When my school friend Miche said she had a Friday night surprise for me, I had no idea what she had planned. It was only after we arrived at a traditional country pub and she introduced me to the manager that I realised I’d be going behind the bar.
It was only last week that I popped to Paris just for lunch. I never imagined that I’d end up doing something else off my List for Living quite so soon.
It was a good way to end an awful day. The chemo is really starting to take its toll. I’m more tired than ever. I’ve changed my treatment day to Wednesdays. So Fridays are now the worst day of the week. Just because my time left is short, it doesn’t mean every single moment is brilliant. Sometimes my biggest achievement is getting out of bed.
I put this on my List for Living as I’ve enjoyed pretending to work behind a bar in the past but I’ve never actually pulled a pint in a proper pub.
The venue chosen by my friend was in the middle of nowhere with little street lighting. Small and quaint, the pub didn’t even have an indoor toilet! But it was full of locals, all intrigued by my keenness to get behind the pumps. The barman gave me a quick lesson. First I had a practise.
It felt great pulling my first proper pint. Standing behind the bar. Doing something a bit different. Totally unconnected with the cancer. What a fantastic surprise night out.
What with all the hospital visits, the sickness and the stress, it’s easy to lose sight of who you are. You’re a patient for so much of the time. It can be overwhelming and squashes the person you were before all of this.
The steroids may be messing with my moods but pulling the pint made me feel much more like me. I thought that my List for Living would just be a lovely way of doing fun stuff with people who mean a lot to me. Creating a whole load of special memories. However I didn’t realise that the list would enable them to help me feel better.
As I write this, a few days later, I still feel chemo shattered. I’ve done very little since but it makes me happy that I have managed to do something special.