Tuesday, 20 December 2011

What Do You Want For Christmas?

It’s been a fairly quiet few months for me and I am pleased to say that I have had no PMP related problems to report! The end of October brought with it the annual flu jab which I now have to endure and around a week after that I suffered a very heavy cold that saw me forced to take some time off work and told to start on the emergency antibiotics. Whether or not the two were linked I’m not sure!

I’m slowly making a return to running with the assistance of my physio and hope to start caving again over the Christmas period.

Things have been very busy both at work and at home. I have managed to get a link to the blog site added to the PMP research foundation website in the US, have been active on both the MacMillan and Cancer research websites and recently was asked to do a live radio interview with BBC radio Bristol about rare cancers (sadly this got axed 1/2hr before it was due to air by the radio station! Maybe next time....)! So really trying to help raise the PMP profile.

I have added some additional functionality at the bottom of the blog page that now allows readers to e-mail me direct if you want to make a comment or ask a question and don’t want it to be read by all.

As we near the Christmas period and prepare for all the parties and festivities I have been very much aware of fellow PMP sufferers around me that are still battling. As I type, a new member of the Christies forum is undergoing her MOAS at Basingstoke Hospital.

My thoughts are also with a number of fellow sufferers who I am aware have had reoccurrences and now are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, some of whom had their MOAS around the same time as I had mine. I think regularly about those that have been told that there is no other treatment and that they only have a limited time left with their loved ones. These are people who I have grown to know well via the forums’ and who offered me so much support when I first joined. People who I am privileged to call my "cyber" friends. My heart goes out to them and their families at what I’m sure will be a difficult time and I hope they enjoy their Christmas’ together.

I had been talking recently to good friends of mine; Steve and Tracey Treweeks. Steve is a fellow PMP sufferer and celebrated his four year anniversary this year and walked the Snowdon Horseshoe with me to raise funds for the Christie. Tracey as Steve’s wife, supporter and carer when he was ill agreed to write down her thoughts as the wife of a PMP sufferer and asks.......What do you want for Christmas?

“It's that time of year when we hopefully get together with loved ones and enjoy a glass of mulled wine, sing carols around the piano and . . . wait a minute. That's what it looks like on Christmas cards and John Lewis adverts but for many of us the worry of what to get Aunty is outweighed by other more significant questions.

Anyone who has nursed someone through the recovery of Cancer surgery will know that at times life comes down to its most basic functions: food, drink, warmth, love; both for our loved ones and ourselves. We live in a world of 'that will do' or else beat ourselves up on what is not getting done, such as the housework, the ironing (I find the sniff test really comes into its own at times like these) or the washing up.

I recently asked our 3 year old what he would like for Christmas. After a thoughtful pause he asked for 'a really big cake'. No long wish list, no massive expense just a moment of pure pleasure in his insular world.

My list making dried up many years ago. We live in a society of such consumerism and luxury that in the main most of us struggle to name something we truly need. How wonderful.

But for some the wish list is not something that can be cooked up or shop bought. It is that those we hold most dear make it to the next stage, get through this one and we pray we have the strength to get there with them. I have told my family I already have my Christmas present. My husband was told he could move to 12 monthly scans from his current 6 month jaunt. I cry with joy at the very idea of not facing the roller coaster quite as often.

I guess in some ways our Christmas has come down to its most basic form: food, drink, warmth and love. No carols around a piano, but a focus on each other and the blessings we already have. So I wish each of you the strength that comes from love, that you have a full heart and raise a glass to better times to come”

So to all who are reading this and have been touched by PMP in some way I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.