Festive Feelings

The other Big C has reared its head again, Christmas 2016 is upon us. Over the past six years I’ve had my fair share of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ christmases, a mixture of feeling rotten or recently being released from hospital. 2016 is my second consecutive ‘good’ Christmas. My attitude is one of acceptance, right now I plan to enjoy Christmas and everything that goes with it!

On Monday I had my ninth cycle of Pembrolizumab, and my last for the year. Nine doesn’t seem like very many, but at this point I feel like I’ve had 90. I’m now used to the hospital routine and the expectation that each time I got for treatment I’ll spend my whole day in the chemotherapy suite. Despite knowing this, it doesn’t seem to get any easier as time goes on. This is the last place I want to be over Christmas, and am really grateful to be an outpatient at this time of year.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with friends about plans over the festive period. I am home in a Northampton with my family for a few days and plan on eating my body weight in food, watching too much television and sleeping lots. I’m lucky to have loving family and friends around me, and am looking forward to stepping out of work mode and in to total relaxation mode.

I’m grateful to be well enough this Christmas to properly enjoy it. I might be a little fatigued from treatment, but it’ll be a million times better than some previous years. I’m also able to drive the dream machine (my lovely new car) which was my early Christmas present.

At this time of year I often start to worry about the year ahead and the challenges cancer might throw at me. 2015 started off very well, heading off to America for a holiday to visit one of my oldest friends. By May however, the game had changed completely as I underwent my second major bowel surgery. I’ve learnt there is no point in trying to plan too far ahead and second guess what might happen. Cancer is so unpredictable. I know it’s a waste of my energy to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. In some ways ignorance is bliss. I wouldn’t say no to rewinding six years though.

In an ideal world I’d love nothing more than to be cancer free for Christmas, but sadly this isn’t a ideal world, and I know that this one wish won’t come true. I know the fight will never end, I am just hoping I’ll move onwards and upwards in 2017, and that the wonder drug Pembrolizumab will continue to keep my cancer stable.

I have a holiday booked to Rome in March and am hoping to go away around my 30th birthday in May, but don’t want or book anything too early for fear of tempting fate. I have to look to the future, even though sometimes I can’t see through the fog. I’m not willing to accept that this could be my last Christmas.

To all those who have read my blog so far, your support is incredible & It means so much, particularly the messages from those who I’ve never met. Merry Christmas!

6 thoughts on “Festive Feelings

  1. Merry Christmas Jo Jo!

    Can’t wait for our trip to Budapest sometime in the next couple months.

    Big Christmas love to you and the fam,
    C xx


  2. You are an inspiration Jo. I also had melanoma, though it appears mine was caught early. I follow your blog and take inspiration from your approach. Please do keep this spirit and know that the future has yet to be told for any of us. Warm wishes. Daniel


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