Friday, 2 December 2016

Holding my breath

You're right! I haven't written a blog for ages and yes, I have been out and about playing and watching lots of sport, living it up in London and Dublin and doing all the kinds of stuff that I love to do and am well aware that I am absolutely blessed that I am able to do it.

So... holding my breath - why? Because once a year I have to go to see the kind and very clever people at York District Hospital Cancer Unit. And when I start unconsciously counting down to the date, I feel increasing degrees of either panic or pessimism - or both. When I was first diagnosed, I was very conscious that I did not want to lose my sense of self, my 'me-ness' for want of a better word. I did not want to be the woman with cancer, the woman who had had cancer, the woman who always talked about cancer. And boy, oh boy, I try not to be that woman! Sometimes I fail. I know. Like when I say to my family if they complain of feeling poorly "Don't ever try playing 'illness top trumps' with me because I will always win!" Apparently, according to them, the statute of limitations has now run out on this joke. Hmmm.

But this year the panic/pessimism has been worse than last year and could only be satisfied by the actual trip to see the consultant at York and that has been done today. And yes, I am clear for another year! Hurray! Two years with no cancer and let me tell you, if you don't have your health, you don't have much. So I am now in full-on acceleration mode for planning more exciting things to do and places to go and am not going to spend the next four weeks wondering whether every ache, cough and any other imaginary symptom is a sign that the cancer may be back. It does that to you - the monkey on your back, always.

So back to jollier things as this is the season to be jolly, as it were! Since our super-fab visit to Apartment Antonia in Turkey with number 2 and JS, I have managed to stagger round a Tough Mudder (rather faster than last year but that is my last one ever - because a promise is a promise and my beloved really doesn't like me doing them) and had three back-to-back weekends of lovely folks coming to stay here with much wine consumed and general indulgence.

Since then, in line with my project 'Leading the Life of Riley', I have been indulging my sports-watching passions with trips to Kingston Park, the O2 for the ATP Finals, two trips to Twickenham and one to Lansdowne Road. I can't name a favourite because they were all top trips with family and friends and apart from the O2, the others were washed down with a fair amount of Guinness. It's good for me - it must be!!!

So now we begin the run-in to Christmas. Am I ready? Well, more than usual thanks to my more relaxed lifestyle and there's even a new Christmas jumper hanging in my wardrobe. And most of all, there is a warm place in my heart because all the people I love most in the world will be sharing Christmas Day with us here.

Now breathe...

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