This is what I was doing a year ago today:
Yup. It's been a full year since my last chemo.
It's been a full year since I had to wear this facking thing:
A year ago since I made my awesome sign:
It's also been pretty much a year since I hit absolute rock bottom - a horrible dark place I hope I never end up in again. The worst of it barely lasted more than a day but I had really had enough, and I briefly gave up. I remember the night when I couldn't sleep, kept awake by one thought running through my mind on repeat - "I don't like being alive and I don't want to be alive if this is what my life is". The next morning I had to get out of bed and face the world because I had go to hospital for an ultrasound scan and appointment with my surgeon. I went downstairs, saw my horrible, nasty, ugly, cancer face in the mirror and started screaming at it. At hospital, the ultrasound scan was phenomenal - the tumours that had been there before chemo were gone. There was no visible cancer left. I should've been bouncing off the walls, but I wasn't. I actually went to my GP because I thought I had lost my mind, and didn't know what else to do. I was prescribed a big dose of "giving myself a break and telling my friends what was going on and letting them step in and look after me" and it worked a treat.
Anyway - back to December 3rd 2014...
My friend Laura came round that night to celebrate with me. We had Chinese takeaway and Prosecco. Laura brought me three presents. Nude nail polish because now that chemo was done I didn't need goth nails anymore. A razor, because now that chemo was done I was about to become a hairy beast once again. And this calendar...
The calendar meant a lot to me. It meant Laura thought I'd stick around for 2015, even though on December 3rd last year I myself didn't dare think ahead as far as December 3rd this year. I decided to use the calendar to retrospectively record everything I did. It's been on my wall in my living room, reminding me to pack as much in to 2015 as possible. And now I can look back and see all the things I have done, places I've been, and people I've spent time with.
Think I've done pretty well! 2015 has been a lot of fun. I've found myself in a bunch of situations I would never have expected. I've challenged myself. Let go of a lot of crap. And now here I am, December 3rd 2015, a year clear of chemo, feeling happy, and well, and realising I now really need to get a 2016 calendar.
And in the spirit of packing as much into life as possible, I've double booked myself this evening. Drinks with work friends first, and then out with Laura to properly celebrate my one year chemoversary! Yeah! Now bring on 2016!
(Still got the sign haha! This time I've got my own hair, eyebrows and eyelashes though...)
PS a little update, 4/12/15:
Laura is the most awesome mind reading friend because she gave me this present last night...