It’s New Year 2019 and, just like everyone else, I am reflecting on what has happened to me over 2018. My personal cancer journey saw me finish off the latest chemo treatment which immediately followed my 2nd surgery, and then proceeded with maintenance chemo, then remission, then the cancer returning with not much hope in chemo helping, then in the summer (thank goodness!) the start of a clinical trial at Sarah Cannon Research Institute for my BRAF mutation, which now means I am stable (fingers firmly crossed). My next scan is next week and I’m hoping for continued positive results for being stable and even getting rid of the nasty stuff. My side effects of chemo are still with me although they are becoming distant echoes. I guess after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2016 and being on constant treatment has left its mark somewhat, in more ways than one. Even now, treatment day changes my mood instantly. I can go from smiling and chatty, to low energy and silent within a minute!
In regards to my relationships with family and friends and social events, it’s been a fabulous year of pregnancies, babies, engagements, weddings, congratulating others on their jobs, proud moments of over-coming obstacles and sadly the passing of loved ones, for whom, I lit a candle and remembered them.
Looking back in my diary for 2018, I have had lots of fun sharing memories and times with family and friends on trips to York, Edinburgh, Zakynthos, Bristol, Disneyland, Bordeaux, Oxford, Newquay, Cheddar Gorge, Isle-of-Wight, Bruges, and National Trust places throughout the UK. So many laughs and good times. I have also absolutely loved going to the theatre to watch friends in shows and cheer them on in ‘The Band-The Musical’, ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’, ‘Les Misérables’, ‘The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time’, ‘Priscilla Queen Of The Desert’, ‘Christmas with the Rat Pack’, ‘Belt-Up Acapella Concert’, ‘SuRie on Tour’, and ‘Hawks and Hawkes’. I have also thoroughly enjoyed catching up with friends and family watching shows with them, like Nashville In Concert, An Evening with Sylvester Stallone, Flight Of The Conchords, Britney Spears, Michael Buble, Chess, Bond Music at the Royal Albert Hall, The Secret Garden and Fastlove-A George Michael Tribute show, and Motown. Being in shows has also been fun and a great achievement for me, especially when I think of how chemo wiped me out (and how it took a lot of energy to take part in and then recover from) but I was so thrilled to be a part of singing in charity fundraising concerts for friends and causes for which they are passionate about raising awareness for.
2018 has given me a renewed sense of gratefulness. I am grateful for old friends renewing friendship, my constant loves, the ones who sit quietly on the side-lines encouraging me on, the ones who allow me to be there for them in their time of need too, the ones who will never be forgotten, and the ones who are yet to make their mark.
So I face this new year with hope and love moving forward into the unknown with a smile on my face and head held high, acknowledging others and grateful for the special connection that we share, however long or short it may be expressed. Cheers everyone! Happy New Year!