Chapter 16 – Picking up the pieces

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
– Sylvia Plath

So life goes on! Even though I was recovering slowly and feeling frustrated at the pace, I was also feeling almost on top of the world.

I had done it.
I had made it through the transplant.
I hoped I was in remission.

I would have to wait a few weeks to let everything settle before I could find out if I was in remission. It was hard to deal with that. I had been through so much for so long and I still had to wait.

I was busy again with the kids, Bryan and life! I was starting to pick up all the pieces of my life again.

We decided the kids needed to have some sort of a holiday before the Summer was over but we were limited by my physical condition so we decided on a few day trips and a visit to family in Cobh.


We had a lovely family day out in Dublin Zoo. I was glad of all the seating as we walked around as I needed lots of breaks. It was lovely to be doing something so normal again.

My diet and intake of food was improving and with it my physical strength.

Two weeks after my discharge from hospital I was back at the haematology day ward for a check up and I was able to drive myself there. What a difference a week makes.

My diet had improved from living on one yoghurt per day to a richer diet of soup, small baked potatoes, Farley’s Rusks (baby food) and beans.

I couldn’t tolerate any sweets or chocolate and bread was a no no as my mouth was so dry.

I was still having episodes of nausea and vomiting two to three weeks after I was discharged from hospital.

It was difficult and worrying for the kids to see that – Emma was worried for me despite reassurances that it was all normal. Cathal told me several times a day how happy he was that I had come home to him.


Before we knew it the Summer was over and it was time for school books to be bought and covered, uniforms to be sorted out.

I felt a tremendous amount of guilt over the lost Summer for the kids – especially Emma – and I vowed that the next Summer would be better. Emma and Cathal never complained at all about not doing much as I think it was the bigger picture stuff that we were all focusing on.

When everyone went back to school, play-school and work, I was still too unwell to return to my working life.

I was also still in the dark about whether the transplant had worked or not and it was time to find out.


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