a tank filled with sharks and other sea creatures.. you all know i have the biggest fear of sea creatures! I'm simply metaphorically speaking but you all get my drift?!
I was utterly and totally in out of my depth and scared. I was scared.
Laura helped make me understand and come to terms with everything having recently been placed on the list herself. I was so thankful to have someone understand and know exactly how & what i was both thinking and feeling. She too was young and was also wanting to be able to focus on her life away from CF, but unfortunatly had no choice but to concentrate on her health for the moment in time.
I quickly formed a close bond with Laura Varey and found myself talking to her all the time via facebook. I'd wave at her across the corridor or she'd wave at me as she went past my door in her wheelchair and panda woollyhat! :')
After getting really ill near christmas with a nasty virus, laura found herself facing the hardest months in her life. Her whole energy was thrown into battling and fighting the disease that was overtaking. Cystic Fibrosis can be so cruel!
A friend of ours passed away in February, her name was Holly Morgan and although i talked alot to Holly.. Laura was closer to her. I imagine it broke her heart when she died. I remember being at home when i heard about Holly and trying to imagine what that must've been like for Laura, I mean, she was on the same ward and more than likely simply across the corridor from her. I had no idea i'd be finding that out for myself.

I found myself getting a little closer to Laura after that. I also realised i was a little more conciencious about her health. Constantly checking in on how she was and forever wishing her call would come.

This admission, i came in and quickly figured Laura wasn't very good atall. Her family, friends & fiancè were around all the time (more than usual), she was never on facebook and there was generally a horrid atmosphere on the ward. It got worse as days went by and when i went for a walk i saw her door was open so waved at her as she waved at me! :)
I was happy to have seen her and for her to look content and as close to being well as i thought she could be. That was the last time i saw her.
Days went by and her family and fiancé were here constantly! The atmosphere was close to being unbearable now and i was told that Laura had requested i be told what was happening. She'd been told she was too ill for transplantation and that there was nothing they could do for her anymore.
I was so devastated.. more so for her & her family & fiancé. Selfishly, i was gutted for me to.. i was losing another friend.
My first friend who had helped me so much and the only friend i had left on here.
She battled on and fought till she could fight no-more. Her room was filled with so much love. I'm told she was content, happy and that she had accepted everything. So like Laura to be so gracious and brave.
Her battle was over on Friday.. the day was filled with tears, love, laughs, cuddles and snuggles all for Laura. The nurses were feeling just as devastated as i was and so we kept each other going with laughs & cuddles all day! Just what laura would have loved!
Saturday i wrote her a letter, stuck it on a helium filled balloon and let it fly away up to the sky where she rests now.
I hope she got it and had a good laugh at the stories i wrote :)
Sweet dreams dolly!
Forever missed and never.. EVER forgotten matey <3

I have lost two friends from the ward now. The only friends I had made and i found that hard but i'm accepting that now. They've both become my inspiration and motivation :-
To LIVE & LOVE every single second of life.
To fill the time i have in this world with the things i love and the people i love.
To do things i want to do because i want to do them.
Finally, To stop doing things to please everybody else because i need to squeeze everything i possibly can out of this life.
It really is too short and there is no time to loose!

I hope both Holly & Laura can be everyone's motivation to live life and give life?
Time ran out for my two friends but for Alethea.. well she proved it can be done! Her life was saved by an angel who selflessly lived there life and then gave life to somebody else.
What an amazing gift and way to leave your mark in this world?
Join that organ donar register.. please!

All my love and thoughts are with Andy's family and Laura's family <3
There aren't any awards for bravery in this life so i'm hoping they are resting and dreaming sweet dreams in another world.

Love you Andy <3
Love you Laura <3... Miss you mate!

Take Care, sophie xoxo
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Hey :)

My blog has had a makeover! A few people were struggling to read it as it was sending there eyes loopy so I kept changing the font but that did nothing, I realised the font wasn’t really the problem.. the background was so I am hoping that this is better for everyone.
The sun is shining and it looks nice outside for a change, weather has been abit crazy in Oldham over the weekend eh?

This week is CF week! 8th of May-14th of May!

I have a triple dare for you all, I want everyone to ask just one person at work if they know what cystic fibrosis is and if not.. explain it to them in your own terms :)
Go On.. I Dare Ya!

You could also help by getting EVERYONE in your workplace, right there in front of your eyes, to donate some money to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust. No matter how little or large there donation.. it all adds up!
There are tons of ways of doing this but the best way I know which is quite special to me is by going to Natalie Frenchum’s just giving page as she is my best friend’s mum and my second mum :’)
She is doing a parachute jump in Kent on the 11th Of June 2011!
The minimum donation that anyone can make is £2 by going to:-
I’ll also be posting a link to that site on my facebook for those of you who have me as a friend :)

Thank you to those of you who have already donated, it really does mean a massive amount to me, it should do to you too because when they do find the cure to CF. You will have all contributed to that, piece by piece every time I have asked you to out your hands in your pockets, whether that be at a outside charity concert or pestering you all on this here blog!
Thank you but its time you become the pestererer (Keith Lemon for you there) and mither your work pals, they can spare a couple of quid surely.. IT’S CF WEEK!!

Hey, I still dare ya, don’t think I’m forgetting!

I want this post to all stick together with my CF week flow.
I thought today’s blog could be about someone who is very special to me and who always seemed to be there at both the best of times and the worst during my time in the children’s hospital.

There have always been 3 specialised Cystic Fibrosis nurses but Jo was the one who showed that extra dedication, care and compassion. She didn’t just care about the task in hand and as you as a patient, but she cared for you as a person too. A person, who was dealing with all the hospital side of things but was still a teenager with some big dreams in her head!

She never, ever, EVER will forget the first time I saw her.
She was doing my port flush and she was fairly new to the team. She was asking me questions and getting to know me and she asked what I wanted to do when I got older. I, being me, went on with this massive speech about how I change my mind with regards to that more often than I eat sweets and by the time I’d finished telling her when I was 10 I wanted to be a paramedic, when I was 12 an interior designer etc
I had forgotten what the name for the profession I wanted to get into was so I tried to describe it and the best way I could was, “you know, one of those paper ladies!”
She looked a little flabbergasted but kept a straight face and proceeded to tell me I could be one of those now at 14 if I wanted.. so I looked at her quite strange and said, “No you need a few qualifications and degrees and things first!”
Jo looked really confused, as did I so we tried to work out where the confusion was coming from.
My mum came back from the pharmacy as we explained to her what we was talking about and how confused we were. She started laughing..
“She means she wants to be a journalist!”
Jo was in stitches because she thought I meant I wanted to do a paper round. :)
She tells that story to everyone we meet when we are together.. little bugger makes me look real stupid! Haha.

Jo has been like another mum when mine couldn’t be there.
I loved how I felt like I could tell her everything and anything and she’d understand and help and re-assure. She was an amazing listener and a great storyteller too. She was ferociously good at her job though!
I think I was having my port flushed again one time and it was around 6ish so Jo was already working late. She flushed my port but it hurt so much I shouted at her to stop because it hurt, so she took the needle out and inserted it again making sure she’d hit the back plate so it was defiantly in the right place, and began to flush again. “OUCHH!” I shouted.
It stung all across my collarbone and my chest!
She had a feeling that my port had blown and that I would be needing an operation to take it out and have a new one put in but she had to get a radiologist to perform a quick procedure first using some form of dye to see if it had fractures in the line.
The woman who was qualified to do it had gone home so Jo, rang her and I remember her telling this lady that she had to come back to hospital as it was an emergency!
In the end, the lady came back and Jo’s suspicions were right :)
I think Jo probably didn’t get home till 10 that evening!

On my last admission in the children’s hospital, Jo had come up for a chat after work one day because I was on my own. It was around 5pm because we were sat watching come dine with me on channel 4! I was just telling her I was a horrendous cook when I got a pain in my chest when I took a breathe in. It got worse very quickly and was very sharp! I was panting it was that painful to breathe in so she placed oxygen on me as my sats were going low and my heart rate was soaring! She placed the emergency button near my hand just in case before she left the room to try and get hold of the doctors before they left to go home. I had virtually every part of the doctoring team in my room within 5-10 minutes. The 3 consultant CF doctors were discussing what to do in abit of a panic I think. Jo was sat holding my hand and playing with my hair. I remember thinking, “oh my god, this must be bad if Dr Chan, Dr Panicar and Dr Thomas are all here!”
I had an ECG, an x-ray and a CT scan. Everything came back fine though and we never really knew what it was so the doctors said it was a form of trapped air between the chest wall and the lung cavity. All I know was that it was painful and lasted a couple of days before settling down.
Jo stayed for a little bit and then finally went home, LATE again! I bet her husband hated me, haha.

When I left the children’s hospital I bought Jo a me-to-you nurses watch to have on her uniform so she could never ever forget me :)
I still see her now & again when she gets chance to pop by and see me. She wears the watch I got her on her uniform and she even came to two charity do’s last year so I got to see her then too!

She is a very special lady who is strong and courageous. She can and will overcome anything. I miss her and I think of her everyday. She is always in my thoughts and my heart. I hope she feels strong, happy and beautiful because she is the most brave and positive and beautiful lady I know.
I love her <3

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