Cancer At Christmas: An Unwanted Present

People don’t like to think about cancer at Christmas. The images are too evocative; too stark. They clash with the picture-perfect Instagrams of turkey feasts and beaming faces. Christmas is a time to be happy; a time to look forward; a time to rejoice in all that’s good in the world (one of which is certainly not cancer).

But what about the cancer patient? There might be a glinting guillotine swinging above our heads but we’re allowed to be swept up in the occasion too. It’s got me thinking about all the things that cancer patients aren’t expected to feel anymore. It’s as if our diagnosis is like a pair of scissors snipping all the fun and excitement out of our lives…

Well, bollocks to that!

The fear of recurrence will always be at the back of my mind but you’d be surprised at how much I’ve laughed in the last week.

‘Brave’ and ‘inspirational’ are two adjectives that get bandied about a lot for us. Don’t get me wrong I’m not disputing either, not after an excruciating 30-minute jab-fest by an inexperienced anaesthetist during a spinal block in June, but this Christmas I’d like to add a couple more words into the mix:

  1. Easily excitable… Particularly after I spied a certain branded shopping bag that my husband tried unsuccessfully to hide from me yesterday (more on that tomorrow…)
  2. Sexy… I demand to be kissed under that mistletoe like every other woman, scars and all!
  3. Thankful… I will never be thankful for having cancer but my god it’s made me appreciate the little things in life. Except a four-year-old’s tantrum. Nothing will ever make me appreciate that.
  4. Proud… We cancer patients are a tough bunch. Not only is our body poked and prodded for months on end but our emotions are toyed with as well. We deserve to feel proud of ourselves. I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t run in the opposite direction when I was being led into that operating theatre and how I found the strength to share my diagnosis with my children and not crumble when they did. And how the hell did I write a romance book whilst undergoing 4 months of chemo??

So this Christmas go easy on the pity and go heavy on the Prosecco instead. The latter will be far more appreciated than the former, I guarantee it 🙂

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas from this smiley, slightly tipsy cancer patient!



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