Find something that you love and stick with it. Get a distraction away from it. Find your happy place! For me, it’s the kitchen.
Advice for other kids
Don’t dwell on it. If you’re sick and stuff, just sleep and get through it. And then after, just don’t even dwell on it. It’s not an issue really. There’s nothing wrong with it popping up in your mind; it’s not like you have to feel held back or anything, because it’s not an issue. It’s an experience: you have experiences, but they don’t hold you back.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s hard, it stinks, it does affect you, but it won’t necessarily affect you in a bad way – there will be positive good things that come out of it… Don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid to take a rest. It’s okay, you’re not a weak person because of that. I think I learned that really late – I always thought, like, oh, if I cry or whatever, I’m going to be a weak person, but it absolutely does not make you that at all. You’re an absolutely strong person – having things like a transplant makes you a strong person! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
List of Importance
Health is first, then school, then your social life; that is the list of importance. You know how you feel; your friends will pressure you to do things, and you might feel like you’re obligated to do your schoolwork, but if you don’t feel up to it, don’t do it- don’t push yourself. You might miss a year or you might get really behind, but there are always people there to help you out.
You will get through this, and you’ll be okay, and you’re strong, and there’s a lot of love. That’s another great advantage: so many people have been so good to me and my family throughout all of this, bringing us meals in the hospital and all that. You really do get to see such love: between family members and family friends…love from the doctors even for the patient…even, I feel like, love between the transplant recipient and the donor family.
It always makes you stronger
Don’t give up. Stay strong. Don’t look at it as “this is it:” there’s always more, and you can do it. You just got to believe in yourself.
[Later] It changes you for the greater. It always makes you stronger.
Your number one priority
Sometimes it’s frustrating, but I just try not to think about it. I’m very good at, like I said, living my life in the moment. I think that’s the biggest advice. I mean, yes, you do have a condition that’s going to be with you your whole entire life, but honestly, if you’re feeling healthy and you feel fine, then what’s to stop you from doing your day-to-day activities?
[Later] Make sure your health is your number one priority, because, in my opinion, without your health, you can’t do anything else. You can’t go out with your friends, you can’t do well in school. So just make sure you are constantly on top of your health.