I have met some lovely people - volunteers and other clients who understand some of what I’ve been through. It felt like a “safe environment” that I could go to and feel comfortable. I started having complementary therapy like massage and reflexology or just popping in for tea and biscuits. Through the Centre, I met another transplant patient - it was nice to “compare notes” with someone who had been through the same sort of procedures. I made new friends and was there for the Cosham Centre’s first birthday celebrations in June 2016.

I’ve since tried reiki, meditation, yoga, have regular massages, a facial and a pedicure. I also had a chat with one of Citizen’s Advice people who advised me about financial help and what I could be eligible for - turned out I could claim Personal Independence Payments which I’d never even heard of. After my sick pay expired, it was nice to have some money coming in again. The PIP also meant I was able to get a bus pass and a Disabled Person’s Railcard ( both of which have been an absolute godsend as I don’t drive and still have to visit hospital regularly ). Even if

I don’t have a treatment booked, I usually pop in at least once a week for tea and a chat, both with the Befrienders and other clients. I’ve met some lovely people who have helped me and hopefully I’ve been able to help some of them who are in similar situations.

Everyone is different and has different ways of dealing with cancer - I remember thinking “Let’s just crack on with this and do what I need to do”. If I had a bad day, I’d tell myself that the next day would be better - usually it was. I became far more appreciative of small things and found out who my real friends were - some were great, some didn’t know quite what to say and some just didn’t say anything at all. It’s difficult for some people as they feel powerless to help - a close friend told me “If I could have the treatment for you, I would”. My sister was gutted to find out that she wasn’t a match and couldn’t be my donor for the transplant.

It’s a bit strange to think that a total stranger saved my life - all I know is that my donor was a German male.

You can hear more about Claire's story on her personal blog.