From chemo cocktails to cosmopolitans

Could there be a more perfect way to celebrate?

After so many evil chemo cocktails in hospital, it seemed only right to mark the end of my cancer ordeal with some real drinks in an actual bar.

I know I’ve had a few celebrations already but quite frankly I’m going to be very greedy and I’ll be having a whole load more. Don’t worry though I won’t be writing about every single one!

It’s been a few weeks since my last ever chemotherapy and I finally felt well enough to go out with friends. We arranged to meet at a bar in Chelsea. My long blond WAG wig that I like to call Candice was all ready for an occasion just like this.

This was the first time that I’d worn Candice for a night out.

And what a difference it made. Suddenly I’d gone from almost bald to really blond. Putting on the wig not only transformed the way I looked but somehow made me feel better too, almost like a different person.

Lately I’ve been living in headscarves. I find them easier to wear than wigs although they have a certain cancer chic about them. I think I look more like someone who is sick when I have a headscarf on.  

As me and Candice rocked up at the bar I nervously checked out my reflection in the window next to the entrance. Surprised at what I saw, I smiled back. Something special had happened, I realised that I looked totally normal and I haven’t felt like that for ages.

I knew that both my friends, Kath and Anna were going to be late so I ordered myself something. Seconds later, a man at the bar started to chat me up. Really it was just seconds, my drink hadn’t even been poured!

Wow was that down to me or Candice?! Whatever the reason it was my welcome back to single life in London.

I didn’t have to wait too long for my friends, just enough time for the French banker to give me his number. Normally I would have been happy to stand at the bar but there was no way that I could manage that right now so we found a table.

Drinking Cosmopolitans, Bellini’s and the odd Strawberry Mule, it could have almost been a scene from Sex and the City where the girls meet for drinks and gossip in a glamorous bar.

Only, there were three of us. We were English and this wasn’t New York. Although Kath and I have eaten cupcakes from the Magnolia bakery made famous by the TV series. If that counts…no, thought not.

Anyway that was ten years ago. We were in New York to celebrate me beating cancer the first time round. While we were there we came up with a plan about how I could do some some of the things on my list for living. During chemo I’d come up with this crazy list of things I wanted to do when I was well. Within weeks of that holiday I’d moved to Moscow.

Now here we were celebrating again.

Just like back then we talked about the future and it felt good that I can now get on with living.

Before, the most exciting thing I’ve had to look forward to was my next trip to hospital. The chemo has taken place every three weeks. If that had continued then I should have had another session a few days ago.

Knowing that around this time I’d normally be feeling incredibly ill thanks to the evil chemo cocktail, made the drinks taste even better. Compared to the toxic treatment, the side effects were far more pleasant too.


11 thoughts on “From chemo cocktails to cosmopolitans

  1. What an absolutely brilliant way to celebrate! I thoroughly approve, Helen. I will be heading out into our local (very small) market town tomorrow lunchtime to have a similar celebratory lunch with two dear friends, one of whom is at the same stage as you are now. It does feel good to be able to say that!

    • Thanks Rosie, it certainly was! I hope you all have a great celebration tomorrow. It sounds like you have something lovely planned. A big congratulations to your friend :) I’m enjoying the fact that the treatment is all over and oh yes it does feel very good to be able to say that!!

  2. Hi Helen

    so glad things are going so well. I checked to see how long I have been following your blog and I realise it must have been 6th March. On that day it seemed like you wanted people to post a comment to take your mind of things, so I did. I’ll be honest- I don’t always remember to check this site every day to see if there’s a new entry, but it’s looking like you have started posting more often in last week or so, which I take to be a good sign. To me it feels like 6 months have flown by, but I guess it feels like forever to you? Hope to see you back on the telly in the not too distant future.

    • Hey Paul, I know I can’t believe the six months has passed since all this started. It hasn’t quite flown past but it has gone quicker than I thought it would. Although in the middle of the chemo time did seem to drag. I tend to post when I have energy so the more I post the better I’m getting. Here’s to the next six months!

  3. Helen, i am so happy for you! My mum too has just had her last poison potion and is celebrating with a glass of red wine. I will make her my favourite “lazy red cheeks” next weekend. Check it out, you”ll like it too!
    take care

    • Hey thats wonderful news, I’m glad we’re both celebrating the same way! Say a big congratulations from me :) Mmmmm I’ve just looked up the recipe and you’re right lazy red cheeks is my kinda cocktail!! Have a lovely time next weekend.

  4. Helen, you are looking fantastic and I’m delighted to hear the good news that life is a whole lot more fun for you these days. Jane Peel x

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