Some of my closer friends and family will already know about Pie Day. Chances are if you’re a recent liker or follower of RemissionPossible you won’t have heard of it. Get ready to embrace a whole new family tradition this Christmas. Pie Day.
Now you’re listening. Everyone loves a new family tradition don’t they, whether it be the unspoken rule of not going out over the Christmas week, religiously watching the Queen’s speech or making everyone at dinner table eat a sprout. Christmas truly is a time for making the family do funny, nostalgic and ridiculous things in the name of making more family memories.
This December, save the date for the 27th of December (day after Boxing Day) because we want to see you spend it eating pie.
So why Pie Day, and why I am I making all of you do it?
It started off as a personal family tradition, when my Dad decided if we make use of Turkey Leftovers, we should make use of gravy, sprout, roast potato and other leftovers. After the cold meat day of the 26th, he made a pie of left over Christmas dinner ‘stuff’ and served it up to us. He jokingly named it the pie of all pies, and for that day to be the day of pie making, perhaps never expecting us to go on about it again.
Until the following year, when in December, we watched a Jamie Oliver programme where he was making pie, and I decided we should make it at some point. Seeing as we had pie of the 27th the year before, it was made on that day and the Day after Boxing Day has become Pie Day in my house ever since. My family, the six of us love Pie Day. It is one of our favourite family traditions and I joking have encouraged friends to partake in it, until Christmas 2013 which changed things.
Last Christmas (I gave you my heart) and Pie Day became something new, something beyond just my family. I knew I was going to be in hospital all over the Christmas period and my church and extended family wanted to do something to help, or just do something to let me know they were thinking of me, without having to have the awful ‘So you have cancer…’ talk with me. Pie Day was this outlet.
After my mum text everyone in her phonebook, and Cathy my minister spoke to the congregation we had around 50 people take part in Pie day last year. Most of them sent pictures of their pies, I had a letter off’ve one lady who had typed and specially printed the letter so it had pictures… Some of my best friends got together and had a pie making session with some of them delivered to my house, to put in the freezer so my family could eat without having to cook properly. I had tons of pictures sent to me of friends eating pie- even I it was just the humble mice pie or a big celebrity chef inspired number.
This year I want Pie Day to be bigger and better.
In years gone by, Pie Day was a fun family tradition, which dragged out the proper Christmas festivities out a bit and was massive fun. Last year, Pie Day became something else. It became a known event sure, but it also became a mechanism to show someone you’re thinking of them, and to be a time to think about whose family members or friends you can’t be with this festive season, for any reason.
I would love more people to get involved this year.
Pie Day can be what works for you. It could be you delivering a pie to someone lonely or in hospital. It could be you sitting down with a mince pie and emailing friends and colleagues who need to hear a friendly message at what can be a very hard time of year. It could be a time to invite relatives not close enough to come for Christmas Dinner over and spend time with them. It could be, as it was originally for us, a fun gimmicky tradition to use leftovers. It could be your excuse to buy that giant pork pie. It could be whatever you make it to be.
It may seem like a strange thing, a charityish blogger, urging you all to eat pie the day-after-boxing-day, without asking for donations. That is not what I want. I want it to be a time where you sit back and be with or think of those you love, and just be. Not much of Christmas is like that, not really.
Obviously, I’ll be celebrating Pie Day, just as much as any other festive day, and in much more style than last year. Last Pie Day I was recovering from having my Hickman line in, I still had my chest drain in and I was just a general medical mess. I’m not entirely sue whether I even ate any pie!
I just hope you all decide to join me in eating pie this 27th December. I want to hear your recipes, see your pictures and just spread a bit of love on social media. I know there are some of your reading this who were bitterly disappointed that they for one reason of another were unable to sign up to be a Stem Cell donor. Maybe you could spread the #RemissionPossible love through your pie making skills!
My mum is desperate to have a Pie Day cookbook made, so maybe with your support this year, it could become a possibility for Pie Day 2015.
Thank you for all the recent support, I really hope loads of you get involved!
Keep Smiling (and pie planning)
P.S. As always, I want to see you signing up to the register! If and when you have, we want to see you doing your swabs/spits on social media to help spread the word. Send us a pic using #swabspitselfie to @remissionpos or post on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/remissionpossible2014)
If you forgot (as many do) to take a #swabspitselfie take a picture of yourself with a piece of paper saying that you’ve signed up to become a lifesaver, and why. Unleash that bragging power!
P.P.S you could be a lifesaver.
To sign up…
If you’re 16-30 years old sign up at www.anthonynolan.org
If you’re 18-55 sig up at http://www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk
Some bad news today I’m afraid.
It’s something I had always hoped I would never have to blog about, and something more frightening to those affected by cancer than the initial diagnosis. I can’t quite believe that I’m writing this blog.
Relapse, recurrence, end of remission are just three ways to describe it.
Yes, s**tily enough, my cancer has come back.
*inserts crying, swearing, and general negative emotions here*
This is why I’ve been so quiet recently, in blogging and social media.
So, as of last Thursday, when I got sat down with my consultant and told the results of my scan, I am once again a cancer sufferer/patient/whatever. I have Non Hodgkin Lymphoma, again. This time, I’m 17. This time I have a university application to cancel. This time I’m being open about it, broadcasting almost. This time I might need YOUR help. I am of course devastated, I had just applied you University and my life was getting back on track. There’s not much point in moping over it all though.
Now I’m not dying, please don’t think that. There is a plan, there is treatment, and I will get through this again. Second time round though there are quite a few differences in approach.
I’m going to need a Bone Marrow (stem cell) transplant. The very thing I’ve been harping onto you all about infrequently, is now going to save my own life. Seeing as chemotherapy clearly hasn’t gotten rid of my cancer for good, this time we’re bringing out all the weaponry, guns blazing to kick this cancer’s ass, good and proper, and forever. I will have more chemo, and then the transplant.
Some of you may be in the know, but a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant involves the donation of stem cells from someone with matching HLA groups, which ae transplanted into someone who needs the ells, to beat their cancer or other blood disease. The donor will be a living person, who will not suffer any major side effects from donating, just the knowledge that you have helped potentially save someone’s life.
My transplant donation will come from someone selfless, as above. My 15 year old sister will be tested to see if she is a match for me, but this is only a 25% chance. The likelihood is that I will have cells donated from an unrelated donor, a stranger. A hero.
If I have a stranger donor, it will be because they signed to a registry and made a ‘pledge’ that they would donate if they were ever needed.
I’m asking something now of all you reading this blog. Please, if you are able to sign up to be a potential Bone Marrow (stem cell) donor. It will increase the chances of there being a match for me when the time comes, and could help one of the other 1,800 people who will need a transplant this year, in the UK alone. Or you may help someone net year, or the year after, or even someone overseas. The possibilities are vast.
This Bone Marrow donor business, is something I guess most pople will at least have heard about, especially if they are a follower of this blog. The thing is, it’s not just someone needing you to become a lifesaver. Now, it’s me- Emily Clark, the teen pinning these words down, the girl who aspires to be a doctor and loves to sing is the one urging you to join a registry. If it has been something you’ve just scrolled on past or dismissed as irrelevant SIT UP AND LISTEN. It’s real for me now. Really, really real. I hope an emotion within you, whether it be sorrow because of my cancer returning, empathy and pity for ‘that’ girl with cancer, or admiration incites a want to SIGN UP.
There is more concise information on my Become a Lifesaver: Join the stem cell register page, but for now, focus on what your reaction would be if I were your sibling, child, parent, family member or friend (maybe I am) would you immediately sign up? Would you offer to be tested to see if you could donate? If the answer is yes, then please join the register, or at least enquire to find out more. Do it for me, do it for the other 1,800 people.
So many of you, when faced with bad news think ‘I wish there was something I could do to help.’ To put it frankly there is.
If you are 16-30 years old, sign up to be a lifesaver via www.anthonynolan.org
If you are 18-55 years old, be a hero and sign up at www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk
I can’t ask in any other way, and I hope what I’ve done shows quite how important this cause is.
Imagine the impact if everyone reading this signed up, and then got Just One More to sign up, who got someone else to sign up….so on and so forth. We could make a massive difference. I say we, it’s only you who can get the ball rolling.
This has been hard to write, and even harder to post, but I hope it makes an impact.
I’ve been in remission once, and I will be again, hopefully soon. I’ve said before, together we can help #makeRemissionPossible
I’ll keep you all up to date on me, I’m having my Hickman Line put in tomorrow.
As always- How’re you all doing?
SO the blog today is completely all about the title….Boxes and Blood. What that means? Read on to find out.
In total reverse order I am going to address BLOOD first, yum.
Blood is something which can evoke all sorts of phobias in people – whether that be having a fear of blood itself, and all it’s redness. Some people are scared of the needles associated with blood, and some people are totally grossed out by infections involved with blood. Pre-cancer I was kinda like this. I wasn’t scared of blood itself, more of what that blood meant and whether someone was seriously hurt. Similar fear with the having blood taken not of the needle itself so much but the thought of it ruining m veins or somehow bleeding out due to the needle.
All very illogical, I know. Despite this I had always promised that when I turned 17 I would be a blood donor. That of course is not longer a possibility. They don’t want my blood! *dramatic voice* I’m not good enough for them!!!
On a serious note though, I have had blood and platelet transfusions, had they not been available to me, I know my health would have been seriously compromised.
This is why I am urging people to GIVE BLOOD!
Like the Stem Cell register I keep rabbiting on about IT SAVES LIVES!!!! Even more it doesn’t
only save the lives of people having chemo, cancer patients like I was…. It saves the lives of pregnant women, newborn babies, those who have been in accidents, people having major operations, those with genetic blood conditions. All sorts of people from all walks of life who need it, NEED it.
I guess you all get what I’m saying GIVE BLOOD (or platelets) !!! AND if you can’t (like moi) get someone else to do it, get lots of people to do it, everyone to do it!
This topic is particularly hot for me at the moment because last Friday Give Blood Wales were in my area, and I appealed for people to go and give blood. As far as I know, One person gave her 27th pint of blood, another friend gave his 1st pint (at 17!) and one other tried, but wasn’t able to!
Those two pints of blood could potentially save 6 newborn babies lives between the two of them!
Up in the Teenage Cancer Trust ward in Cardiff, having a bag of blood transfused is about as significant as having two paracetamol not because blood isn’t important, but because that is HOW MUCH, and how OFTEN a teenager needs that transfusion!
In other words… give blood! Do IT Do IT.
You can find out whether you are eligible to give blood, and where you can do it at http://www.blood.co.uk (England& north Wales) OR http://www.welsh-blood.org.uk (wales) OR http://www.scotblood.org.uk (Scotland)
(fun fact…my blood type is B positive- so me right?! You know, be positive….never mind!)
OTHER TOPIC….. GIFT BOXES!
It’s pretty hard going at the moment trying to secure donations to go in the gift boxes, but it’s moving along- slowly but steadily!
SO far we have vouchers for wigs from www.wonderlandwigs.com , Hickman line holders from http://www.centrallineholder.com , boxes of tea from Harney & Sons Teas and countless earwarmers from kind ladies in my community!
If you own a business, work in a shop, own a franchise or even have some unwanted items, and think you can help with the gift box project….tell us!
Anything can help us! Whether it be a gift card, money off voucher or coupon, products or even just a packet of sweets!
Though we welcome any items, we are particularly looking for sweets, body care items ( eg moisturizer, wet wipes, lip balm, shower gel) beanies, tea/coffee/hot chocolate, vouchers for online shopping, biscuits, books, films, mugs, headphones, notepads, pens, puzzle books….all the kind of things that may be essential for stay in hospital and treaty items, to try and lift the spirits of a teen at a hard time.
If you have, have had or know someone with cancer, you input on leaflets to put in the boxes would be invaluable!
Contact us if you can help, or even to make a suggestion for the boxes! I am in the process of making a permanent page on the website about the boxes.
Anyone can help us, a mere share on social media, might alert us to the attention of the right people!
The only me news is that I’ve joined Team MOOSE with bigmoose, Jeff Smith’s new company… coming soon!
Have a nice week, share us and say ‘Hi!’