We are nearly 2 weeks away from Christmas and we finally had some snow fall in Oslo this week. I have always been someone who needed snow at Christmas for it to really feel like the holidays so it is now starting to feel real. The twinkling lights from the windows and trees up and down the streets are one of my favorite things and it is impossible not to feel cozy and warm inside with all the decorations, flickering candles and yummy goodies all around! It is also the first Christmas that my daughter actually knows what is happening and she is awe of it. She held her first snow ball today and didn’t want to let it go no matter how numb her fingers got. Quite a determined young lady! We will be putting up the tree up tonight and I can’t wait to hear her “oohs and ahhs” as the tree comes to life with decorations and lights. It is hard not to feel down at a time of year like this even after the year we have had.
So this week I had my last visitor of 2011 and she didn’t disappoint. My lovely Peeko came to Oslo town for a second visit in less than two months (solid dedication to our friendship I say) and gave Santa a run for his money in the presents department and spoiled all of us rotten as she does. I love having old friends around me as I can just be myself and we can reminisce about life pre-C which is a nice form of escapism for me. I have been so lucky to have amazing friends like Ms Peeko take breaks from their own busy lives and come be with me. I know I don’t live in the most convenient location for visits so those ones who made the trek deserve medals and I have many to award. Since Christmas is also about being thankful and aware of the good and love in our lives – I want to again thank everyone who helped me through this past year. Some of you must be psychic because it seemed like on my worst days I would open my post to see a wonderful care package, get a phone call where I could just vent or have one of you in front of me to just hold my hand through a rough patch. It is so true when they say you never really understand who and what your friends are made of until you hit rock bottom. I am so lucky to have a surplus of love and support in my rich life.
Now onto a treatment update: I am now 8 sessions away from finishing my radioactive sun treatment and it has gone fast. My skin is holding up fairly well and my doctor informed me this week that my reaction was grade 1 bordering on -1 which is good. Finally I luck out on something! I am growing very tired though as each day goes by and finding for the first time since this all began that I truly have limitations. I was a bit demoralized when my doctor informed me he thought it would take me another 6 months to recover from everything! I want to be me again now!! But patience is clearly one of the key cornerstones of Cancer and you need lots of it to get through it. I have some appointments next week to discuss the next steps for me in the New Year which are scary and not things I am looking forward to. However by choosing to live, I must also take on board the burdens that go along with that decision. More to come on that at a later date but as it is Christmas I want to keep it light!
So that is all from me today. I hope everyone is having a wonderful December! And if I can give you any gifts in the form of advice from someone who has been through the ringer – here are a few (I so hope these don’t come out as patronizing or preachy!):
Try to stress less and enjoy more.
Don’t waste precious time arguing with those you love. It just isn’t worth it.
Tell the people who matter – how much they matter to you.
Asking for help is a sign of strength rather than weakness.
Don’t put off doing the things you really want to do because time is your most precious commodity.
When you really feel like you are being tested – don’t fear failure but relish the fact that you are in fact stronger then you ever imagined.
Merry Christmas/ God Jul to everyone!