Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12

Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12
I sailed the last leg (8) in 2012 - USA,Nova Scotia,Ireland,Netherlands & UK. Travelling 4,000 miles, approx 22 days at sea, with 4 races in this leg.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Goodbye England - Hello World #last blog on UK soil

Can't believe the time is now! My time has come, and double-lungs will soon be sailing around part of the world.

I fly to New York 1st June, and start from 4th helping on the yacht and then set sail on 7th June.

It's amazing how much organisation has been required, making sure all relevant paperwork sorted, tablets (over 1,200), clothing and packing done effectively. It's true to say I have been feeling a tad overwhelmed by all of this, and at times stressed. My little lounge has been hit by an attack on the lets create havoc and chaos....arghhhhhh!!!! Over and over again. And my system of organising clothing in freezer days, then dry bags - failed at the last hurdle. All the bags within the dry bags took up too much room in my holdall. So, after removing all freezer bags - then vacuum packing, I can close the waterproof bag! Just means, I will need to sort in New York instead.

This is probably a small process to a part of the bigger process. Someone did make me chuckle when I mentioned how difficult sorting all my medications was.....'you haven't sailed the Atlantic Ocean yet' Oh yer..lol..that's true ;)

Everyone has been brilliant with constant support and it really helps. I hope doing this is not only a challenge for me, but also that it does raise awareness on Organ Donation and Lam Disease, aswell for the Clipper race itself. My Just Giving link will be ongoing for the duration I'm away

And whilst you are having your daily day to day regime, please think of me working through all weather/sea conditions and digging deep when times are hard. So, any donation will be gratefully appreciated :) Thank you xx

My emotions have still been all over the place......but now I am starting to unwind and I'm sure when I arrive in New York for the first time, I will feel like doing cartwheels whilst having every yummy flavour ice-cream in the biggest cone. Followed by a burger with every topping and see the sights for a couple days before I help on Edinburgh Inspiring Capital (yacht I'm sailing on). I am also excited to see existing Clipper crew/supporters that I have made friends with.

I have been organising/liaising with friends via social network sites who I have been in contact with to meet whilst in NY. I am very excited to meet my 'Lam Sisters' (which is a term we all call ourselves with Lam disease, as not many of us, and we are like family - no matter where in the world). These lam ladies I haven't actually met and will be wonderful to chat and give each other support and they see me as some kind of role model as always fighting and surviving.

I will be meeting a couple other friends also, who I have met before when they came to the UK, and now will meet again in their homeland, Kate' Ducky' and Emily.

Not sure what else to say - please keep well everyone. And to my friends still waiting for transplants, I hope you don't wait much longer!
I could just continue to waffle, but, I think I have said enough. And 1 more day to finalise last bits to do.

So farewell everyone - lotsa love to you all's

And I leave you again with my motto I stand by..."always smiling and always will"


Saturday, 19 May 2012

All systems a Go Go!! #clipperrace #doublelungs

Countdown to Clipper 11-12

Well it has certainly been a roller-coaster towards the build up of my departure. I had intended the last month to be actively training in my specific sports entering in the British Transplant Games on my returns (and keep training 5 x week). However, a virus and then an infection wiped out all my energies and I was very unwell, so it forced me to rest and take things easy. Then, a scare that I may have a problem with my left eye and it required me to be referred to see an eye specialist. Initially the word cataract was mentioned as my drugs can cause this as a side effect. However, someone must be on my side as whatever the problem was has rectified itself and I need to go back again in 4 months for a check up. My lungs/health check up went well this week too, and my Doctor said see you after your sailing :)

I have been unhappy I guess with how things have panned out, but as many people said - it's better now than whilst at sea, to which I totally agree with! I know being immuno-suppressed makes it harder to fight and guess wiped me more than I thought. However, the good news is I am feeling better and just making sure I do take it easy and no point now resuming my 5 x week training. 

I know doing this is to raise awareness as a Transplant Ambassador, and I have been lucky to feature in local newspapers, radio, sailing magazines, sailing websites and even an Italian newspaper! I've yet still to do more PR work in New York and hopefully the other countries my sailing trip takes me too. My story is spreading and not only raising awareness on Organ Donation, but also for LAM disease and of the Clipper 11-12 Race itself. This is also as a personal goal/challenge for me to achieve and the most difficult one since my transplant. My emotions have been all over the place and I have gone through the whole spectrum from excitement to the absolute fear of being petrified as know at times it will not be easy at all!

My condition that brought about my transplant, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, is a truly horrific disease and I am trying to raise funds to help research into finding a cure to helps others for the future. I have set up a Just Giving Link if anyone would like to donate please on. Thanks.


So...what's left? I am now in the process of packing and re-packing, it's not easy, and everything is in zip freezer bags in dry bags. Then, my 2 months worth of pills which have been organised and removed from their boxes and further organised into daily and weekly bags.

So much organisation is required and careful planning, also, making sure all relevant paperwork is printed and taken with me.

I will miss so much about my life here, and know when I DO finally return home it will be the most incredible feeling and I have already shed some tears. I will be at sea on July 9th, to which will be my 6th anniversary post my double-lung transplant, and it will be an emotional time thinking of my donor. I do think of my donor daily and know without his kindness signing the organ donor register and/or making his wishes known to be one - I wouldn't be alive.

I will have satellite email - and just trying to finalise these plans and if anyone wants to contact me - please let me know ASAP. For updates on this venture, if you scroll down a couple of blog entries I have already typed up all this information for anyone still wanting to know. As for my returns to the UK, there is a group already wanting to be there for me - if you also would like to be included, please HOLLA quick and I will pass your email to my Dad who will be finalising the plans. But don't delay as I leave June 1st!!!!!

I would like to thank again everyone who has helped me in whatever way, whether with sponsorship to help with funds needed that my initial sponsorship didn't cover, items purchased on my Amazon wish list, and for just all the constant love and support. Sending my gratitude right back at you!

That's all for now.....I may get to write another blog before I go - but if not...please wish me luck please. Thanks :)

And so I leave you all with my motto I made up and live by "Always Smiling and Always Will" xx

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

4 weeks to go #Goodbyes & #Hellos - What to Expect From my #Sailing

So it's the 4 week countdown to #sailing around part of the world in the #Clipperrace.

Goodbye to:-

roast dinners
fresh fruit/vegetables
nice clothes
nice curly hair
comfy double bed
part time work
shot putt
lazying about my flat
sleeping when I want/need too
my own tea/coffee
Starbucks! decaf skinny lattes and frappucinos
Indian & Chinese takeways
daily newspapers
hearing the birds sing
going for a walk ;)
facebook + twitter :(

and the list goes on and on!!!!!!

Hello to:-
no luxury
sailing clothes
waterproofs and base layers
no makeup/no glamour/no nice clothes
frizzy/knotty hair
back to basics
wet wipes instead of showering!
no privacy
my Gauss sleeping bag and small bunk space
getting to know the crew more and skipper
work as a watch system - 4 hours on/off
sailing regime as exercise
no lazying about unless quiet watch
sleeping when dictated to (4 hrs)
tea/coffee onboard yacht - no way Starbucks or home quality
pasta, rice, carb meals - no healthy foods - just carb/energy foods
tinned/packet foods
news - just satelitte/radar watch news
seeing dolphins/sharks
no TV/cinema..lol
elements of the sea/weather
mental and physical challenges
sleep deprivation
mood challenges if tired/hungry
bruises from working on deck
fear/scaryness when weather/sea very bad
swimming in the ocean ;)

and this list goes on and on!!!!! I'm sure there is lots more to add, but it will give you a feel of what life will be like for my duration. No way easy and something I am ready to face!  Goodbye the Jussie who likes to doll up - time to dress down and work hard as part of a team.

I am looking forward to seeing different countries and making new friends. I fly out with my friend, Wend also in the race on another yacht  and we will enjoy sightseeing, and eating LOTS before setting sail. I have also been in contact with other ladies with LAM and hope to meet them in New York too (and some other friends). So, it will be all good vibes and fuelled up with burgers/waffles/cheesecake  as a nice energy fat layer.

Am I mad?? Yes...... xx