I have spent a good five months telling myself and anybody else who would listen, that I could walk without my beloved walking stick and that He was only needed in my palm to tell the general public that I had issues, so I did not have to. I am a strong, independent woman, who absolutely positively can walk substantial distances without a walking stick.

Sadly, this is not the case. It surprised me. I might be able to walk unaided, and frequently walk short distances without it, but as I discovered on Tuesday, there is a price I pay for doing so. I rarely go anywhere without my walking stick. It is true. I may walk around my flat without Him, but if I am leaving my front door, he is in my palm, and we are together. On Tuesday, I did leave my flat without my walking stick, I did so because I could not take Him and my luggage and I calculated, that as I had no intention of going on public transport during my holiday, I would not need Him. On Tuesday, as well as leaving my life to have a stem cell transplant, I also walked a great deal, around the hospital’s unofficial campus, unaided. Until approximately 18:45hrs, I thought absolutely nothing of it. Why would I? I never normally think about it, and on Tuesday, my brain was preoccupied with my transplant, to spend time thinking about my back pain.

That is the problem with my disease, my focus this week should have been solely on fighting this wretched thing, and not having to worry and let’s face it, experience severe pain, from my lower back. Pain is a byproduct; it is not the cancer. Even this week, I have to balance the two and remain cautious of the pain. When the illness sets in, everybody will be looking at the side effects, but I know what my neck and back will feel like after days of lying in bed. It will not be pleasant.

Anyway, by the time I realised why I had spent Tuesday night feeling like a horse had kicked me in my lower back, it was Wednesday… Not knowing how long I will be expected to walk around before I am sentenced to solitary, meant I had to get a replacement, which was much easier than anticipated thanks to my favourite receptionist. It is a ‘temporary’ replacement. I do feel like I am cheating. I am cheating on my beloved walking stick, with a younger, cleaner model. The new one still has his stickers in place and there is more of a spring in his step. And yet, I am yearning for my love.

Now then, if this wasn’t enough evidence for me to get a Freedom Pass, then I do not know what is.

My name is Emma Janes Jones and in addition to having myeloma, I, unfortunately, am disabled.