It’s December 1st & I’ve just spent a really lovely weekend with friends old & new. Ordinarily at this point, I would be reporting that my Christmas tree is up & sparkling away merrily in the corner, however, due to the fact that my Dan was with his Dad at the weekend, I promised him that we would put the tree up together on his return. As a consequence, all I have done so far is buy the tree (we always have a real one) put the garland on the fireplace & hung the outside lights, which are extremely bright, even in full sun – oops! Tonight, however, Dan & I will be doing the honours & then the age-old battle between kitten & tree ornaments will start with a vengeance ….
At this time of year, I get quite carried away with the whole Christmas thing - Christmas evokes such powerful feelings for me. I create my own Christmas world, where everything is beautiful & sparkling, with cold weather, candles & log fires, where it’s so lovely & cosy in the house , where people genuinely do the best for each other & where there is no war, no poverty & definitely no cancer. I love to watch all those Christmas movies – you know the ones:-
- where it always snows on cue,
- where Santa brings exactly what the lonely person needed,
- where the puppies save Christmas again,
- where a young boy discovers that the true meaning of Christmas is to be with his family (after he has beaten the burglars)
or, even -
- - where John McClane defeats a whole bunch of terrorists on Christmas Eve singlehandedly.
My Dan has a little mantra – “Mum are you crying AGAIN?” which I hear multiple times a day as something else makes me dissolve into utterly self-indulgent tears. I can’t help it, I just love Christmas!
Since my diagnosis with lymphoma, I have come to realise more & more not just how precious those moments are, but also how thin the line is between laughter & tears. I find myself filling up at the smallest things, as my emotions are never far from the surface. I was talking to a friend this morning & had to turn away as I found myself starting to well up as she was talking about the importance of surrounding myself with others in my present circumstances. I don’t like to think of myself as being “needy” but her comments struck a chord, & I have blogged before about how important social contact is for me.
Over the weekend, it occurred to me that my emotional “needs” ebb & flow during the watch & wait stage of my cancer journey - sometimes I really want & need to be with people, at others I am happier to be on the side-lines watching, &, yet often, usually when I am exhausted, I need to be in my own little cocoon, cuddled up with Dan & our pets, in our “safe” world, hidden away from everything else. In all of the above, there is an element of escapism & re-reading the above, I think that’s one of the reasons that I love Christmas so much, because at that time, & with the current “limbo” state of my health, I CAN escape. Psychologically, I think many people put things off over Christmas & I’m no exception, as I prefer to focus on the joys of the month of December & a consequence, January (& the bills) always lands with a crunch!
Christmas is a time for sharing & I’m in a very reflective mood today as we start the traditional party season. Today, my thoughts are very much with my fellow patients as we go into the last month of 2014. My Christmas wish for you all is that you are able to escape cancer for at least a part of this time & to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful time of the year, whilst my New Year wish is hope for a cure.
With love to you all X