46) See puffins in Britain
This was one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been to – the seabird haven of the Farne Islands are just off the stunning coast of Northumberland. During breeding season this is home to around 37 thousand pairs of puffins! On a cold summer’s day we took a boat to Inner Farne. Humans are allowed to walk along designated pathways but the majority of the island is just for birds. There were puffins pretty much everywhere you looked. It was such a special experience.
44) Have a picnic
It was your typical summer picnic at the seaside. It rained! But we still enjoyed it.
31) Take a speed boat down the Thames
It was one of the scariest rides of our lives. We seemed to go as fast as we could without crashing! It was such a brilliant rush.
15) Bathe in the roof top Bath Spa as the sun goes down
The pool is up there – on the top of the building! I’d always wanted to go the Bath Spa but never quite got around to it. It was a sunny but chilly afternoon. It was beautiful watching the light fade from the sky as the stream rose from the thermal water.
Really there’s no need to worry. I know that when I haven’t posted anything for a while, some people are concerned that it’s because things are bad. Usually quite the opposite is true. Just like now.
I’ve been busy enjoying life, rather than stuck on the sofa. You’ll see that I’ve done a few more things on my List for Living over the summer.
My treatment finished in January and there no plans for anymore at the moment. It’s now been the longest period of time without any since my diagnosis. It’s a record breaking chemo holiday!
Getting used to normal life isn’t as straightforward as you’d imagine. When you’re ill there is only one priority and that’s survival. Life is put on hold. Everything is geared towards killing the cancer. Nothing else matters. You focus on the chemo and just try to get through each day as best you can. Your emotions are linked to the disease and how successfully it’s having the s*** kicked out of it. The everyday stuff just isn’t important.
But when you finish with the toxic cocktails and the horrible side effects start to fade, you begin to glimpse the kind of life that most people have and many take for granted. You mark this with milestones which are quite frankly ridiculous. When I was having the weekly chemo for many months, I didn’t need to fill my car with petrol once. Now I have to get fuel every so often. I feel lucky each time I fill her up. These are unexpectedly marvellous moments. When you’re used to an abnormal life, normalness can seem strange. There’s no daily battle. You wake up and feel well. That’s such an incredible feeling.
Not everything has been quite so nice. During treatment you’re very much protected. You’re very close to the people you choose to be with. This circle of family and friends love, support and help you. They are very careful about your feelings. They understand more than anyone else how difficult it all is.
When life goes back to normal you’re stop being so cocooned. You see more people than ever before. I look well and I feel brilliant. It must be hard for anyone outside this circle to really appreciate what I’ve been through. I understand this but it can still be a shock when someone comes along and hurts your feelings. Before I was ill I could handle stress and thrived on it. But now it’s much more difficult to cope with. It’s very frustrating as it’s such a waste of time.
However I didn’t have all the horrific treatment in order to only survive. I dealt with each horrible day by dreaming that at some point I may be able to start living again. Only I’d forgotten that with the good but you also get the bad. I assumed that after going through so much, it would be perfect. Of course, real life isn’t like that. So I suppose that I really did get my wish. But there’s no need to worry, there’s so much more good than bad.