You may decide that you would like to try something new after your transplant. Your priorities in life could have changed or you might just want an excuse to get out the house! Some people decide they want to give something back or help other people going through a similar situation.
Here are a few suggestions that you might want to try. Just remember, it’s up to you what you do – just don’t push yourself too far and overdo it.
- Write a blog – Some people find it therapeutic to write about their experiences, both good and bad, and enjoy sharing them with others. However, others don’t like the idea of putting themselves on public display, so only share if you are comfortable doing it. Online blogs can be set up and maintained for free using web platforms like Blogger or Wordpress.
- Find a new hobby – You might find you have some spare time on your hands during your recovery. There are plenty of things you can try such as painting, reading or other crafts. You could also meet new people and socialise through local groups or evening classes. Many of these groups have a presence on social media so have a look at what’s available locally.
- Play a sport – Whether it’s restarting an old sport or trying a new one, being active will boost your recovery. It doesn’t have to be anything too competitive, but regularly socialising and exercising through something you enjoy will help improve your mental and physical wellbeing. You should be able to find something at your local sports centre or through social media.
- British Transplant Games – Held annually in a different UK city each year, the Games consist of over 20 different events and transplant patients of all ages can compete. So if you fancy training for your big day and bringing home a gold medal, take a look at the British Transplant Games website. You can also register your interest to join Team Anthony Nolan at the Games by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Volunteer – Charities always welcome people who want to help. It can be rewarding to support charities that are close to your heart and volunteering will help boost your CV, too. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer with other organisations all over the UK at Do-it.
'When I reached 10 years post-transplant, I thought it merited something a bit bigger, so it felt fitting to use my celebration to raise funds for a charity who are one of the reasons why I am still here.'
Kathryn, who had her second stem cell transplant in 2006. You can read about her story here.
- Fundraising – Although you’re probably not quite ready to run a marathon just yet, there are plenty of other things you can do to raise money for a good cause. There are lots of ideas and tips on our website.
- Change career – For a variety of reasons, it might not be possible to return to the same job after your transplant. Some patients take this opportunity to think about what they would really like to do instead. It might involve applying your skills to a new situation, or taking some time to retrain for something new. More information on finding a new job is available in our returning to work section.
'When I was first diagnosed I was out of work. So when I started thinking about work again I wanted to do something different. I decided to become a volunteer at a cancer support centre and I now give non-clinical support to local people affected by cancer.'
Brian, who decided to change his career after his stem cell transplant. You can read his story in our returning to work blog.
Information published: 13/11/2018
Next review due: 13/11/2021